Cotton diverged badly from Tuesday's general ag advance

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Corn futures rebounded strongly Tuesday afternoon. Corn futures began today’s trading weakly, but posted a surprising afternoon bounce. Traders may have responded to talk that last week’s USDA forecast of a large 2014 U.S. corn crop was overly optimistic. Wire service reports cited fund buying for a portion of the advance. March corn climbed 4.25 cents to $4.5575/bushel at Tuesday’s close, while May bounced 3.5 to $4.6125.

The soy complex bounced from early lows. Soybeans and products traded weakly Monday night in apparent consolidation of recent gains. A mistaken announcement of a cancelled sale also depressed prices, but a subsequent announcement that the shipment in question was not a cancellation but a fresh sale sparked the subsequent resurgence. March soybeans jumped 12.5 cents to $13.99/bushel at their Tuesday settlement, while March soyoil dropped 0.17 cents to 40.58 cents/pound, and March soymeal gained $3.7 to $469.6/ton.

News of an Egyptian cancellation temporarily undercut wheat markets. The USDA announced Tuesday morning that Egypt had cancelled a wheat sale for 2013/14 delivery, which sparked aggressive selling across the various exchanges. However, the fact that it was a soft-red winter wheat sale enabled the KC and MWE markets to come back from their early lows. Most Chicago contracts joined the general advance later in the day. March CBOT wheat futures fell 2.75 cents to $6.15/bushel as pit trading ended Tuesday, while March KCBT wheat futures moved up 1.5 cents to $6.905, and March MWE futures surged 11.25 to $6.74.

Wholesale strength seemed to boost nearby cattle futures. Big wholesale gains posted Monday afternoon played a big role in boosting cattle futures Tuesday. The beef gains very likely persuaded traders that packers will pay up for fed cattle again later this week. April cattle futures soared 1.17 cents to 142.40 cents/pound at their Tuesday close, while August leapt 0.87 to 131.67. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle advanced 0.87 cents to 171.07 cents/pound, and May rose 1.05 to 173.37.

Hog futures also surged Tuesday. Seasonally rising cash and wholesale prices appeared to do little to boost hog futures Tuesday morning, but bulls rather obviously became more active as the day passed. Traders rather obviously expect much more of the same during the days ahead. April hogs spiked 1.32 cents to 100.57 cents/pound as the Tuesday CME session ended, while June ran up 0.82 to 108.95.

Cotton futures seemed to suffer a technical reversal Tuesday. Today’s early equity bounce seemed likely to support cotton futures, since the latter market has apparently followed the former lately. However, cotton bulls seemed to throw in the towel on long positions after the most-active May futures again proved unable to sustain an early push over the 90-cent level. ICE cotton prices fell rather sharply as a result. May cotton dove 1.95 cents to 87.35 cents/pound as New York trading ended Tuesday, while December cotton tumbled 0.74 cents to 77.51.

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