Grain, livestock markets appears muddled on Tuesday

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Talk that the domestic corn situation remains very tight reportedly boosted corn futures Tuesday, although one might also credit the negative Cyprus government reaction to the E.U. proposal to tax consumer savings in that country in the wake of Monday weakness. It is actually somewhat surprising that deferred futures are not reacting positively to the sustained wet, chilly weather now dominating the Corn Belt. May corn rose 8.55 cents to $7.285/bushel at its Tuesday settlement, while December gained 0.75 cent to $5.6225.

After advancing Tuesday morning, soybean futures turned decidedly lower later in the day. The drop was rather surprising, especially when viewed in light of talk that Chinese inventories are too small and Brazilian logistical problems are stifling deliveries. On the other hand, those soybeans are not going away. Indeed, a story that a big Chinese firm will cancel previous purchases of about two million tonnes of Brazilian beans may have dragged prices downward. May soybeans settled 2.75 cents lower, at $14.0675/bushel Tuesday afternoon, while May soyoil skidded 0.20 cents to 49.48 cents/pound, and May meal dipped $1.7 to $411.6/ton.

Wheat futures moved generally higher Tuesday. Bulls were reportedly encouraged by the persistence of Southern Plains dryness through mid-March, whereas bears would be just as quick to cite recent improvements in winter wheat condition reports. The bullish leadership provided by corn probably supported prices as well. May CBOT wheat futures climbed 9.25 cents to $7.22/bushel as its closed Tuesday, while May KCBT wheat added 8.0 cents to $7.5175, and May MGE futures surged 10.75 cents to $7.9875.

After bucking the bearish trend Monday, cattle futures turned downward again Tuesday. Wire service reports blamed pessimism about the outcome of cash trading later this week, which in turn apparently stemmed from talk of increased feedlot offerings and expectations of reduced packer activity next week due to some plant closures on Good Friday. Bears could also argue that a ‘bear flag’ is forming on the April cattle chart. April cattle tumbled 0.75 cents to 125.30 cents/pound in late Tuesday trading, while August dropped 0.30 cents to 122.27. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle dove 1.03 cents to 138.37 cents/pound, and August lost 0.97 cents to 147.25.


Concerns about seasonally weak pork demand reportedly weighed upon hog futures Tuesday. Bulls can certainly argue that the wholesale strength experienced last Friday and again early this week will support the complex, but the industry may need to see much more of the same before it can be persuaded. The premiums built into nearby futures are unlikely to help bulls either. April hogs ended Tuesday having fallen 1.17 cents to 78.22 cents/pound, while June dipped 0.67 cents to 88.23.

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