Ag futures bounced slightly from Monday losses Tuesday morning

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The commodity markets were recovering early Tuesday morning in the wake of the general decline brought on by the proposed Cyprus bailout. It includes a direct levy upon the savings accounts of Cypriot citizens, which could set a bad precedent because it is likely to make runs on banks much more likely. Persistently cool, wet conditions over the Central U.S. may be starting to support corn futures, since planting delays are becoming more likely. May corn rose 4.0 cents to $724.0/bushel early Tuesday, while December slipped 1.0 cent to $5.61.

Soybean futures bounced moderately early Tuesday, again seeming to mark a rebound from the Cyprus news dominating the markets on Monday. Traders also regard the surprising freeze that hit some Argentine growing areas, as well as ongoing Brazilian logistical problems as being supportive of the bean market as well. May soybeans rallied 3.75 cents to $14.1325/bushel in overnight trading, while May soyoil climbed 0.07 cents to 49.75 cents/pound, and May meal edged up $0.7 to $414.0/ton.

Wheat futures also staged a modest Tuesday morning comeback from the financially-driven decline seen Monday. The gains were actually somewhat surprising given ongoing improvements in the winter wheat crop. For example, Oklahoma wheat was rated at 24% good to excellent last week, which marked a 4% weekly improvement. May CBOT wheat futures gained 2.5 cents to $7.1525/bushel overnight, while May KCBT wheat advanced 2.25 cents to $7.465, and May MGE futures inched 0.75 cents higher to $7.895.

Cattle futures proved an exception to the bearish dominance of the markets Monday, possibly due to the fact that prices fell so sharply last Friday. A modest rise in wholesale prices may have supported futures as well, but we suspect beef cutout will tend to decline from around noon Wednesday through the end of the month, since grocers historically tend to complete their purchases for early-April features around that time. That might help explain recent losses and the dip seen overnight. April cattle seem set to begin their Tuesday open outcry session about 0.12 cents lower at 125.92 cents/pound, while August lost 0.27 cents to 122.30 Monday night. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle slid 0.55 cents to 138.85 cents/pound overnight, and August skidded 0.37 cents to 147.85.

Hog futures continued their recent decline Monday and again early Tuesday morning. The Cyprus debt proposal probably weighed upon prices, but pessimism about the short-term outlook rather obviously did not help the situation. On the other hand, despite mixed cash prices Monday afternoon, wholesale values rose significantly for the second straight session. Many technicians may now be looking for a double-bottom on the hog charts. April hogs slipped 0.02 cents to 79.37 cents/pound in early Tuesday morning trading, while June slumped 0.12 cents to 88.82.

Cotton futures also dropped in response to the Cyprus situation Monday, with the setback being magnified by the size of the recent price spike. That may also explain the slippage seen Monday night. Still, the global situation outside China remains very tight, as exemplified by overnight news that India may import a record 2.0 million bales during the current marketing year. May cotton dipped 0.08 cents to 90.75 cents/pound early Tuesday morning, while December fell 0.55 cents to 87.84.



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