Export news is probably supporting corn prices. Despite Tuesday’s bearish market environment, corn futures firmed in response to that China is lifting its ban on Syngenta’s Viptera GMO corn. The lifting of that trader barrier to U.S. grain, as well as a sizeable South Korean import tender seemingly offered fresh support last night. March corn futures rose 3.0 cents to $4.09/bushel early Wednesday morning, while July added 2.75 to $4.2375.
The soy complex turned mixed Tuesday night. The unsettled geopolitical and economic situations seem to be supporting the soybean complex, although the outstanding demand that has powered bean and product prices higher in recent months might suffer if a global recession emerges. Moreover, fine spring weather has Brazil looking forward to another record crop, which seemingly weighed upon bean prices overnight. Asian palm strength appears to be limiting the negative impact of declining crude oil prices. January soybean futures gained 1.5 cents to $10.25/bushel in early Wednesday trading, while January soyoil slipped 0.02 cents to 31.75 cents/pound, and January meal moved up $0.8 to $357.4/ton.
The Russian situation still seems to be boosting the wheat markets. Traders rather clearly doubt Russia will continue exporting wheat actively during the coming weeks and months, since futures posted sizeable gains again Tuesday night. The ruble has stabilized and equity index futures indicate the equity markets will open strongly, but the petroleum markets have weakened once again. Ultimately, outside influences seem likely to continue dominating the wheat markets over the short run. March CBOT wheat climbed 9.5 cents to $6.3275/bushel in predawn Wednesday trading, while March KC wheat advanced 10.0 cents to $6.6475/bushel and March MWE wheat surged 9.0 to $6.4325.
Bearish demand ideas sent the cattle market tumbling Tuesday. Despite the rebound from early lows posted by the energy and equity markets, cattle traders clearly remained deeply concerned about demand prospects for 2015 yesterday. That is, the supply of fed cattle and beef will almost surely remain very tight, but diving CME futures continued their recent breakdown anyway. All locked at limit-down and stayed there. Afternoon beef news suggests another early drop. February live cattle crashed the daily 3.00-cent limit to 158.75 cents/pound shortly after Tuesday’s opening, which April futures quickly matched, falling to 158.10. January and March feeder cattle futures again plummeted the 3.00-cent daily limit to 219.60 and 215.25 cents/pound, respectively.
The hog and pork complex followed cattle lower. The pessimism dominating the cattle and beef complex apparently spilled over into hog and pork prices today. The CME losses were exaggerated by midsession news of a big breakdown in pork cutouts, which traders seemingly construed as another signal of weak red meat demand. Indeed, afternoon confirmation of big pork losses bodes ill for today’s opening as well. February hog futures plunged 1.60 cents to 81.67 cents/pound as Tuesday’s CME ended, while June hogs dove 1.10 cents to 90.15.
Expected equity strength may be supporting cotton futures as well. Tuesday’s equity market decline clearly exacerbated trader and investor worries that a global recession is looming. The fact that apparel demand routinely suffers rather badly in such circumstances probably caused the sizeable drop posted by ICE cotton futures. However, equity index futures bounced significantly overnight, so the concurrent cotton rebound isn’t terribly surprising. March cotton futures rallied 0.26 cents to 60.04 cents/pound shortly after sunrise Wednesday, while the July contract bounced 0.06 to 61.13.