Grain markets mixed again Tuesday morning

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Corn futures turned downward shortly after pit trading commenced Tuesday. Anticipation of a huge acreage estimate on the Thursday morning USDA Prospective Plantings report probably played a role in the drop, but traders also blamed a recent surge in producer sales and weaker basis readings as well. Technicians may have joined the bears after the nearby May contract dipped below chart support associated with its 200-day moving average (MA). May corn fell 6.5 cents to $7.2675/bushel late Tuesday morning, while December lost 2.75 cents to $5.6925.

A report from Oil World apparently boosted the soybean complex Tuesday morning. They indicated that recent rain in Brazil and cold in Argentina had reduced soybean production prospects in those countries, with the sum of those reductions reaching 2.2 million tonnes. Talk that soybean meal production will also decline during the coming months probably supported prices as well. May soybeans rallied 7.25 cents to $14.445/bushel just before lunchtime Tuesday, while May soyoil gained 0.35 cents to 50.79 cents/pound, while May meal edged $1.2 higher to $419.0/ton.

Anticipation of improving winter wheat prospects seemed to undercut nearby futures at the various exchanges Tuesday morning. Although some west Texas fields reportedly suffered frost damage over the weekend, the precipitation provided by the winter storm may have more than offset such losses. Meanwhile, relative firmness in the deferred contracts suggest traders are leaning toward reduced spring wheat plantings on the USDA Prospective Plantings report due out Thursday morning. May CBOT wheat futures skidded 3.25 cents to $7.24/bushel in late Tuesday morning trading, whereas May KCBT wheat rose 1.5 cents to $7.605, and May MGE futures gained 1.25 cents to $8.065.

Cattle futures traded firmly Monday night in seeming anticipation of improving packing industry demand for fed cattle later this week amid hopes for resurgent beef demand after Easter. However, those ideas were apparently dampened when pit trading began later in the morning. The sizeable wholesale losses posted late Monday afternoon seem less than conducive to bullish ideas at this point. April cattle dipped 0.32 cents at 126.12 cents/pound in late Tuesday-morning trading, while August dropped 0.42 cents to 122.72. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle futures lost 0.02 cents to 138.37 cents/pound, and August declined 0.75 cents to 147.42.

CME lean hog futures followed through upon their Monday rebound Tuesday morning. Hopes for a seasonal price advance across the hog and pork complex seem well founded, especially when one considers the historical tendencies for seasonally reduced production and rampant grilling season demand. Still, bulls have spring futures are already trading at significant premiums to cash values, so sustained gains are not at all guaranteed. April hogs surged 0.87 cents to 79.35 cents/pound around midsession Tuesday, while June gained 0.50 cents to 91.27.


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