Ag markets were narrowly mixed Tuesday night

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Corn futures stabilized Tuesday night. After rallying in concert with soybeans Tuesday, corn futures edged slightly lower last night. There seemed to be very little pertinent news, so traders apparently fell back upon technical factors. Indeed, yesterday’s March futures bounce from its 10-day moving average seemed to mark the continuation of a general advance. March corn was flat at $4.4925/bushel in early Wednesday trading, while May steadied at $4.55.

A bearish Brazilian crop estimate and declining palm prices stalled the bean rally overnight. Two industry forecasts for a smaller Brazilian soybean crop and surging palm oil prices helped power the soy complex to big gains Tuesday. However, another Brazilian firm published a larger forecast overnight, while palm oil prices fell for the first time in five sessions. Thus, it wasn’t terribly surprising to see CBOT prices mostly lower this morning. March soybeans rallied 2.5 cents to $13.635/bushel early Wednesday morning, while March soyoil sank 0.14 cents to 41.22 cents/pound, and March soymeal gained $1.4 to $458.3/ton.

Weather concerns reportedly boosted the wheat markets overnight. Traders continue talking about the relative tightness of the U.S. wheat situation and about the potential impact of wintry conditions and Canadian transport problems. The prospect of another wintry blast over the Midwest next week seemed particularly pertinent overnight. March CBOT wheat futures rose 0.75 cent at $6.1275/bushel around dawn Wednesday, while March KCBT wheat futures added 3.0 cents to $6.8875, and March MWE futures advanced 4.25 to $6.835.

Cattle futures skidded in Wednesday night action. Cattle futures rallied strongly Tuesday in response to strong beef gains posted Monday and again yesterday. Traders seemed to be taking a break last night, with futures declining slightly. We suspect traders are giving considerable to thought to the likely outcome of this week’s cash trading, since the April contract is currently priced very near last week’s outcome. April cattle futures sagged 0.17 cents to 141.95 cents/pound as Wednesday dawned over Chicago, while August lost 0.05 to 132.00. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle were unchanged at 171.70 cents/pound, as did May at 173.75.

Hog futures posted a mixed overnight showing. Hog traders apparently expect forthcoming hog and pork supplies to be substantially curtailed by last year’s PEDV outbreak, so they bought futures aggressively yesterday. However, the cash and wholesale markets rose quite modestly, thereby seemingly to rob the CME market of upward momentum. April hogs crept up 0.02 cents to 97.40 cents/pound Tuesday night, while June rallied 0.15 to 107.47.

Cotton futures seemed to follow the equity indexes lower overnight. Although lacking for news, the ICE cotton market rallied in concert with the other crops Tuesday. Little fresh information emerged overnight, which seemingly caused traders to look to the equity markets for direction. Equity index futures suffered significant overnight losses, thereby dragging fiber values downward as well. March cotton slid 0.04 cents at 87.87 cents/pound soon after sunrise (EST) Wednesday, while July cotton moved up 0.01 to 89.01.

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