Ag markets bounced from Monday losses

Corn futures bounced Tuesday morning after posting their largest two-day loss on record (due to expanded limits). News that Goldman Sachs had sharply lowered its second-quarter price forecast apparently added to the downward pressure Monday. The overnight rebound seemed to reflect greater activity in the international markets, although it did not seem as if much of the business was coming to the U.S. May corn advanced 5.75 cents to $6.48/bushel early Tuesday morning, while December gained 3.0 cents to $5.385.

Soybeans also staged a modest comeback after tumbling rather badly last Thursday and again Monday. The breakdown was triggered by the unexpectedly large U.S. grain and soy stocks on the March 28 Grain Stocks report. Increased global activity overnight, higher palm oil prices and a big South Korean tender for South American meal seemed to play into the Monday night rebound. May soybeans rose 10.5 cents to $14.0125/bushel in early Tuesday-morning trading, while May soyoil edged 0.10 cents higher to 50.15 cents/pound, and May meal climbed $4.0 to $402.5/ton.

The first national crop condition report of the season may have supported wheat futures Monday night in the wake of large losses during the previous two sessions. The USDA rated the national winter wheat crop at 34% good to excellent, which is the lowest initial national rating since 2002. Of course, concurrent corn and soybean gains probably supported wheat as well. May CBOT wheat futures added 7.25 cents to $6.7125/bushel in pre-dawn Tuesday trading, while May KCBT wheat moved up 5.75 cents to $7.155, and May MGE futures surged 11.0 cents to $7.7675.

Cattle futures proved unable to sustain recent upward momentum Monday, but advanced again overnight. Traders were probably encouraged by the late afternoon wholesale report, which showed that choice beef cutout had jumped almost 1.5 cents Monday. That seemingly offered support for ideas that the cash and wholesale markets will rise significantly this month. April cattle bounced 0.25 cents to 129.00 cents/pound overnight, while August rose 0.20 cents to 125.00. Meanwhile, feeder cattle futures slipped after two days of huge gains. April futures were unchanged at 145.52 cents/pound, while August fell 0.57 cents to 153.80.

CME lean hog futures continued rising after exhibiting surprising strength Monday. Traders apparently believe the traditional spring hog and pork rally is now underway, so they are probably looking for sustained strength into Memorial Day. April hogs rose 0.12 cents to 81.42 cents/pound in early-Tuesday electronic action, while June gained 0.37 cents to 91.95.


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