Grain markets mixed around midsession Tuesday

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Recent cash strength may have discouraged country buyers, since demand was termed weak Tuesday morning. That seemed to undercut nearby CBOT futures as the May contract entered its last hours of trading, and apparently weighed somewhat upon deferred futures as well. Traders probably are not very interested in buying with farmer plantings expected to accelerate greatly this week. July corn dipped 6.5 cents to $6.49/bushel in Tuesday morning activity, while December slid 3.25 cents to $5.36.

In contrast to Tuesday morning corn weakness, the expiring May soybean future surged upward as it approached expiration. Conversely, persistent ideas that the extremely slow pace of corn plantings will eventually force additional Corn Belt acreage into soybeans seemed to weigh upon the deferred contracts. July soybean futures slipped 8.0 cents to $14.1125/bushel just before the lunch hour Tuesday, while July soyoil skidded 0.18 cents to 49.43 cents/pound, and July soybean meal lost $2.6 to $412.5/ton.

The huge global wheat production figure indicated by the USDA on its WASDE report last Friday reportedly continues hanging over the Midwest futures markets. Conversely, the potential for crop problems in other major producing countries, on top of what has already been experienced in the U.S. in recent weeks is providing background support. July CBOT wheat futures edged 2.25 cents higher to $7.12/bushel by midsession Tuesday, while July KCBT wheat rose 0.75 cent to $7.6725, and July MGE futures rose 1.5 to $8.14.

As indicated by the large discounts built into CME futures, cattle traders rather obviously worry about a major seasonal decline in cash prices during late spring and summer. However, surprisingly strong wholesale prices might do a great deal to mitigate the traditional seasonal decline. That is why Monday afternoon news of beef price firmness seemed to be providing support for the Chicago market Tuesday morning. June cattle climbed 0.25 cents to 120.82 cents/pound in early Tuesday trading, while December slid 0.27 cents to 125.37. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures declined 0.27 cents to 145.92 cents/pound, while November edged down 0.22 cents to 151.52.

Hog traders seemingly harbor concerns similar to the pessimism exhibited by the counterparts in the cattle pit, although the discounts in summer swine futures are much smaller than those built into the CME cattle market. Persistent strength in cash hog and/or wholesale pork values could greatly mitigate those worries during the days and weeks just ahead. June hog futures rallied 0.60 cents to 91.52 cents/pound late Tuesday morning, while December futures added 0.22 cents to 77.72.

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