Most ag markets exhibited moderate strength Tuesday.

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Diminished concerns about the inflation outlook and increased optimism about economic prospects seemed to support equities and undercut commodities Tuesday morning. However, after dipping around midsession, corn futures proved able to post modest gains at the end of the day. That probably reflected old-crop tightness, as well as the fact that new-crop plantings have run at an extremely slow pace to this point. July corn had inched up 3.5 cents to $6.40/bushel at the Tuesday close, while December rose 1.0 cent to $5.3925.

Tight supplies and firm prices reemerged in conversations about the soy complex Tuesday, which seemed to spark modest CBOT gains. Bulls could also point to the latest statements from Oil World, which argued that global soybean meal supplies will remain tight through June; the slow rate of exports from South America may do little to alleviate the situation in the near future. July soybean futures rose 13.0 cents to $13.8225/bushel as the trading session ended Tuesday, while July soyoil gained 0.38 cents to 49.14 cents/pound, and July soybean meal climbed $2.1 to $403.3/ton.

Wheat futures rebounded from their big Monday losses Tuesday. The weekly USDA Crop Progress report showed the quality of the winter wheat crop had declined once again, while spring wheat plantings remain far behind normal. Still, traders seem to doubt the production outlook is particularly poor at this point. July CBOT wheat futures surged 7.5 cents to $7.09/bushel at its Tuesday afternoon settlement, while July KCBT wheat edged 2.5 cents higher to $7.58, and July MGE futures advanced 6.75 cents to $8.0975.

After reacting badly to news of wholesale weakness Monday, cattle futures continued sliding despite signs of beef firmness Tuesday. Ultimately, traders are now much less optimistic about short-term cash market prospects in the wake of the big Monday drop. June cattle closed 0.47 cents lower, at 120.82 cents/pound, late Tuesday afternoon, while December dropped 0.25 cents to 125.70. August feeder cattle futures tumbled 0.90 cents to 146.55 cents/pound, while November lost 0.57 cents to 151.00.

After following the cattle market lower Monday, lean hog futures firmed up Tuesday. Swine traders seemed undecided as to forthcoming direction in early trading, but the noon report indicating a sizeable rise in pork cutout almost surely supported the market later in the day. June hog futures ended the day 0.02 cents higher, at 91.30 cents/pound Tuesday afternoon, while December futures rallied 0.35 cents to 77.95.


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