Corn seemed to follow wheat higher Monday night. The corn market rallied in concert with the wheat and soy complexes Monday despite generally negative conditions. That probably reflected expectations for strong grain demand during 2015. Reports of declining winter wheat ratings apparently boosted wheat prices again overnight, with corn benefiting from spillover strength. March corn futures rose 2.5 cents to $4.085/bushel early Tuesday morning, while July added 2.25 to $4.235.
The soy complex proved mixed to higher last night. Continued crude oil losses dragged the soyoil market lower last night, while bean and meal quotes were narrowly mixed. Talk of huge Argentine sales in late December seemingly stifled attempts to follow up on Monday’s big gains, but optimism about the demand outlook apparently offered continued support. March soybean futures gained 3.5 cents to $10.4875/bushel in pre-dawn Tuesday trading, while March soyoil slid 0.16 to 32.71 cents/pound, and March meal inched $0.8 higher to $354.8/ton.
Deteriorating winter wheat conditions boosted futures. Talk of Chinese buying supported wheat futures Monday, with talk of freeze damage to uncovered winter wheat added to the bullish mix. The latter development was confirmed by state condition reports yesterday afternoon, thereby encouraging continued buying overnight. March CBOT wheat advanced 6.0 cents to $5.95/bushel Monday night, while March KC wheat climbed 5.25 cents to $6.30/bushel, and March MWE wheat ran up 6.25 to $6.2775.
Cattle futures built on last week’s late strength Monday. After dropping sharply through early December, cash cattle prices rebounded dramatically last week. That seemingly set the stage for more of the same during the days and weeks ahead, thereby encouraging follow-through buying in CME cattle & feeder futures as well. Late beef firmness seems likely to translate into a higher opening. February live cattle lifted 0.55 cents to 166.22 cents/pound as Monday’s pit session ended, while April futures rallied 0.87 cents to 165.45. January feeder cattle futures leapt 1.72 cents to 225.67 cents/pound and March feeders soared 1.92 cents to 223.37.
Depressed spot quotes seemed to undercut hog futures. The hog and pork industry is anticipating a seasonal rally during the days and weeks ahead. However, the fact that cash hog and pork prices continued sliding yesterday caused Chicago bulls to rethink the premiums already built into nearby futures. Pork quotes firmed yesterday but late cash market losses imply more weakness today. February hog futures ended Monday having fallen 1.37 cents to 79.92 cents/pound, while June hogs slid 0.02 cents to 91.97.
Cotton sustained Monday’s advance overnight. Little fresh news concerning cotton emerged last night, with wire service reports citing expectations for reduced 2015 plantings in the U.S. and globally for the rise. Traders also seem optimistic about the demand outlook, despite Monday’s big stock market drop. March cotton futures lifted 0.18 cents to 60.89 cents/pound shortly after dawn Tuesday, while the July contract edged up 0.13 to 62.43.