Late Monday news seems to depress the crop markets. Corn futures continued their Monday decline today, with traders seemingly responding to the latest USDA Crop Progress report indicating U.S. corn plantings accelerated last week. Predicted Midwest dryness also suggests a fast pace this week. Moreover, news that a huge Iowa broiler farm had been hit by bird flu raised concerns about domestic feed demand. May corn futures settled 5.0 cents lower at $3.73/bushel Tuesday afternoon, while December lost 3.75 to $3.975.
The soy complex traded mixed through Tuesday’s session. Talk of increased Chinese demand and potential South American production problems seemed to boost the soy complex Monday. Persistent palm oil strength and rebounding crude oil supported soyoil quotes today, but beans and meal traded weakly all day. Talk of good planting weather and accelerated farmer activity reportedly weighed on beans, with news of spot meal weakness undercutting CBOT quotes as well. May soybean futures ended Tuesday having fallen 2.25 cents to $9.74/bushel, while May soyoil rallied 0.23 cents to 31.82 cents/pound, and May meal slid $2.7 to $315.8/ton.
Wheat futures turned higher Tuesday morning. The wheat markets moved generally lower overnight, which probably reflected the stunningly fast pace at which farmers planted spring wheat last week. The midmorning reversal may have reflected disappointing winter wheat ratings in the wake of last week’s rains. On the other hand, the fact that the Minneapolis market led the way higher suggests hopes for improved demand sparked the rebound. May CBOT wheat futures bounced 2.0 cents to $5.0075/bushel in late Tuesday trading, while May KC wheat gained 1.25 cents to $5.1375/bushel, and May MWE wheat climbed 6.25 to $5.4525.
The cattle market apparently found chart support. Cattle futures opened firmly despite Monday’s big breakdown and overnight news of a ‘bird flu’ outbreak on an Iowa broiler farm. Big futures discounts and doubts about the cattle/beef complex’s vulnerability to potential broiler losses seemingly supported. June cattle futures advanced 0.85 cents to 146.72 cents/pound at Tuesday’s CME settlement, while August cattle surged 1.22 to 145.45. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle futures ran up 1.82 cents to 206.97 and August vaulted 2.15 to 208.62 cents/pound.
Technical buying seemed to exaggerate Tuesday’s hog surge. As expected, the bird flu news weighed on CME hogs on today’s opening, but bears couldn’t sustain the pressure. The simple fact that the news didn’t greatly change the current wholesale situation may have encouraged bulls, especially after midday pork quotes posted sizeable advances. The subsequent bounce was apparently exaggerated when prices topped short-term chart resistance. June hog futures leapt 2.07 cents to 77.60 cents/pound in closing Tuesday action, while December jumped 0.90 to 68.37.