Corn futures closed higher on Tuesday. The market was lower most of the session, but turned higher late in the day as the dollar weakened and crude oil firmed. Initial weakness was attributed to forecasts for favorable planting weather over the Corn Belt the next week to ten days. USDA pegged planting progress at 3% as of Sunday, down 1% from the five-year average. May ended 4 1/4 cents higher at $3.52 1/2 and July was 3 3/4 cents higher at $3.63 1/4.
Soybean futures were higher on Tuesday. Firm cash markets and slow farmer selling helped support the futures market. The late weakening of the dollar and recovery in crude oil helped the market close solidly higher. But further gains were limited by the large soybean crops in South America and the outlook for increased U.S. acreage. May closed 8 cents higher at $9.68 and July was 7 cents higher at $9.75 1/2.
Wheat futures traded higher on Tuesday. Short-covering from technically oversold levels helped support the market despite relatively bearish fundamentals. Favorable weather for the winter wheat crop should benefit the crop. USDA pegged winter wheat conditions at 65% good to excellent, unchanged from last week but well above the 42% at this time last year. CBOT May was 8 1/4 cents higher at $4.76, KCBT May ended 8 1/2 cents higher at $4.92 3/4 and MGE May closed 5 1/2 cents higher at $5.07 3/4.
Cattle futures closed lower on Tuesday. The market was pressured by reports of cash cattle trade in Texas at $99-$100, down $1 from last week. Cash cattle had rallied to the highest level in 20 months last week. There is concern that boxed beef prices are near a top. Choice cutouts were up $1.14 at midday, hitting the highest level since July 2008. April ended 68 cents lower at $98.33 and June was 58 cents lower at $93.48.
Lean hog futures were strongly higher on Tuesday. Short-covering was triggered by ideas that Russia will soon start importing U.S. poultry, which would help lower the supply of a competing meat. Pork cutouts were up again on Monday and are at the highest level since August 2008. The soon to expire April contract was 38 cents higher at $76.75 while June was $1.50 higher at $85.48.