Planting conditions are still weighing on corn futures. U.S. corn plantings reportedly were 19% complete on Sunday, which matched industry expectations. However, forecasts for extended dryness and surging short-term progress appears to be weighing on prices, since the industry expects plantings to zoom ahead this week. However, prices bounced around midsession, which may have reflected improved country bids. May corn futures edged up 0.25 cent to $3.61/bushel late Tuesday morning, while December skidded 0.75 to $3.825.
Renewed signs of demand strength apparently boosted beans and meal. Monday’s data looked unlikely to affect the soy complex today, although a report that China’s soybean target price for domestic subsidies will be unchanged this year (implying no extra production incentive) seemingly sparked early Chicago strength. News of big new crop sale likely powered subsequent gains. May soybean futures surged 12.75 cents to $9.8575/bushel as the lunch hour loomed Tuesday, while May soyoil slipped 0.07 cents to 31.58 cents/pound, and May meal climbed $5.5 to $320.6/ton.
The wheat markets couldn’t sustain overnight strength. The Crop Progress report stated winter wheat conditions unchanged, with spring wheat seedings racing to 55% complete last week. The news seemed rather bearish, but futures traded mixed to higher. Conversely, persistent talk of southern Plains rainfall and dryness in northern areas seemed to spur a general decline this morning. May CBOT wheat futures sank 4.75 cents to $4.65/bushel around midsession Tuesday, while May KC wheat sagged 3.0 cents to $4.8775/bushel, and May MWE wheat dipped 2.25 to $5.2225.
Cattle futures reacted poorly to last Friday’s COF report. Although underlying fundamentals remain supportive, anticipation of a big seasonal breakdown continues weighing on the cattle/feeder markets. Bears were encouraged by last Friday’s USDA Cattle on Feed report, which stated March feedlot placements well above average forecasts. Futures opened sharply lower in response, came back somewhat around midsession, but ended the day rather weakly. Modest afternoon GLOBEX gains suggest a firm opening today. June cattle futures dove 0.92 cents to 150.27 cents/pound as Monday’s CME pit session ended, while August cattle tumbled 1.37 to 148.35. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle futures plunged 2.67 cents to 211.40 cents/pound, and August feeders plummeted 2.50 to 213.17.
CME hogs struggled against major chart resistance Monday. Hog futures ended last week on a strong note, with cash market gains likely boosting prices. Monday’s early spot quotes showed renewed strength, thereby spurring modest CME gains. However, the most-active June future proved unable to top big chart and psychological resistance at the 80-cent level and ended the day slightly lower. Strong afternoon quotes suggest June could challenge that level again this morning. June hog futures skidded 0.05 cents to 79.40 cents/pound at Monday’s Chicago close, and December sagged 0.22 to 68.67.