Crop markets once again seemed to stall last night

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Corn futures are beginning Wednesday rather weakly. Corn futures seemed to be slipping along with soybeans in early Wednesday trading. That probably reflected talk of rising South American bean production. Increased optimism about South American corn harvests may also be having an effect. March corn dipped 1.25 cents to $4.3075/bushel in pre-dawn Wednesday action, while May slipped 1.5 to $4.365.

Talk of rising South American production weighed on the soy complex Tuesday night. Traders in the soy complex are rather obviously anticipating downward price pressure from the incipient South American harvest. The latest report from the USDA’s Brazilian attaché added to selling, when it unofficially boosted the forecast harvest 500,000 tonnes to 89.5 million. The report also raised predicted exports 2.0 million to 46 million tonnes. March soybeans edged down 1.5 cents to $12.84/bushel early Wednesday morning, while March soyoil sagged 0.11 cents to 37.29 cents/pound and March soymeal lost $0.1 to $428.5/ton.

Warming weather forecasts depressed the wheat markets. Recent talk of strong global export buying has diminished in the wake of Egypt’s Tuesday tender. Thus, predictions for warming weather over much of the U.S. seemingly has traders again looking at the short side of the market. March CBOT wheat futures slid 1.25 cents to $5.6475/bushel in early Wednesday trading, while March KCBT wheat futures sank 3.0 cent to $6.19, and March MWE futures skidded 2.25 to $6.0275.

Tumbling beef prices are depressing cattle futures. Traders have likely been hoping for fresh gains in cash cattle prices later this week. However, Tuesday afternoon beef news probably ended those hopes, since cutout values dropped sharply. Cattle and feeders slumped in response. February cattle futures tumbled 0.42 cents to 142.12 cents/pound Tuesday night, while the April contract dropped 0.37 cents to 139.97. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle fell 0.57 cents to 167.80 cents/pound, and May declined 0.70 to 168.82.

Late Tuesday reports of cash firmness are supporting CME hog values. Although noon Tuesday wholesale news was good, the cash markets seemed to fall rather sharply. However, afternoon country reports indicated prices were stronger than previously thought. That news apparently boosted futures somewhat in overnight action. February hogs advanced 0.35 cents to 85.62 cents/pound early Wednesday morning, and June added 0.05 to 102.80.

Stock index gains may have boosted cotton futures overnight. Equity index rose strongly Tuesday afternoon after Turkey’s central bank sharply increased that country’s interest rates. The idea that these events herald improved economic activity and apparel demand may have sparked cotton buying as well, although technical buying probably played a big role in the rise as well. March cotton rose 0.07 cents to 84.420 cents/pound just after sunrise (EST) Wednesday, while July cotton gained 0.12 to 85.05.


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