Corn futures closed slightly higher on Tuesday. The market was choppy today as profit-taking and increased farmer selling weighed on futures at times following the rally to 6 1/2 month highs on Monday. But futures were able turn slightly higher into the close on fund buying in anticipation of index fund buying later this week as portfolios are rebalanced. March ended 1/4 of a cent higher at $4.18 3/4 and May was 1/4 cent higher at $4.29.
Soybean futures settled slightly higher on Tuesday. The market was rangebound today, bouncing back and forth from positive to negative territory. Strong export demand and ideas of index fund buying later this week provided light support, but futures were pressured at times by profit-taking and favorable crop prospects for South America. January ended 2 3/4 cents higher at $10.52 1/4 and March was 3 cents higher at $10.61.
Wheat futures were lower on the close on Tuesday. The futures market was in consolidation mode today after rallying to one-month highs on Monday. Underlying pressure continues to come from abundant global wheat stocks. Cold weather is a concern for the winter wheat crop, although most areas are being protected by snowcover. CBOT March closed 4 3/4 cents lower at $5.53, KCBT March ended 4 cents lower at $5.46 3/4 and MGE May was 4 3/4 cents lower at $5.56 1/4.
Cattle futures closed higher on Tuesday. Short-covering and light fund buying pushed prices higher today. Concerns about cold temperatures and snow were supportive as feedlot performance will be hampered. Cash markets are expected to be firm this week as packers return to normal slaughter schedules this week. Boxed beef prices were higher on Monday, although they slipped a little at midday Tuesday. February ended 95 cents higher at $86.33 and April was 68 cents higher at $89.75.
Lean hog futures turned higher on Tuesday, led by strong gains in the February contract. The February and April contracts posted one-month highs today. Fund buying was triggered by strength in the cash market. Packers are raising bids to get hogs for slaughter schedules while producers are reluctant sellers given the cold temperatures. February closed $1.75 higher at $67.60 and April was 83 cents higher at $71.28.