Corn seemed to follow soybeans and wheat higher Tuesday night. Little fresh news concerning corn emerged overnight, which seemingly caused traders to look to the soybean and wheat markets for leadership. Resurgent palm oil prices seemingly boosted soyoil and the whole complex, whereas cuts in southern Plains rains previously forecast for next week spurred wheat buying. Spot firmness may also have helped. May corn futures gained 2.0 cents to $3.73/bushel early Wednesday morning, while December rose 1.5 to $3.9825.
The soy complex posted a sizeable overnight rebound. The huge South American harvest and elevated U.S. dollar remain obstacles to gains in the soybean and product markets, but they did rise rather substantially overnight. As with corn, slow farmer selling may be supporting prices, but the only overnight news was a big bounce in Asian palm prices. May soybean futures rallied 6.5 cents to $9.61/bushel Tuesday night, while May soyoil surged 0.31 cents to 30.35 cents/pound, and May meal added $2.3 to $319.8/ton.
The wheat markets rallied modestly. The latest weather models reportedly reduced or eliminated chances of widespread southern Plains precipitation next week, which probably spurred overnight gains in wheat futures. However, technical selling associated with the nearby contracts’ respective 40-day moving averages likely limited gains. On the other hand, a push above those levels might trigger a sizeable follow-through. May CBOT wheat advanced 2.25 cents to $5.0575/bushel in early Wednesday trading, while May KC wheat inched up 1.5 cents to $5.4425/bushel, and May MWE wheat crept 1.25 higher to $5.71.
Cattle futures likely reflected midsession wholesale strength. Discounts built into live cattle futures reflect general pessimism about the spring-summer outlook. However, the cash and wholesale markets are proving quite firm, as exemplified by big beef gains at midday. Nearby futures rose modestly as a result. Conversely, afternoon beef quotes slipped, which bodes rather ill for today’s opening. April cattle futures ended Tuesday having bounced 0.37 cents to 153.57 cents/pound, while August cattle rallied 0.27 cents to 143.55 cents/pound. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle futures fell 0.85 cents lower to 211.57 cents/pound, and August feeders stumbled 0.27 to 209.97.
CME hogs traded in mixed fashion Tuesday. Monday’s late reports indicated mixed cash and wholesale action, thereby leaving CME hog traders looking for direction Tuesday morning. Hog slaughter and pork production remain very large for this time of year, but demand is expected to surge during the coming weeks. The spot markets sagged late in the day, but the limited nature of the losses seemingly make for a mixed Wednesday opening. April hog futures closed 0.42 cents lower at 61.77 cents/pound Tuesday, while June hogs skidded 0.45 to 75.80.
Mixed Chinese news made for a mixed cotton trading overnight. Tuesday night news confirmed recent reports out of China, with cotton imports falling sharply last month and officials anticipating big cutbacks in spring plantings. Thus, it was very surprising to see ICE futures trade in narrowly mixed fashion early Wednesday morning. May cotton edged up 0.09 cents to 60.30 cents/pound shortly after sunrise Wednesday, while December futures slipped 0.05 to 62.20.