Most commodity markets close at noon (CST) today and trading is likely to be light during the session. Friday’s action should be limited as well as those in the financial industry celebrate Christmas. Corn traders are probably squaring positions before the holiday, which helps explain overnight weakness. Talk of large South American crops and Chinese approval of GMO corn from Argentina may also be depressing prices. March corn futures dipped 0.25 cent to $4.1375/bushel early Wednesday morning, while July lost 0.5 to $4.28.
The soy complex turned mostly lower in early Wednesday action. Little soy news emerged overnight, with the same factors driving recent moves still in play. That is, traders are reacting to prospects of more big South American crops, whereas demand, particularly for soybean meal remains strong. The nearby meal contract edged upward, but all others declined. Crude oil is again weighing on soyoil quotes. January soybean futures fell 3.75 cent at $10.3475/bushel Tuesday night, while January soyoil slumped 0.20 to 32.02 cents/pound, and January meal inched up $0.7 to $372.0/ton.
The wheat markets are mixed to lower despite more talk of Russian export cuts. A Russian official stated overnight that domestic firms might not be able to fulfill export contracts to Egypt. An Egyptian official responded that they would be held to their commitments, but that didn’t keep wheat futures from rising in the early morning hours. However, futures turned mixed to mostly lower as Wednesday dawned over New York, which may bode ill for today’s trading. March CBOT wheat slid 1.25 cents to $6.3425/bushel early Wednesday morning, while March KC wheat slipped 0.25 cent to $6.645/bushel and March MWE wheat sagged 1.5 to $6.50.
Cattle futures struggled once again Tuesday. Unlike the crop markets, cattle and feeder futures bumped up against firm chart resistance. Traders seemingly ignored big gains in beef cutout posted at midday. They apparently worry about reduced consumer demand in 2015. Seasonal factors may also working against bulls at this point, but late beef strength seems supportive of today’s opening. February live cattle slumped 0.22 cents to 160.60 cents/pound Tuesday afternoon, while April futures fell 0.60 cents to 159.62. January feeder cattle futures plunged 3.37 cents to 217.12 cents/pound and March feeders plummeted 3.70 cents to 215.27.
Pork strength supported CME hogs. Cash hog prices have clearly taken a seasonal tumble lately and continued sliding Tuesday morning. However, the ham market has not fallen as sharply as expected in the past few days, with pork cutouts proving surprisingly firm Monday. The spot quotes were mixed Tuesday afternoon, but the bearishly construed USDA Hogs & Pigs report may depress prices when action starts today. February hog futures leapt 1.40 cents to 81.65 cents/pound at their Tuesday close, while June hogs rallied 0.57 cents to 89.65.