Ukraine-Russia situation apparently boosted wheat futures again

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Dry forecasts reportedly weighed on corn futures Tuesday morning. Although the latest forecasts point to cool mid-April temperatures, they also imply a stretch of dryness. The possibility that farmers will take advantage of the dry spell to get lots of corn planted is reportedly weighing upon prices this morning. May corn slid 3.5 cents to $4.995/bushel by late Tuesday morning, while December skidded 1.75 to $5.0175.

Soybeans rallied in anticipation of a bullish NOPA crush report. The monthly NOPA crush report is due for release late this morning and CBOT traders expect it to indicate vigorous domestic bean and meal usage. Concurrent oil strength also seems to reflect expectations for strong demand for soy products. May soybeans surged 17.75 cents to $14.94/bushel around midsession Tuesday, while May soyoil jumped 0.61 cents to 42.87 cents/pound, and May soymeal advanced $6.0 to $485.1/ton.

The wheat markets posted a late-morning surge. Russia still looks ready to take over Ukraine during the days and weeks just ahead. Traders obviously worry about the possibility of disruptions to the winter wheat harvest, spring wheat plantings and exports in that region. Relatively cold, dry weather over the central U.S. looks bullish as well. Wheat futures were mixed early Tuesday morning, but turned upward as the day passed. May CBOT wheat futures gained 6.0 cents to $6.8475/bushel just before lunchtime Tuesday, while May KCBT wheat futures rose 5.0 cents to $7.47, while May MWE futures bounced 3.5 cents to $7.2075.

Traders seem to anticipating seasonal cattle/beef weakness. Although the cash cattle markets remained surprisingly firm last week, the industry is anticipating a sizeable seasonal drop during the days and weeks ahead. That likely explains the Tuesday morning slippage, although the fact that CME futures are already priced at large discounts probably limited the losses. June cattle futures dipped 0.42 cents to 135.47 cents/pound late Tuesday morning, while December slumped 0.57 to 139.70. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle tumbled 1.02 cents to 179.40 cents/pound, and August lost 0.72 to 182.05.

Hog futures reversed from early highs. Anticipation of seasonal strength is supporting the hog and pork complex at this point, especially with traders expecting hog and pork production to fall far below year-ago levels over the next few weeks. The setback from early highs probably reflects morning signs of cash and/or wholesale weakness. June hog futures sank 0.25 cents to 122.40 cents/pound as lunchtime loomed in Chicago, while December fell 1.17 to 88.67.

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