Grain traders seemed to shift focus to the new crop outlook Tuesday night. It’s much too early to be thinking about new crop prospects at this point, but moderately dry conditions in U.S. winter wheat regions reportedly boosted those markets overnight. Corn also rallied despite the concurrent U.S. dollar surge to a 12-year high and the ongoing South American harvest. Talk of reduced Ukraine production and sales may have encouraged bulls. May corn futures climbed 5.25 cents to $3.9325/bushel early Wednesday morning, while December added 4.5 to $4.1675.
The soy complex posted general gains. Little fresh news concerning the soybean and product markets emerged overnight, although Asian palm strength rather clearly gave the soyoil market a boost. Conversely, the U.S. dollar surge to a fresh 12-year high seemingly did little to affect commodities. That may reflect expectations for a stock market bounce today. May soybean futures advanced 7.25 cents to $9.9175/bushel Tuesday night, while May soyoil bounced 0.32 cents to 31.28 cents/pound, and May meal rose $2.0 to $333.0/ton.
Talk of southern Plains dryness seemed to boost the wheat markets. Ideas that winter wheat in the U.S. southern Plains is poised to start growing in relatively dry conditions seemed to boost the Chicago and KC markets overnight, although short-term forecasts seem to imply good short-term rainfall in the eastern Corn Belt. The fact that Minneapolis lagged largely confirmed the industry’s focus on the winter wheat situation. May CBOT wheat rallied 6.25 cents to $4.995/bushel in early Wednesday action, while May KC wheat gained 5.0 cents to $5.41/bushel, and May MWE wheat edged up 2.5 to $5.6725.
Cattle futures diverged Tuesday. Last week’s cash surge and mixed-to-firm wholesale readings apparently supported nearby cattle futures yesterday. Conversely, the cattle/beef industry is not confident about the second half outlook, when production is expected to increase. Tuesday’s financial market action didn’t help the bullish cause. Afternoon GLOBEX action implies a strong opening this morning. April cattle futures surged 0.75 cents to 154.75 cents/pound at Tuesday’s close, while August cattle sank 0.50 cents to 144.07 cents/pound. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle futures leapt 2.10 cents to 210.50 cents/pound, and August feeders gained 0.47 to 209.12.
Talk of spot weakness continued weighing on CME hogs. Cash hog and pork prices have not performed well lately, thereby reinforcing bearish ideas about excessive supplies and flattened demand. Those made the premiums built into spring and summer futures look excessive. Tuesday’s late reports were steady-weak, but marginal improvements from midday quotes suggest a firm opening. April hog futures ended Tuesday having sagged 0.10 cents to 65.97 cents/pound, while June hogs tumbled 0.62 to 78.67.
Cotton futures continued sliding Tuesday night. Yesterday’s WASDE report increased the USDA’s global carry-out forecast for cotton, with a rise in Chinese inventories accounting for that shift. Given that country’s status as a huge importer, the news triggered active ICE futures selling. Prices remained under pressure overnight. May cotton slipped 0.06 cents to 60.81 cents/pound shortly after dawn Wednesday, while December futures dipped 0.17 to 62.61.