Corn futures closed down 18 to 36 cents on Tuesday. Corn futures dropped significantly as midday forecasts called for rain in the U.S. Midwest over the next 10 to 15 days. Prices saw further pressure from the strengthening dollar, weak demand for U.S. corn and price declines in both the wheat and soybean markets. Yesterday’s crop progress report was somewhat bearish for prices as it reported that corn plantings were 96 percent complete and in good shape.
Soybean futures closed down 24 to 30 cents on Tuesday. Soybeans futures tumbled after choppy trading throughout the day. Prices were pressured as calls for wet weather across the U.S. Midwest calmed fears of potential crop damage from heat stress. The soy complex also traded low much of the day, weighing on market prices. News that China may possibly switch old-crop purchases to new-crop purchase negatively affected prices as well.
Wheat futures closed down 12 to 17 cents on Tuesday. The price rally in the wheat market ended today as the market reacted to calls for timely rains in Russia. Dry weather concerns in key wheat producing regions (U.S., Australia, and Russia) have been pushing market prices up recently. Weather still remains a concern as forecasts of higher temperatures in the U.S. Plains have not subsided, possibly providing a boost to prices.
Cattle futures closed 10 to 25 cents higher on Tuesday. Cattle futures rallied on short covering and pressure in the grain markets. Beef cutouts were mixed at midday, with choice down 8 cents and select up 68 cents. No trade is reported in the cash market currently, but preliminary asking prices are expected to start at $125 in the South and $197 in the North. Traders are expecting demand to pick up as Memorial Day weekend approaches.
Lean hog futures closed 90 cents to $1.00 lower on Tuesday. Hogs futures were down considerably on the close. The fundamentals of the market remain weak as pork prices continue to decline. Trade in the cash market is slow as packer margins remain negative. Prices in the cash market are expected to be steady to 50 cent lower.