Corn futures were lower at midday Tuesday along with weakness in wheat and soybeans. USDA reported corn harvest progress at 95%, up from 91% a week ago and four points above the five-year average. While short on specifics, news that China is planning to move to a market driven system for grain prices seemed to weigh on grain prices generally. Basis levels are mostly steady to firm. The cash market is likely to provide the leadership as prices gradually rebound from record production and seasonal pressure from harvest. December corn futures were 5.75 cents lower at $4.19/bushel while May was 5.25 cents lower to $4.34.
Soybean future continued sliding after Monday’s setting back from two-month high. Although exporters reported sizable export sales to unknown destinations, a cancellation of large quantities of bean sales to China likely weighed on the market. January soybean futures fell 9.0 cents to $13.2025/bushel; December soyoil dropped 0.30 cents to 40.36 cents/pound, and December soymeal ascended $1.3 to $438.5/ton.
Wheat futures proved vulnerable to fresh selling on Tuesday. Three-day rally which pushed wheat futures to a two-week high on Monday was followed by expected profit-taking behaviors on Tuesday morning. December CBOT wheat futures skidded 6.0 cents to $6.465/bushel in Tuesday trading, and December KCBT wheat futures were down 3.75 cents to $7.01, and December MWE futures edged down 4.75 to $7.0075.
Cattle Cattle futures edged higher at midday. Cutouts were up sharply on Monday with Choice up $2.40 to $201.32 per cwt and Select up $1.46 to $188.28. The strength in the beef market should help underpin the cash and futures prices although the current chart pattern for cattle futures has a negative bias. Futures have consolidated the past few trading sessions after the steep decline a week ago, but leaving the market vulnerable to another leg down. The December contract appears headed for a test of last week’s low at 130.67 and/or the 100 day moving average at 130.50. December cattle futures were 0.20 cents higher to 131.275, while April futures were 0.35 cents higher to 133.05. Meanwhile, January feeder cattle were 0.525 cents to 163.325 cents/pound, and March feeders were 0.325 cents higher to 163.12.
Hog futures posted a mixed note despite the steady cash markets. Demand already slowed down ahead of the holidays as most packers have immediate supply needs to meet for the week demand. Depressed wholesale prices due to a steady slaughter pace of record heavy hogs weighed on the futures prices. December hog futures declined 0.125 cents to 85.475 and February futures lifted 0.425 to 90.225.