Corn futures followed beans higher Tuesday. Monday’s weekly USDA Crop Progress report showed the U.S. corn harvest moved forward very quickly last week and is now 80% complete. Traders also saw early news that CONAB had only tightened its forecast for the Brazilian crop. Neither report was very friendly, but traders ignored them as beans led the crop market higher later in the day. December corn futures ended the CBOT session having risen 4.5 cents to $3.74/bushel Tuesday afternoon, while May ran up 4.5 to $3.955.
Talk of demand strength once again boosted the soy complex. The Crop Progress report stated the U.S. soy harvest as being 90% complete, which fell slightly short of expectations at 91%. That news probably added to the general demand-driven bullishness now dominating the soy markets, although wire service reports also credited tight country supplies despite the massive harvest. January soybean futures soared 38.25 cents to $10.64/bushel At their Tuesday close, while December soyoil vaulted 0.51 cents to 32.85 cents/pound, and December meal leapt $19.7 to $400.6/ton.
The wheat markets rallied as well. The Crop Progress report indicated U.S. winter wheat conditions improved 1% to 50% good-to-excellent, thereby topping the 10-year average by 2%. That probably explains early slippage in CBOT and KCBOT prices, whereas Brazil’s modest cut to its wheat harvest forecast may have supported spring wheat prices. Spillover bean seemed to dominate as the day passed. December CBOT wheat climbed 8.0 cents to $5.2525/bushel in late Tuesday trading, while December KC wheat added 5.5 cents to $5.785/bushel, and December MWE wheat surged 12.5 to $5.6675.
Cattle traders seem indecisive at this point. Underlying cattle market fundamentals look quite bullish, especially if current weather conditions become the winter norm. However, worries about poor demand in the current high-price environment, as well as less than stellar futures action are raising doubts about the price outlook. Futures were decidedly mixed Tuesday. December live cattle futures closed up 0.12 cents to 167.25 cents/pound Tuesday afternoon, while April futures skidded 0.05 to 167.50. Meanwhile, January feeder cattle futures sagged 0.10 cents to 232.65 cents/pound, but March feeders rose 0.25 to 230.55.
Talk of firming spot markets seemed to support CME hogs Tuesday. Although hog supplies are rising seasonally, and pork demand seems flat at best, country prices were called steady this morning and pork cutout surged at noon. Those items probably encouraged traders hoping for a ham-led bounce into Thanksgiving. December hog futures rallied 0.35 cents to 89.90 at their Tuesday settlement, while April hogs gained 0.20 to 91.00.