Corn futures couldn’t Tuesday’s midsession gains. Talk of rain delays to Brazil’s soy harvest and shipping difficulties stemming from a trucker strike in that country boosted U.S. bean and grain prices this morning. Traders also cited slow U.S. farmer sales as supporting corn. However, nearby futures couldn’t overcome overhead resistance, which seemingly spurred active afternoon selling. March corn futures settled 1.25 cents lower at $3.775/bushel Tuesday, while July lost 1.0 to $3.9325.
The soy complex posted an across-the-board advance. Brazil’s trucker strike is reportedly preventing beans and grain from reaching that country’s ports. Meanwhile, recent rainfall is delaying the harvest, thereby further tightening supplies available for quick export. That may persuade importers to look to the U.S. for supplies in the near term. The fact that nearby bean futures penetrated 40-day moving average resistance last night gave the rally a big technical component as well. March soybean futures jumped 16.75 cents to $10.16/bushel in late Tuesday trading, while March soyoil bounced 0.28 cents to 31.42 cents/pound, and March meal surged $8.6 to $356.9/ton.
The wheat markets ended mixed Tuesday. U.S. wheat prices still look quite high by international standards and sales seem weak. That didn’t prevent futures from edging upward this morning, as grains seemed to follow beans higher. Traders also seemed to worry about freeze damage to the U.S. winter wheat crop as arctic air dominates the nation’s midsection. Those concerns apparently limited the size of late losses. March CBOT wheat closed unchanged at $5.0575/bushel as Tuesday’s CBOT session ended, while March KC wheat rallied 4.5 cents to $5.3575/bushel, but March MWE wheat slipped 1.75 to $5.66.
Cattle futures proved quite weak once again. Cattle supplies are tight and getting tighter on a seasonal basis. Moreover, midday beef quotes rose sharply. Nevertheless, traders worry that beef is simply too expensive and will suffer from poor demand as a consequence. Nearby futures had seemingly firmed by late morning, but proved vulnerable to fresh selling as the day passed. April cattle futures dove 1.52 cents to 145.57 cents/pound at their Tuesday settlement, while August cattle tumbled 1.12 cents to 138.00 cents/pound. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle futures plummeted 2.47 cents to 195.60 cents/pound and May feeders plunged 2.30 to 194.32.
Rebounding cash quotes supported hog futures. After having stabilized last week, cash hog prices are clearly working higher this week. That news boosted nearby futures despite their premiums to current quotes. Conversely, the size of the differences, as well as midsession pork weakness, seemed to limit upside potential. April hog futures advanced 0.25 cents to 68.57 cents/pound as the Chicago pit session ended Tuesday, while June hogs lifted 0.57 to 82.97.