Planting conditions weighed on corn futures again Tuesday. U.S. corn plantings reportedly were 19% complete on Sunday, which matched industry expectations. However, forecasts for extended dryness and surging short-term progress appeared to depress CBOT prices, since the industry expects plantings to zoom ahead this week. Losses were reportedly limited by improved country bids as elevators tried to spur farmer sales. May corn futures closed up 0.25 cent at $3.61/bushel Tuesday afternoon, while December skidded 0.75 to $3.825.
Renewed signs of demand strength apparently boosted beans and meal. Monday’s data looked unlikely to affect the soy complex today, although a report that China’s soybean target price for domestic subsidies will be unchanged this year (implying no extra production incentive) seemingly sparked early Chicago strength. News of big new-crop sale likely powered subsequent bean and meal gains, but oil ended the day poorly. May soybean futures ended Tuesday having climbed 4.5 cents to $9.775/bushel, while May soyoil fell 0.43 cents to 31.23 cents/pound, and May meal moved up $3.6 to $318.7/ton.
The wheat markets staged a late surge. The Crop Progress report stated winter wheat conditions unchanged, with spring wheat seedings racing to 55% complete last week. The news seemed rather bearish, but futures traded mixed to higher through much of the session. Conversely, active fund short-covering reportedly powered the surprisingly strong late-session advance. May CBOT wheat futures rose 1.25 cents to $4.715/bushel at Tuesday’s settlement, while May KC wheat bounced 6.5 cents to $4.9725/bushel, and May MWE wheat rallied 4.0 to $5.285.
Beef gains probably encouraged cattle traders. Seasonal factors suggest short-term weakness in beef values, but choice cutout proved surprisingly strong this morning. That divergence from seasonal weakness may have spurred the general CME cattle advance, especially with technical factors seeming to favor bulls. June cattle futures jumped 0.85 cents to 151.12 cents/pound in late Tuesday trading, while August cattle surged 0.45 to 148.80. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle futures vaulted 0.95 cents to 212.35 cents/pound, and August feeders ran up 0.70 to 213.87.
Hog futures continued testing psychological resistance. The cash hog and wholesale pork markets posted sizeable gains Monday and exhibited continued strength today. However, CME futures are already anticipating major spring gains, which is one reason why the most-active June contract clearly again had trouble overcoming the psychologically important 80-cent level. June hog futures rose 0.50 cents to 79.90 cents/pound as the CME pit session ended Tuesday, but December skidded 0.07 to 68.60.