Corn futures edged higher overnight. Talk of reduced corn plantings reportedly supported the corn market in the face of slipping soybean and wheat futures Tuesday. The implied price optimism was also lent some official imprimatur early this morning when the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) forecast a 16.2 million tonne annual decline in 2015/16 global production. May corn futures rose 1.0 cent to $3.9425/bushel Tuesday night, while December corn edged up 0.5 to $4.1775.
The soy complex is trading in decidedly mixed fashion. Little soy news emerged from South America overnight, but it’s pretty safe to assume that the massive Brazilian crop isn’t encouraging bulls. Conversely, the CWB predicted a 16.1 million tonne decline in global bean production this year. That may explain the narrowly mixed CBOT quotes being seen at this juncture. May soybean futures gained 0.25 cent to $9.82/bushel early Wednesday morning, while May soyoil crept up 0.04 cents to 31.15 cents/pound, and May meal stalled at $326.3/ton.
Russian and Canadian wheat news seemed to even out Tuesday night. Russian officials stated overnight that their winter grain production losses looked smaller than previously thought, with the implied increase in supply at least partially offsetting the big drop in global output indicated by the CWB this morning. Wheat futures are trading narrowly mixed this morning. May CBOT wheat was steady at $5.235/bushel in early Wednesday action, as was May KC wheat at $5.6525/bushel, while May MWE wheat added 1.0 to $5.8275.
Rising wholesale prices seemed to boost cattle futures Tuesday afternoon. Cash market gains powered Monday’s big cattle rally, with afternoon beef gains also seeming quite supportive. CME prices turned mixed to lower yesterday morning, but moved generally higher after midday beef quotes again rose significantly. Afternoon beef strength and GLOBEX gains suggest a strong Wednesday morning opening. April cattle futures rallied 0.65 cents to 162.00 cents/pound in late Tuesday trading, while August cattle inched up 0.10 at 150.32 cents/pound. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle futures lost 0.25 cents to 218.92 cents/pound, and August feeders dropped 0.42 to 219.25.
Deferred hog futures staged a Tuesday rebound. Monday’s USDA Cold Storage report indicated a big February jump in U.S. pork supplies, which was generally anticipated due to the West Coast port situation. Futures proved quite volatile in early trading, with deferred contracts turning generally higher later in the day. That probably reflected reports of firming pork prices and fund position rolling. However, Tuesday afternoon developments imply a weak opening this morning. April hog futures stumbled 0.65 cents to 58.60 cents/pound at Tuesday’s CME settlement, while June hogs surged 1.05 to 74.67.
Cotton futures are again struggling at resistance. With Northern Hemisphere cotton production in abeyance at this point, demand issues seem to be dominating ICE trading. Traders are apparently focusing upon economic events as indicated by the equity and currency markets. Thus, Tuesday’s stock market losses weighed on prices. The dollar turned downward overnight, but that didn’t seem to encourage cotton bulls. A look at the chart shows the nearby May contract struggling against resistance at the 64.00 cent level. May cotton slid 0.16 cents to 63.75 shortly after sunrise Wednesday, while December futures sagged 0.17 to 64.53.