Corn futures closed mostly lower on Tuesday, although losses were only fractional. Forecasts for better corn planting weather weighed on the market. While there should be some planting progress in the eastern half of the Corn Belt due to drier conditions, forecasts do show some chances of rain. Losses were limited by the very slow pace of planting so far this season. Only 33% of the crop was seeded as of Sunday, compared the 5-year average of 50%. July ended 1/4 of a cent lower at $4.05 1/4 and December was 1/2 cent lower at $4.25.



Soybean futures settled lower on Tuesday. Early gains were trimmed and futures turned lower amid concerns about slowing export demand and the outlook for some improvement in soybean planting conditions. However, old-crop losses were limited by tight stocks and declining soybean production estimates for Argentina. So far this season, soybean planting is only 6% complete compared to the 5-year average of 11%. July closed 2 1/2 cents lower at $11.01 and November fell 10 cents to $9.60 1/2.



Wheat futures ended higher on Tuesday. Fund buying was triggered by short-covering amid slow spring wheat seedings. USDA estimated planting progress at 23% complete, down from the 5-year average of 59%. Rainfall in the northern Plains continues to slow progress. However, gains were limited by favorable weather for HRW winter wheat conditions in the Plains. CBOT July closed 2 1/2 cents higher at $5.53 1/2, KCBT July was 1 cent higher at $5.98 and MGE July gained 9 1/2 cents at $6.76 1/4.



Cattle futures closed higher on Tuesday. The market was supported by the discount of futures to cash and spillover support from the rebound in lean hog futures. Boxed beef prices have been weak recently, but were mixed at midday. Ideas that beef demand will pick up ahead of the Memorial Day holiday also provided support. June ended 25 cents higher at $82.13 and August closed 13 cents higher at $82.23.



Lean hog futures ended strongly higher Tuesday. While the H1N1 flu is still making headlines, the effects of the flu on the pork market should begin to ease. Officials are working to end the temporary bans on U.S. pork imports as the virus is not even spread through pork. Further gains were limited by the $1.01 drop in pork cutouts yesterday, the lowest level since December 30. June closed $1.03 higher at $64.80 and July gained $1.13 cents, closing at $67.78.