Grain, livestock markets decidedly mixed Tuesday morning

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Talk that the domestic corn situation remains very tight reportedly boosted corn futures Tuesday morning, 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 6.25 cents to $7.2625/bushel late Tuesday morning, while December slipped 2.0 cent to $5.60.

Soybean futures advanced moderately Tuesday morning in apparent response to tight domestic supplies and ongoing logistical problems getting the big South American crop to the international market. Talk that Chinese soy stockpiles are too small may have supported the market, whereas reports that a large Chinese firm will cancel previous purchases of about two million tonnes of Brazilian beans may be weighing upon prices. May soybeans gained 6.5 cents to $14.16/bushel around midsession Tuesday, while May soyoil skidded 0.12 cents to 49.56 cents/pound, while May meal climbed $2.5 to $415.8/ton.

Wheat futures moved generally higher Tuesday morning. 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 and beans probably supported prices as well. May CBOT wheat futures climbed 6.5 cents to $7.1925/bushel just before lunchtime Tuesday, while May KCBT wheat added 6.25 cents to $7.505, and May MGE futures surged 9.25 cents to $7.98.

After bucking the bearish trend Monday, cattle futures were weaker Tuesday morning. 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 declined 0.35 cents to 125.70 cents/pound in late Tuesday morning trading, while August dropped 0.52 cents to 122.05. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle dove 1.10 cents to 138.30 cents/pound, and August lost 1.45 cents to 146.77.

Concerns about seasonally weak pork demand reportedly weighed upon hog futures Tuesday morning. Bulls can certainly argue that the wholesale strength experienced last Friday and again Monday, but the industry may need to see much more of the same before it can be persuaded. The premiums built into nearby futures is unlikely to help bulls. April hogs fell 0.55 cents to 78.85 cents/pound around mid-session Tuesday, while June dipped 0.45 cents to 88.50.

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