Corn futures ended higher on Tuesday, but it was a choppy day for old-crop futures. Cash market strength propelled futures higher early, but the dollar strengthened and the outside markets came under increased selling pressure which pulled July futures from its high. Corn planting continues to progress rapidly, coming in a few points above expectations. Planting progress as of Sunday was 71%, up from 53% a week ago and well ahead of the ten-year average at 55%. July corn settled 3 cents higher at $6.23. The December contract was 3 ¼ cents higher at $5.28.
Soybean futures settled strongly lower on Tuesday. Prices dropped as investors rushed to sell off risky assets as a result of the European debt crisis. Strength in the dollar and profit taking by investors added downward pressure to prices also. Export sales of 225,000 tonnes of soybean to China and crop reduction in South American limited losses. July futures were down 27 1/2 cents to close at $14.38 1/4 and November futures were down 13 cents to close at 13.40 1/2.
Wheat futures settled mixed Tuesday. Futures rose on short covering and spillover strength from corn. Favorable rains and a firm U.S. dollar are expected to continue to add pressure to wheat prices. Winter wheat supply is expected to be 1.63 billion bushels and to an already plentiful wheat market. CBOT July was 3 cents higher at $6.15; KCBT July was 4 3/4 cents higher at $6.36; and MGE July was 3 1/2 cents lower at $7.32 1/2.
Cattle futures closed lower on Tuesday. Cattle futures traded lower most of the day as concerns over Europe’s debt crisis spilled over into commodity markets and the dollar remained steady. Traders are optimistic that cash cattle trade will be steady this week and should provide support this week for cattle futures. Boxed beef prices helped lift futures; as of midmorning choice was up 87 cent at $191.35 and select up $1.59 at $186.27. June cattle futures settled 57 cents lower at $115.77. August was 47 cents lower at $118.45
Lean hog futures closed mostly lower on Tuesday. Hog futures were pressured all day from the plunging stock market and weak hog market fundamentals. Cash hog prices continue to slide with no sign of a seasonal upturn. Most contracts are at or near life-of-contract lows. The June contract fell 10 cents to $84.30 and July was down 63 cents at $84.58 at the close Tuesday.