Corn futures traded lower on Tuesday. Positioning ahead of the USDA reports due out on Thursday morning led to fund selling. Traders are looking for USDA to lower the U.S. ending stocks estimate by about 50 million bushels due to increased exports from the small corn crop in South America. Losses were limited by weakness in the dollar index. March closed 2 cents lower at $6.42 1/4 and May was 2 3/4 cents lower at $6.48 1/2.
Soybean futures were mixed on Tuesday. Front end contracts were lower while new-crop months traded slightly higher. Positioning ahead of the USDA reports limited market movement. Improved crop weather in South America weighed lightly on the market. However, weakness in the dollar index and gains in crude oil helped limit losses in front end contracts and pushed new-crop and later deferred contracts higher. March ended 1 cent lower at $12.32 and November ended 2 1/4 cents higher at $12.41 1/4.
Wheat futures traded lower on Tuesday. Profit-taking from the rally on Monday and moderating weather in some key European crop growing regions weighed on the market. The MGE had been supported by concerns about dry weather in the northern Plains possibly limiting the spring wheat crop this year, but spillover selling weighed on that market as well into the close. CBOT March closed 6 1/4 cents lower at $6.62 1/4, KCBT March was 7 cents lower at $7.12 and MGE March ended 2 1/2 cents lower at $8.38 1/2.
Cattle futures closed strongly higher on Tuesday. Strength in boxed beef prices and generally smaller showlists this week has led to some optimism for steady to firm cash prices. Weakness in the dollar index and strength in the stock market helped support the market as well. February closed $1.60 higher at $125.35 and April was $1.08 higher at $128.58.
Lean hog futures closed mixed on Tuesday. The February contract was pressured by the 35 cent drop in pork cutouts on Monday and the steady to lower tone in the cash market. But deferreds traded higher on optimism that demand will improve seasonally soon. The decline in the dollar index was also supportive to commodity markets. February closed 95 cents lower at $86.18 while April was 55 cents higher at $89.10.