US dollar strength may have weighed on crop futures Tuesday morning. Talk of improving South American weather is probably undercutting the corn and soybean markets today. However, the fact that the U.S. dollar seems to be breaking out to a fresh four-year high can’t be helping markets that rely heavily on export sales. March corn futures dropped 5.25 cents to $3.845/bushel late Tuesday morning, while July sank 5.0 to $4.00.
The soy complex also proved surprisingly weak. As in the corn market, the prospect of favorable South American conditions is apparently weighing rather heavily upon the soybean market. Meal seems relatively firm, but the combination of U.S. dollar strength and crude oil weakness is badly undercutting the soyoil market. January soybean futures fell 14.5 cents to $10.025/bushel around midsession Tuesday, while January soyoil dove 0.76 cents to 31.60 cents/pound, and January meal slid $3.4 to $358.6/ton.
The wheat markets have most generally lower. Talk of restrictions on Russian wheat exports, along with widespread talk of production problems in the Black Sea region and Australia have boosted wheat futures lately. However, prices have dipped somewhat this morning. South American weather probably isn’t a big factor, but the U.S. dollar advance can’t be helping the efforts of U.S. wheat exporters. March CBOT wheat sagged 0.75 cent to $6.06/bushel in late Tuesday morning action, while March KC wheat lost 6.25 cents to $6.58/bushel and March MWE wheat slipped 2.5 cents to $6.3525.
A Cargill beef recall may have sparked selling in the cattle pit. Monday’s cattle surge seemed to set the stage for a fresh bullish push, but prices reversed to the downside this morning. We have to suspect news that Cargill had recalled a sizeable amount of ground beef sold in Canadian WalMart stores triggered the reversal, despite the fact that the fed cattle market doesn’t have much to do with hamburger sales. February live cattle plunged 1.80 cents to 169.05 cents/pound as lunchtime loomed Tuesday, and April tumbled 1.15 at 168.75. January feeder cattle futures rallied 0.82 cents to 234.90 cents/pound and March feeders skidded 0.30 to 232.90.
Hog futures traded mixed to lower. Demand concerns still seem to be weighing on the hog and pork complex, although traders also appear to be thinking early-2015 hog and pork supplies will fall short of the bearish totals implied by the September Hogs & Pigs report. That might explain the February contract’s comparative firmness. February hog futures advanced 0.35 cents to 89.27 cents/pound in late Tuesday morning trading, while June hogs slumped 0.77 cents to 96.77.