Corn futures are mixed at midday. May and July futures are higher as the market remains concerned about tight old-crop supplies. Farmer selling is also expected to slow as planting ramps up. USDA reported national planting progress at 3% complete, compared to 2% a year ago and for the five-year average, but a few points below trade expectations. May corn is 9 cents higher at $6.64 and December is 1 3/4 cents higher at $5.46 3/4.
Soybean futures are trading higher at midsession. Prices have scored large gains over the previous two trading sessions and were down initially, but have turned back higher as news remains bullish for soybeans. In Argentina, the Rosario Grain Exchange lowered its forecast for soybean production to 43.1 million tonnes from its previous forecast at 44.5 million. It is well below USDA at 46.5 million. The May contract is 9 3/4 cents higher at $14.30 3/4 and November is 5 1/4 cents higher at $13.90 1/2.
Wheat futures are trading slightly lower at midday Tuesday. USDA’s first weekly national crop progress report for the season was issued yesterday and showed spring wheat planting progress well ahead of normal. Further, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas offices of USDA’s NASS issued weekly crop condition reports and while Texas wheat showed a slight setback in condition, Oklahoma’s wheat continued to improve and Kansas wheat condition held steady. And for all three states, crop condition ratings are far better than they were a year ago at this time. CBOT May is 1/2 of a cent lower at $6.56 1/2; KCBT May is 1/2 of a cent lower at $6.89 1/2 and MGE May is 1 cent higher at $8.50 1/4.
Cattle futures are lower at midday. Futures failed to hold on to overnight gains as the market turned attention back to lagging beef prices and concern over demand. Futures are testing lows posted in early trade on Monday. No trade in the cash market so far, but the setback in futures could set a weak tone for the cash market. April cattle futures are $1.35 lower at $119.50 and June is $1.25 lower at $115.55.
Lean hog futures are trading lower at midday. There was no real follow through from Monday’s bounce in prices. While traders are hopeful that cash and futures prices will turn high as hog supplies tighten, there is little evidence that that is happening. Cash hog prices declined again on Monday and set a new low for the year. With recent declines in cash prices, processing margins have improved a little but are still very negative. There will be plenty of pent up demand once it is clear that prices have turned higher, but that hasn’t happened yet. The April contract is down 63 cents at $84.10 and June is 65 cents lower at $91.53.