Corn futures closed lower on Tuesday along with weakness in wheat and soybeans. USDA reported corn harvest progress at 95%, up from 91% a week ago and four points above the five-year average. Basis levels are mostly steady to firm. While futures are moving toward a test of the recent contract low, the cash market is likely to provide leadership as prices gradually rebound from record production and seasonal pressure from harvest. December corn futures were 6.25 cents lower at $4.1825/bushel while May was 6.5 cents lower to $4.3225.
Soybean futures fell under pressure of profit-taking on Tuesday from Monday’s rally of two-month high. Although USDA reported sizeable exports sales of beans to unknown destinations, the cancellation of large quantities of beans sold to China likely wiped out doubts about the strength of Chinese demand. December soymeal extended gains on technical buying and hit two month high on short covering ahead of first notice day. January soybean futures remained unchanged at close at $13.2925/bushel; December soyoil dipped 0.31 cents to 40.35 cents/pound, and December soymeal jumped $13.0 to $450.2/ton.
Wheat futures closed mostly lower on Tuesday despite the fact that cash basis bids for hard red winter wheat held steady in the southern U.S. Plains. USDA final weekly crop progress report for 2013 rated 62% of the winter wheat in good-to-excellent condition, down 1 point from a week ago. Although temperatures stayed colder than normal in parts of the US Plains, traders showed no worries on crop damage at this point. December CBOT wheat futures dropped 6.0 cents to $6.465/bushel in early Monday trading, while December KCBT wheat futures climbed 0.75 cents to $7.0425, and December MWE futures edged down 5.5 to $6.9325.
Cattle futures closed higher on Tuesday as futures responded to strength in the beef market. Beef prices were sharply higher on Monday, and while mixed at midday Tuesday, the weakness was limited. Higher beef prices suggest beef demand is set to improve. December cattle futures were 0.825 cents higher to 131.95, while April futures were 0.975 cents higher to 133.675. Meanwhile, January feeder cattle were up 1.675 cents to 164.375 cents/pound, and March feeders were 1.40 cents higher to 164.30.
Hog futures ended the day with divergence of higher nearby contracts and lower deferred contracts. Demand already slowed down ahead of the holidays as most packers have immediate supply needs to meet for the week. Recent steady slaughter pace of record heavy hogs added downward pressure to wholesale prices. December hog futures lifted 0.225 cents to 85.825 and February futures rallied 0.775 to 90.575.