Corn futures closed a little higher on Tuesday. Export basis levels firmed. While corn export demand has been soft, U.S. and South American price levels are narrowing making the U.S. more competitive. Thin supplies along U.S. export channels have helped underpin the cash market. However, weekly export inspections came in at only 9.5 million bushels, about 5 million below expectations. Meanwhile, planting delays persist in Argentina due to wet weather. EPA indicated they will make an announcement soon regarding ethanol RFS waiver requests. December corn futures were 5 1/2 cents higher at $7.22.
Soybean futures closed mixed on Tuesday with the January futures grinding out a small gain of 3 cents at $14.08. New-crop November of 2013 fell 3 3/4 cents at $12.82. December soybean meal gained $1.70 at $433.10. Soyoil lost 37 points to close at 47.02 cents for December. After two days of severe losses, traders were showing more interest in buying beans. But early session gains turned into losses midmorning. Bulls were disappointed by the lack of an announcement from USDA of any large soybean sales following the steep selloff. Strong weekly export inspections and basis strength brought in late session buying interest.
Wheat prices closed lower again, but managed to come off the lows towards the day’s highs by the close. Crop conditions in Argentina are improving while the harvest is advancing normally in southern Australia and South Africa. Concern over U.S. hard red wheat conditions may subside now that this afternoon’s holiday-delayed weekly crop condition report shows a third straight week of decline DESPITE the weekend rains in parts of the southern Plains that many traders thought might give us higher ratings today. At the close, CBOT December was down 6 ¾ at $8.51; KCBT December down 2 ¾ at $8.87 ¾; MGE December down 1 ¾ at $9.31 ½.
Live cattle futures were higher on Tuesday as a late rally carried futures to the plus side. Current expectations are for cash prices to trade steady to lower as packer need to source fewer cattle to meet next week’s holiday shortened slaughter schedule. Beef prices were higher on Monday and again at midday. Beef exports during September were down 17% from a year ago at 194.5 million pounds. December cattle were 45 cents higher at 125.80.
Lean hog futures closed higher. Packer buying interest was light ahead of next week’s shortened slaughter week. In futures trade, the Goldman roll wrapped up today as they rolled the fund’s long positions from the December contract to February and April. The upward momentum in futures continues. December CME lean hogs settled 42 cents lower at $80.32.