Corn futures seemed to follow soybeans higher Tuesday, with the lack of improvement in corn condition ratings on Monday’s USDA report seemingly opening the door for firmer trading. Bulls were probably encouraged by today’s decline in the value of the U.S. dollar, since that breaks the greenback’s recent string of advances and makes U.S. grain more competitive on international markets. News of big distillers grain imports by China seemed supportive as well. September corn futures inched 1.5 cents to $4.065/bushel in late Tuesday trading, while December added 1.5 to reach $4.175.
The soy complex rallied on talk of tight domestic supplies and strong demand for beans and meal, with oil also seeming to get a boost from overnight palm oil gains. The fact that current soybean conditions are unchanged from last week might have been interpreted favorably by both sides of the market, but news of big bean sale to an ‘unknown destination’ seemed quite encouraging. The fact that bears couldn’t force November futures significantly below the $10.00/bushel level probably inspired bargain hunting and bottom picking. August soybeans climbed 11.0 cents to $10.1875/bushel as Monday’s session concluded, while August soyoil rallied 0.25 cents to 31.93 cents/pound and August meal moved up $3.9 to $359.9/ton.
The wheat markets began Tuesday trading steady-mixed, but turned lower when Egyptian officials announced that Russian sources had dominated that country’s latest purchasing tender. Good progress for the U.S. winter wheat harvest and good spring wheat condition ratings seemingly discouraged bulls, despite the concurrent U.S. dollar decline. September CBOT wheat futures fell 8.0 cents to $5.2475/bushel at their Tuesday close, while Sep KC wheat slumped 7.5 cents to $5.18/bushel, and September MWE skidded 2.5 cents to $5.565.
Cash market pessimism apparently sank cattle futures Tuesday. Monday’s wholesale beef firmness might have signaled emerging firmness in the cattle and beef complex, but quotes were steady-weak at noon today. Traders probably viewed the lack of bullish follow-through as signaling a fresh bout of cash weakness later this week, with futures clearly suffering as a consequence. Having the nearby August contract fail at 146-cent support probably exaggerated the decline. August cattle ended Tuesday having tumbled 1.60 cents to 145.15 cents/pound, while December futures dove 1.37 to 149.77. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures plunged 3.25 cents to 213.07 cents/pound, and November feeders plummeted 2.95 to 208.27.
Diving cattle futures dragged deferred hog futures lower. Although this morning’s cash hog quotes came in modestly lower, pork cutout values had jumped sharply when reported at noon. That news almost surely powered the August futures gains seen Tuesday. However, suspicions that diving fed cattle prices will exaggerate the usual fall-winter breakdown in the hog and pork complex seemingly depressed the deferred swine contracts. August hog futures surged 0.97 cents to 75.87 cents/pound at Tuesday’s CME close, while December dropped 0.75 cents to 59.75.