Hog futures were the exception to the bearish ag rule Tuesday
Favorable weather seemed to weigh on the crop markets Tuesday morning. With spring corn plantings reportedly nearing completion, forecasts for persistent showers this week seem to favor increased production. When combined with ideas that the Black Sea situation won’t greatly affect crop production, the news caused a poor start to this week’s trading. July corn sank 6.75 cents to $4.7125/bushel in early Tuesday action, while December lost 8.25 cents to $4.67.
Weather news is apparently depressing the soy complex as well. Although a large portion of the nation’s soybean crop likely hasn’t been planted, the current situation still seems to favor a sizeable crop. One also has to wonder if early-spring price trends and wetness persuaded many producers to shift more acreage to beans. The fact that new-crop prices are leading the way lower suggests such ideas are in play. July soybeans dove 24.5 cents to $14.91/bushel around midsession Tuesday, while July soyoil slid 0.30 cents to 40.08 cents/pound, and July soymeal tumbled $7.3 to $495.3/ton.
Wheat markets are also suffering from weather and Black Sea news. Current U.S. rainfall may be a big blessing to what’s left of the winter wheat crop. And while spring wheat plantings continue lagging, current moisture still favors a larger fall crop. Meanwhile, news out of the Ukraine points to reduced disruptions to regional grain output. July CBOT wheat futures fell 9.0 cents to $6.435/bushel shortly before noon Tuesday, while July KCBT wheat dropped 4.0 cents to $7.41, and July MWE futures dipped 3.0 cents to $7.225.
Cattle traders likely expect continued cash losses. Cash cattle prices fell last week despite persistent wholesale strength. CME cattle traders rather obviously expect seasonally increasing cattle supplies will keep spot values under pressure into early summer. June cattle tumbled 0.75 cents to 135.55 cents/pound just before lunchtime Tuesday, while December sagged 0.20 cents to 144.05. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle surged 0.92 cents to 193.77 cents/pound, and October climbed 0.80 cents to 194.90.
Hog futures seem to be rising in anticipation of seasonal strength. In contrast to cattle supplies, market hog numbers usually decline through the second quarter. Traders certainly expect that to happen this year, especially with PEDV having killed so many piglets last winter. Thus, they think hog and pork prices will soon rebound from recent losses. June hog futures slipped 0.12 cents to 116.72 cents/pound late Tuesday morning, while December gained 0.05 to 95.17.
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