Corn futures traded mixed on Tuesday. Old-crop contracts were up slightly on tight stocks of corn, firm cash markets and on recent talk that China has purchased some U.S. corn. New-crop contracts were slightly lower on ideas of increased acreage this spring and from recent rainfall that has helped recharge soil moisture levels in some areas ahead of planting. May closed 2 1/2 cents higher at $6.74 while December ended 1 cent lower at $5.67 1/2.
Soybean futures were strongly higher on Tuesday. Tight old-crop stocks of soybean and reduced production estimates for the South American soybean crop helped push prices higher. Soybeans are also competing with corn for acreage this spring. Fund buying, strength in crude oil futures and strength in equities helped extend the gains. May closed 14 1/4 cents higher at $13.48 3/4 and November was 12 cents higher at $13.11 1/2.
Wheat futures turned lower on Tuesday. Strength in the dollar index and generally favorable weather forecasts for wheat weighed on the market. Forecasts call for warm weather the next couple of weeks, which should help promote growth in winter wheat. Weather should also allow from some early planting of the spring wheat crop in the northern Plains, which pressured the MGE. CBOT May ended 2 1/4 cents lower at $6.49, KCBT May was 8 1/2 cents lower at $6.87 1/2 and MGE May fell 8 1/2 cents to close at $8.11.
Cattle futures traded higher on Tuesday. Expectations for higher cash cattle prices this week supported the market. Packers are short-bought and in need of cattle while showlists are generally a little smaller this week. Packer margins remain in the red, but beef demand should improve seasonally soon as grilling season gets underway. April ended 98 cents higher at $127.73 and June was 90 cents higher at $124.80.
Lean hog futures closed higher on Tuesday. Cash market trade was mostly steady today, but optimism that pork demand will be improving and that market ready hog supplies will tighten supported trade. Slaughter this week is expected to be up 1% from year-ago on ideas that demand will soon pick up seasonally. April was 38 cents higher at $87.68 and June was 15 cents higher at $95.03.