Few ag markets managed to post gains Tuesday

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Corn futures ended Tuesday in mixed fashion. The corn market edged higher Monday in reaction to good export news. Another early announcement apparently supported the nearby March future, but the deferred contracts worked lower by the end of the day. March corn settled 0.25 cent higher at $4.32/bushel Tuesday afternoon, while May was unchanged at $4.38.

Beans and meal may have felt South American pressure Tuesday. The strength of underlying demand seems to be offering persistent support for soybeans and products at this point. However, traders seemingly reacted poorly to growing pressure from the accelerating Brazilian harvest. Their likely problems in getting their crop shipped could limit the selling. Meanwhile, soyoil futures surged despite a lack of fresh news, with traders citing a technical bounce. March soybeans slid 2.25 cents to $12.855/bushel as trading ended Tuesday, whereas March soyoil jumped 0.34 cents to 37.40 cents/pound; March soymeal sank $2.3 to $428.6/ton.

Weather and export news supported the wheat markets. Traders remain concerned about freeze damage to the U.S. winter wheat crop, thereby providing background price support. Chicago futures also responded well to early news that U.S. wheat was included in the latest purchase from Egypt. The other markets didn’t fare as well. March CBOT wheat futures rallied 2.5 cents to $5.66/bushel at their Tuesday close, but March KCBT wheat futures slipped 0.5 cent to $6.22, and March MWE futures skidded 1.5 to $6.05.

Cattle futures turned lower Tuesday. The cattle market tried to stabilize in the wake of its huge mid-January rally and subsequent setback. Traders apparently suspected the early-week wholesale bounce won’t last long, thereby seemingly boding ill for this week’s cash trade. February cattle futures tumbled 0.60 cents to 142.55 cents/pound in late Tuesday trading, while the April contract sagged 0.20 cents to 140.35. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle fell 0.42 cents to 168.37 cents/pound, and May slid 0.30 to 169.52.

Cash hog and pork weakness are still weighing on hog futures. Premium hog futures show traders expect a significant seasonal rally across the hog and pork complex during the days and weeks ahead. However, those markets have been quite mixed lately, as was the case again this morning. Thus, Tuesday’s sizeable losses weren’t terribly surprising. February hogs sank 0.30 cents to 85.27 cents/pound when the pit session ended, but June added 0.42 to 102.75.

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