Large global supplies and worries about commodity demand weighed on corn and the other crops Monday, with prices slipping a bit farther overnight. Monday’s big crude oil drop reportedly weighed heavily upon prices, but the comparative equity market firmness seen in the afternoon, as well as concurrent US dollar losses apparently limited the pressure. Equity index futures, crude oil and the dollar all declined Monday night. March corn futures slid 1.0 cent to $3.7025 bushel in early Tuesday trading, while the May contract skidded 0.75 to $3.75.
Soybean futures started the week under pressure, but the market was able to finish mid- to high-range with losses of 1 1/2 to 2 3/4 cents. The plunge in crude oil futures today also weighed on commodity markets. But the market remains well within its recent choppy trading range. March soybeans are trading near the upper end of the trading range that has bound price action for nearly three weeks. The top of that range is the January high of $8.88, while Friday's low of $8.67 marks the lower parameter. These are near-term resistance and support, respectively.
Price action: Wheat futures closed mostly 4 to 5 cents lower. That was in the upper end of today's range in SRW contracts, near the middle of the range in HRW contracts and in the lower end of the range in spring wheat futures. Funds were sellers of 2,000 contracts (10 million bu.) today. March SRW wheat futures posted an inside day and are holding within a three-week choppy range on the daily chart. Last week's high at $4.88 1/2 is near-term resistance, followed by the December high at $4.99. Support starts at last week's low at $4.77 1/2 and extends to the contract low at $4.56.
Price action: Live cattle futures opened firmer and then softened, but firmed again to end 37 1/2 cents to $1.05 higher, which was a high-range close. The post-opening strength seemed to derived from ideas the female population is not expanding as quickly as anticipated in the wake of last Friday’s Cattle report. April live cattle posted an inside day of trade on the daily chart, coming just short of resistance at the 100-day moving average near $135.21. Next resistance is last week's high of $136.12 1/2, followed by the December high of $138.95. Support is at the 40-day moving average near $131.99. Feeder cattle price action: Similar to live cattle, feeder futures saw two-sided trade, but ended mixed. March through May futures ended 15 to 52 1/2 cents higher, with August down 12 1/2 cents and September steady.
Price action: Lean hog futures closed 45 cents lower to 40 cents higher in bear spreading. The lead February contract was the only contract to close in the negative. Today's trade will have traders leaning to the plus side as futures dipped mid-morning, only to uncover buying at Friday's low ($69.80), which matches support from the 200-day moving average, and then firmed again. That contract has closed above or on the 200-day moving average four consecutive days to signal it as key support. The December-January uptrend line offers support at $68.04 today. It will be interesting to watch today’s opening, since afternoon reports of sizeable cash gains were met by surprisingly weak wholesale results.
Cotton futures closed 43 to 66 points higher, which was in the upper portion of today's trading range. Cotton futures were boosted by short-covering amid ideas the downside has been overdone recently. Sharp losses in the U.S. dollar contributed to the corrective buying. Weakness in row crop futures limited buyer interest. March cotton futures pushed above the 5-day and 10-day moving averages on its corrective move higher today.