Ag markets moved mostly lower Tuesday night

Corn futures set back from Tuesday's highs overnight. A private industry forecast for reduced corn production out of Brazil and Argentina this spring boosted the yellow grain market Tuesday. However, futures set back in Tuesday night action in the absence of fresh news. March corn dipped 1.75 cents to $4.40/bushel early Wednesday morning, while May lost 2.25 to $4.455.

Talk of fresh Brazilian rainfall depressed soybeans Tuesday night. Suspicions that recent dryness in other parts of Brazil is spreading to its grain/soy growing region seemingly boosted the soy complex Tuesday despite an industry forecast for a net increase in South American production during the coming weeks. Predictions for improved rainfall for the latter area undercut those drought arguments overnight. March soybeans slid 4.25 cents to $13.09/bushel Tuesday night, while March soyoil was steady at 37.71 cents/pound, and March soymeal fell $5.4 to $441.6/ton.

Wheat futures seem to be consolidating Tuesday's gains. Wheat traders reportedly bought actively Tuesday in response to worries about southern Plains dryness and freeze damage in the Midwest. The move was likely exaggerated by technically inspired buying. However, prices set back from Tuesday's highs, since most contracts fell short of moving average resistance yesterday. March CBOT wheat futures dropped 4.5 cents to $5.80/bushel in early Wednesday action, while March KCBT wheat futures sagged 3.5 cents to $6.43, and March MWE futures skidded 2.25 to $6.2125.

Short-term cash prospects are probably discouraging cattle traders. After plunging last week and again Monday, beef prices firmed Tuesday. However, CME traders seemed less than encouraged about the short-term cash outlook in the wake of the January price spike and reversal. April cattle futures edged 0.05 cents lower to 138.85 cents/pound as Wednesday dawned over Chicago, while August lost 0.10 cents to 129.45. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle rose 0.10 cents to 167.07 cents/pound, but May tumbled 0.07 to 168.10.

Rebounding cash and wholesale markets continue supporting hog futures. The hog and pork complex proved comparatively weak through January, but is finally showing signs of seasonal strength here in early February. Pork cutout rose a second straight day Tuesday, as did country hog prices. Those almost surely powered the Tuesday night CME advance. April hogs rallied 0.35 cents to 93.47/pound, while June added 0.15 to 103.90.

Surging stocks could cap rally attempts in cotton futures today. Cotton futures bounced in concert with the equity markets Tuesday, which probably reflected ideas that the economic outlook, and that for apparel demand, remains relatively robust. However, ICE officials reported another big surge in certificated stockpiles Tuesday afternoon and stock index futures dipped overnight. Thus, few traders could have been terribly surprised by today's early lack of strength. March cotton rose 0.10 cents to 85.50 cents/pound just after sunrise (EST) Wednesday, while July cotton gained 0.16 to 85.77.


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