Corn futures finished lower. Corn was lower along with sharp losses in wheat and to a lesser extent, soybeans. Fund long liquidation and broad based selling pressured the corn market ahead of the USDA reports on Friday. Open interest was actually higher on Monday so not all the selling this week has been long liquidation. Some new sellers are also entering the market. In some cases farmer selling has been noted. May corn futures closed 7 cents lower at $6.30 3/4 and December was 3 cents lower at $5.50 1/4.
Soybean futures settled lower on Tuesday. Prices saw some selling pressure despite bullish fundamental news. USDA announced that China had bought another 120,000 tonnes of new-crop beans. Concerns persist about Brazil’s crop totaling less than recent forecasts. But because of the uncertainty of the USDA acreage and stocks reports out on Friday, it isn’t surprising to see some selling as a hedge ahead of the new data. May futures closed 9 3/4 cents lower at $13.69 3/4 and November was 1 3/4 cents lower at $13.27 3/4.
Wheat futures closed sharply lower Tuesday. Initially, prices were mixed, with CBOT and KCBT down just slightly on improved crop condition reports; while MGE futures were slightly higher on a freeze threat and continuing talk of dry weather stress in European wheat. But near noon, forecasts for at least temporary rain relief in Europe and reportedly lower risk that freezing temps in the U.S. will reach the central Plains sparked a sell-off that quickly fed on itself. CBOT May closed 19 3/4 cents lower at $6.39 3/4, KCBT May closed 20 cents lower at $6.79 and MGE May closed 15 3/4 cents lower at $8.06 1/4.
Cattle futures closed higher. After the steep decline over the past few weeks, cattle futures became deeply oversold and due for a bounce. Technically based buying and bottom picking helped boost prices today. Also, futures moved to a discount to recent cash trade, provided underlying support to futures. However, poor margins may limit packer buying interest in the cash market amid continued weak beef prices. April ended 105 cents higher at $125.60. The June contract was 87 cents higher at $121.97.
Lean hog futures closed mostly higher on Tuesday. Several non-fundamental factors combined to support hog prices on Tuesday. Many traders feel the market is oversold, after declining for more than a month. Some traders are closing out short positions ahead of the quarterly Hogs and Pigs report out this Friday, and there is the hope that the season decline in hog supplies will pull prices up over the next few weeks. The April contract declined by 8 cents and closed at $84.80. June was up 83 cents and settled at $93.73.