The agricultural markets moved generally higher Tuesday as they bounced back from the broad financial market breakdown suffered Monday. Corn futures posted a moderate rebound in concert with wheat and soybeans. Traders credited widespread bargain hunting and tight country markets for portions of the early strength. The fact that updated forecasts imply persistent rainfall over the Corn Belt, thereby potentially delaying plantings even farther, probably supported new crop values. May corn jumped 17.0 cents to $6.6325/bushel at its Tuesday close, while December gained 8.5 cents to $5.4075.
The soybean complex also staged a substantial comeback Tuesday. This was not terribly surprising since the legume market seemed very reluctant to join the Monday decline. Wire service reports cited firm cash quotes and bargain hunting for the early rise. Oil World commentary suggesting South American export problems could shift Chinese buying back to the U.S. market, as well as their arguments that estimates of South American production are too high, probably boosted soy values as well. May soybeans surged 14.5 cents to $14.115/bushel late Tuesday afternoon, while May soyoil climbed 0.87 cents to 48.98 cents/pound, and May meal leapt $7.8 to $401.3/ton.
Supportive wheat market fundamentals apparently came to the fore again Tuesday after the markets proved surprisingly vulnerable to the general breakdown suffered Monday. The winter wheat crop seems vulnerable to another bout of frost later this week, whereas continuing wet, cool conditions could delay spring wheat plantings. Indeed, the Minneapolis market led the way higher. May CBOT wheat futures advanced 9.25 cents to $7.035/bushel at its Tuesday settlement, while May KCBT wheat rose 9.25 cents to $7.4175, and May MGE futures lifted 11.75 cents to $8.0975.
The broad Monday breakdown reportedly convinced a few cowboys to take 2.0 cents less (around 125 cents/pound) for their cattle in the afternoon, which very likely accounted for a portion of concurrent CME losses. However, packing industry buyers apparently got few takers for similar bids Tuesday, which probably played a role in the CME rebound. Wholesale prices were mixed once again, which was not encouraging. June cattle rallied 0.62 cents to 120.45 cents/pound by late Tuesday afternoon, while December added 0.42 cents to 125.87. May feeder cattle futures edged up 0.25 cents to 140.05 cents/pound, and August rose 0.10 cent to 146.47.
Hog futures joined the general commodity market rebound Tuesday. Cash market developments seemed supportive, since preliminary reports indicated a strong rise in direct market values west of the Mississippi River. Conversely, the midmorning pork report stated little change in pork cutout. Still, anticipation of seasonal strength could translate into considerable support for the swine market over the short run. The lightly traded May hog contract settled 0.52 cents higher at 86.80 cents/pound Tuesday, while the June contract climbed 0.42 cents to 89.02.