Fresh demand concerns weighed on corn futures Tuesday morning. Monday’s disappointing result on the Export Inspections report seemingly triggered fears of persistently poor demand from global customers this morning. The fact that a big South Korean firm is apparently doing business in the European market, whereas they routinely buy from the U.S. also seemed rather ominous. May corn futures fell 7.5 cents to $3.715/bushel around midsession Tuesday, while December lost 6.75 to $3.975.
The soy complex moved unanimously lower. Talk of South America’s huge harvest, falling equity and energy markets and a sizeable increase in U.S. plantings this spring appeared to drag soybean and product futures lower this morning. Losses in the energy and vegoil sectors continue depressing soyoil quotes, while optimism about meal demand probably limited the decline in that market. May soybean futures tumbled 9.0 cents to $9.6025/bushel just before lunchtime Tuesday, while May soyoil dropped 0.39 cents to 30.00 cents/pound, and May meal slid $3.3 to $320.4/ton.
Wheat bulls couldn’t sustain early-week gains. Talk of potential dryness in the southern Plains and in Russia boosted the wheat markets through Monday night trading. However, talk of improved chances of rain over the U.S. southern Plains this week seemed to stall the rally. Having the May CBOT contract seem to fail at moving average resistance this morning also appeared to spur selling. May CBOT wheat slumped 6.75 cents to $5.0725/bushel late Tuesday morning, while May KC wheat sank 7.75 cents to $5.4725/bushel, and May MWE wheat dipped 5.25 to $5.7575.
Cattle futures may be reflecting seasonal strength. Discounts built into live cattle futures reflect general pessimism about the spring-summer outlook. However, the cash and wholesale markets traditionally prove quite strong during early spring, which may explain bearish traders’ inability to keep downward pressure upon the nearby contracts Tuesday morning. April cattle futures rebounded 1.05 cents to 154.25 cents/pound in late Tuesday morning action, while August cattle rallied 0.72 cents to 144.00 cents/pound. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle futures inched 0.22 cents lower to 209.82 cents/pound, and August feeders stumbled 0.60 to 209.65.
CME hogs traded in mixed fashion Tuesday morning. Monday’s late reports indicated mixed cash and wholesale action yesterday, which apparently left CME hog traders looking for direction this morning. Hog slaughter and pork production remain very large for this time of year, but numerous signs suggest a big recovery in demand during the coming weeks. The market is unsure how large the anticipated price recovery will be. April hog futures slipped 0.10 cents to 62.10 cents/pound as the lunch hour loomed Tuesday, while June hogs skidded 0.20 to 76.05.
Tuesday morning equity weakness seemed to hit the cotton market. Although Chinese officials announced a big cutback in that country’s February cotton imports overnight, ICE traders apparently paid more attention to talk of reduced Chinese production this year as prices edged upward Monday night. However, futures turned downward this morning in concert with big equity market losses. May cotton sagged 0.16 cents to 60.33 cents/pound shortly before noon (EDT) Tuesday, while December futures dipped 0.28 to 62.28.