Crop futures continued sliding Tuesday night. Talk of reduced feed demand stemming from the ongoing ‘bird flu’ outbreak is reportedly weighing upon the corn and soy markets since the poultry industry may cut production in response. Traders also see the corn planting season getting off to a good start, thereby raising yield prospects next fall. May corn futures slipped 1.5 cents to $3.715/bushel just after dawn Wednesday,
while December lost 1.5 to $3.96.   
    
The soy complex is starting Wednesday on a mixed note. Getting a quick start on central U.S. corn planting also suggests an early switch to soybeans as well, which is probably one reason for overnight bean slippage.  Conversely, last night’s meal firmness suggests concerns about reduced poultry industry cutbacks are overblown. Weakness in the energy and palm markets is weighing on soyoil. May soybean futures sagged 1.0 cent to $9.7425/bushel Tuesday night, while May soyoil slid 0.08 cents to 31.74 cents/pound, and May meal rose $0.3 to $316.1/ton.   
 
Talk of short-term dryness may be supporting wheat futures turned higher Tuesday morning. Forecasts indicating dryness over the nation’s midsection during the days ahead is probably undercutting corn, but it’s
probably supporting the wheat markets due to concerns about the winter wheat crop. Overnight U.S. dollar slippage may also be raising hopes for improved export demand. May CBOT wheat futures gained 1.5 cents to
$5.0225/bushel early Wednesday morning, while May KC wheat added 1.25 cents to $5.15/bushel, but May MWE wheat skidded 0.5 to $5.4475.      
 
The cattle market apparently found chart support. Cattle futures opened firmly despite Monday’s big breakdown and late news of a ‘bird flu’ outbreak on an Iowa broiler farm. Big futures discounts and doubts about the cattle/beef complex’s vulnerability to potential broiler losses seemingly supported prices. Sideways GLOBEX trading and mixed beef quotes suggest a flat opening today. June cattle futures advanced 0.85 cents to 146.72 cents/pound at Tuesday’s CME settlement, while August cattle surged 1.22 to 145.45. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle futures ran up 1.82 cents to 206.97 and August vaulted 2.15 to 208.62 cents/pound.    
    
Technical buying seemed to exaggerate Tuesday’s hog surge. As expected, the bird flu news weighed on CME hogs on yesterday’s opening, but bears couldn’t sustain the pressure. The simple fact that the news didn’t greatly change the current wholesale situation may have encouraged bulls, especially after midday pork quotes posted sizeable advances. The subsequent bounce was apparently exaggerated when prices topped short-term chart resistance. Afternoon spot slippage suggests early Wednesday weakness. June hog futures leapt 2.07 cents to 77.60 cents/pound in closing Tuesday action, while December jumped 0.90 to 68.37.    

Cotton futures reversed upward last night. Little news pertinent to the cotton outlook emerged overnight, which seemingly left the door open for technical buyers. Bulls may be reacting to the very modest stockpile increases ahead of Friday’s first notice day for May futures. In addition, the 62.50-cent level has been quite pivotal on the May chart, so the bounce wasn’t all that surprising. May cotton rallied 0.41 cents to 63.04 cents/pound in early Wednesday trading, while December futures edged up 0.09 to 63.54.