Livestock markets are outperforming crop futures at this point

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Corn futures dipped again Tuesday night. The corn market appears to be testing underlying support after having leapt upward in response to last Friday’s big USDA reports. Futures apparently lost their upward momentum Monday and turned lower yesterday. This seemingly sets up a test of support associated with short-term moving averages in the $4.25-$4.28 range (basis March). March corn declined 2.75 cents to $4.2875/bushel early Wednesday morning, while May lost 2.75 to $4.3675/bushel.

An early-morning palm oil bounce is supporting the soy complex. Talk of persistent heat and dryness over the main Argentine soy growing area, as well as rumors of vigorous export demand, are supporting the soybean complex. Thus, news that the Asian palm oil market rebounded from recent losses encouraged buying as well. March soybeans skidded 0.5 cent to $13.065/bushel in early Wednesday trading, while March soyoil added 0.07 cents to 37.83 cents/pound, and March soymeal stalled at $430.1/ton.

The wheat markets couldn’t build upon Tuesday’s surge. Wheat futures seemingly followed soybeans higher yesterday, but having traders start talking about emerging dryness across the Southern Plains played a major role in the rise. That’s almost surely why the Kansas City market is currently outperforming its CBOT and MGE counterparts. March CBOT wheat futures slipped 1.25 cent to $5.78/bushel as Wednesday dawned over Chicago, while March KCBT wheat futures rose 1.0 cent to $6.33, and March MWE futures were flat at $6.21.

Spiking beef prices are supporting cattle prices. Cash cattle and wholesale beef markets have been setting records lately and have now been joined by nearby live cattle futures at an all-time high. Traders apparently have doubts about the sustainability of the ongoing move, but Tuesday’s 4.0-cent plus leap in wholesale quotes certainly doesn’t suggest the surge is going to end quickly. February cattle futures climbed 0.12 cents to 137.75 cents/pound in Tuesday night action, while April futures rose 0.10 to 137.92. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle futures advanced 0.40 cents to 167.22 cents/pound, and May ran up 0.27 to 168.92.

The hog and pork complex may have turned a corner Tuesday. Although the CME lean hog index will very likely post a surprising decline this morning, the cash markets also rebounded strongly yesterday afternoon. Moreover, pork cutout jumped strongly. Those developments probably powered the overnight advance. February hogs surged 0.55 cents to 86.55 cents/pound Tuesday, while June moved up 0.25 to 101.15.

Cotton traders are second-guessing the latest USDA production forecast. Last Friday’s USDA reports predicted increased U.S. and Chinese cotton production this year, but ICE traders are reportedly harboring serious doubts about those, especially the Chinese increase. Those suspicions are apparently powering the ongoing advance. March cotton rallied 0.33 0.05 cents to 84.06 cents/pound just after sunrise (EST) Wednesday, while July cotton lifted 0.20 cents to 84.22.

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