Corn futures apparently felt early-harvest pressure Tuesday. Although concurrent soybean gains probably provided some support, corn futures declined modestly today. There wasn’t a great deal of news, so talk that the harvest is progressing and early yields have been surprisingly high seemed to drag prices downward. December corn declined 4.5 cents to $4.4875/bushel at Tuesday’s close, and May lost 4.5 cents to $4.6975.
The soy complex posted a mixed Tuesday showing. Although the southern soybean harvest is also getting underway, the bean and meal markets moved generally higher. The fact that recent rains did not improve the condition ratings on the weekly USDA Crop Progress report reportedly powered the rise. Weak palm oil prices in Asia apparently depressed soy oil futures once again. November soybeans climbed 4.75 cents to $13.125/bushel Tuesday afternoon, while October soyoil slid 0.13 cents to 41.84 cents/pound, and October soymeal gained $3.0 to $414.1/ton.
The wheat markets performed relatively well Tuesday. Talk of robust export demand very likely supported wheat prices today. However, late strength marked a response to reports that Argentina’s winter wheat fields were hit by a damaging frost overnight. December CBOT wheat settled 4.75 cents higher at $6.5825/bushel Tuesday, while December KCBT wheat lifted 7.25 cents to $7.05, and December MGE futures advanced 6.25 cents to $7.05.
Beef gains boosted cattle futures in Tuesday trading. The cattle market reacted well to bullish news Monday and continued rising today. The Wholesale beef prices rose sharply Monday and continued upward Tuesday morning, which probably bodes well for the cash markets. Strength spilling over from the hog market may also have encouraged bulls. October cattle futures advanced 0.72 cents to 127.32 cents/pound late Tuesday morning, while December lifted 0.72 cents to 131.22. Meanwhile, October feeder cattle jumped 1.67 cents to 163.77 cents/pound and January leapt 1.90 cent to 163.62.
Smithfield news probably exaggerated Tuesday’s hog gains. Monday’s cash and wholesale news was not very supportive of the hog market, but futures seemed to rally on technical considerations. The nearby contracts’ discounts to the CME index may also have encouraged bulls. But news that Smithfield shareholders had approved its takeover by Shuanghui of China very likely powered the big advance. October hog futures rocketed up 2.32 cents to 92.50 cents/pound in late Tuesday morning action, while December spiked 1.65 cents to 88.07.