Corn futures turned upward Tuesday. Concerns about Chinese demand after that country’s officials recently discovered several shipments of U.S. corn contaminated with an unapproved GMO strain have been weighing upon CBOT prices. However, technical and pragmatic factors seemed to boost yellow grain prices, as did spillover wheat strength. March corn rose 6.75 cents to $4.3125/bushel late Tuesday afternoon, while May added 6.5 to $4.395.
Soybeans couldn’t sustain their midday bounce. Slumping palm oil prices depressed soybean oil futures Tuesday, which probably weighed somewhat upon nearby bean futures. Concerns about the strength of Chinese demand and an increase in a private forecast for Brazil’s forthcoming crop also appeared to depress the nearbys. January soybean futures slipped 1.5 cents to $13.1975/bushel at Tuesday’s close, while January soyoil dropped 0.49 cents to 40.11 cents/pound, whereas January soymeal stabilized at $428.8/ton.
Optimism about export demand apparently sparked wheat buying Tuesday. Talk of a looming Egyptian wheat tender, as well as fears of a significant U.S. winter wheat kill this weekend reportedly boosted the wheat markets today. The rise seems quite impressive when viewed within the context of the overnight announcement that Australia’s forthcoming wheat harvest could top prior estimates by 1.7 million tonnes. March CBOT wheat futures rallied 6.5 cents to $6.6825/bushel in late Tuesday action, while March KCBT wheat futures surged 5.75 cents to $7.115, and March MWE futures climbed 2.0 to $7.045.
Cattle futures proved surprisingly weak Tuesday. Talk of frigid Great Plains weather later this week and the potential for a seasonal advance through early December have supported cattle futures lately. Nevertheless, futures turned lower after midsession, which probably reflected significant wholesale weakness. February cattle futures declined 0.17 cents to 134.10 cents/pound at their Tuesday close, while the April contract skidded 0.15 cents to 134.85. Meanwhile, January feeder cattle dropped 0.50 cents to 164.85 cents/pound, and March feeders slumped 0.42 to 165.25.
Sliding cash and wholesale prices weighed upon hog futures. The cash hog markets proved generally weak Monday, but spiking pork belly quotes boosted pork cutout. Still, the premiums built into nearby hog futures very likely rendered them vulnerable to losses, so reports of wholesale and cash weakness apparently sparked today’s sharp drop in CME futures. February hog futures had plunged 1.47 cents to 88.97 cents/pound when they settled Tuesday afternoon, while June dove 0.92 to 99.47.