Corn seemed to follow soybeans higher Tuesday. Little corn news emerged over the weekend, so yellow grain traders apparently looked to the soybean market for leadership. The bean and meal markets rose Monday night, set back from those highs this morning, then surged in reaction to the NOPA crush report. The weekly USDA Export Inspections report looked unremarkable. March corn settled up 2.25 cents at $3.895/bushel Tuesday, while July added 2.75 to $4.055.
Bean futures reacted well to the NOPA report. The monthly NOPA crush report was initially seen as being rather neutral, since the data mostly met expectations. However, beans and meal clearly turned higher soon thereafter, thereby seeming to signal considerable industry confidence in persistently firm demand. Dropping energy futures exaggerated Asian palm weakness in depressing soyoil quotes. March soybean futures jumped 17.25 cents to $10.0775/bushel in late Tuesday trading, while March soyoil sank 0.08 cents to 32.32 cents/pound, and March meal surged $10.0 to $342.3/ton.`
The wheat markets struggled despite supportive news. The Russia-Ukraine conflict is apparently proceeding apace, which may bode ill for winter wheat crops around the Black Sea. Meanwhile, shipments out of the region have slowed, thereby exerting diminished sales pressure at the lower end of the international market. The Export Sales result was unremarkable, which may be one reason futures proved able to sustain only a small portion of their Monday night gains. March CBOT wheat edged up 1.75 cents to $5.3475/bushel at Tuesday’s close, while March KC wheat slid 0.5 cent lower to $5.6225/bushel, and March MWE wheat advanced 1.75 to $5.8875.
Cattle traders seemed worried about short-term cash prospects. Despite last week’s cash market rise and the fact that fed cattle supplies usually reach annual lows during March, CME futures turned decidedly lower Tuesday. One has to suspect that market participants worry that high retail prices and stunted exports will depress the cattle market in the short run. April ended Tuesday having plunged 2.50 cents to 150.72 cents/pound, while August cattle dove 1.72 cents to 142.27 cents/pound. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle futures tumbled 2.40 cents to 201.45 cents/pound and May feeders plummeted 2.45 to 200.07.
Fresh spot weakness undermined hog futures. CME hogs ended last week strongly, which seemed justified when Monday’s spot market quotes showed significant signs of firming. However, today’s talk apparently turned much weaker, as signified by the big losses posted by the various swine contracts. April hog futures tanked by 2.02 cents to 64.00 cents/pound as the CME pit session ended, while June hogs dropped 1.75 to 78.37.