A private report seemed to undercut corn Tuesday. Little news concerning corn emerged last night, so the yellow grain market seemed to benefit from support spilling over from the soybean and wheat markets. Strong demand expectations were probably providing background support as well. But prices dipped after a private forecaster published a 2014/15 U.S. production estimate only slightly below last fall’s USDA result. March corn futures settled 1.0 cent lower at $4.055/bushel Tuesday, while July lost 1.0 to $4.2025
Continued Chinese purchases boosted the soy complex. Persistent crude oil losses again weighed on the soyoil market, while talk of huge Argentine sales in late December may have limited bullish interest in beans and meal. Still, early-morning news that China bought more beans for delivery this year and next supported the latter two markets Tuesday. March soybean futures advanced 11.25 cents to $10.51/bushel at their Tuesday settlement, while March soyoil stalled at 32.87 cents/pound, and March meal rose $1.1 to $355.1/ton.
Deteriorating winter wheat conditions supported futures. Talk of freeze damage to uncovered winter wheat was seemingly confirmed by state condition reports Monday afternoon. Indeed, buying from traders looking for arctic conditions over the Great Plains tonight apparently powered this morning’s advance. Conversely, the late decline seemed quite discouraging. March CBOT wheat closed up 2.75 cents at $5.9175/bushel Tuesday afternoon, while March KC wheat climbed 6.5 cents to $6.3125/bushel, and March MWE wheat gained 4.0 to $6.255.
Cash news probably limited CME cattle losses. News of a huge cash market rebound and persistent wholesale strength sparked recent gains in CME cattle futures, but traders appeared to expect flat to lower prices later this week. However, news that a few Panhandle cattle had changed hands at $170/cwt (cents/pound) likely convinced the industry that the cash rally will continue over the short run. February live cattle skidded just 0.20 cents to 166.02 cents/pound as the CME pit session ended Tuesday, while April futures declined 0.45 cents to 165.00. January feeder cattle futures dropped 0.97 cents to 224.70 cents/pound and March feeders plunged 2.50 cents to 220.87.
Hog traders appeared to give up on bullish positions Tuesday. The hog and pork industry has been anticipating a seasonal rally during the days and weeks ahead. However, they seemingly threw in the towel on short-term bullish positions today, despite the fact that yesterday’s (one-day) quote used in calculating the CME index was actually higher than last Friday’s. February hog futures ended Tuesday having dived 1.35 cents to 78.57 cents/pound, while June hogs tumbled 1.47 cents to 90.50.