Crop markets mostly higher Tuesday night

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Corn futures continued rising in the face of negative news. As expected, Chinese officials rejected five recent shipments of U.S. corn contaminated with an unapproved GMO strain Tuesday night. Given talk of an easing Chinese situation and the record U.S. harvest, one might easily assume prices would drop, but they sustained their late-Tuesday rally overnight. Technical and pragmatic factors seem to be boosting prices. March corn rose 1.25 cents to $4.325/bushel early Wednesday morning, while May added 1.25 to $4.4075.

Soybeans bounced substantially Tuesday night. Little fresh news concerning soybeans emerged overnight, although one could argue that rising palm prices boosted the oil market again. We also harbor suspicions that the lack of deliveries against the expiring December meal contract signaled underlying market strength. January soybean futures climbed 3.75 cents to $13.235/bushel around dawn Wednesday, while January soyoil bounced 0.33 cents to 40.44 cents/pound, and January soymeal gained $0.6 to $429.4/ton.

Persistent optimism about export demand boosted wheat markets again last night. Ongoing rumors of burgeoning export demand for U.S. wheat supported wheat futures again in Tuesday night-Wednesday morning trading. Fears of a significant U.S. winter wheat kill this weekend reportedly boosted the wheat markets once again. March CBOT wheat futures rallied 2.75 cents to $6.71/bushel in Tuesday night action, while March KCBT wheat futures advanced 2.75 cents to $7.1425, and March MWE futures moved up 3.0 to $7.075.

Cattle futures proved generally firm in overnight action. Talk of wintry Great Plains weather into the weekend is probably supporting the cattle market, since frigid, snowy conditions can greatly hamper the performance of feedlot animals. Conversely, wholesale prices dipped Tuesday, thereby suggesting demand remains an issue for the cattle/beef industry. February cattle futures slipped 0.05 cents to 134.05 cents/pound as Wednesday dawned over Chicago, while the April contract was unchanged at 134.85. Meanwhile, January feeder cattle edged 0.10 cents higher to 164.95 cents/pound, and March feeders ran up 0.15 to 165.40.

Concerns about rising supplies are weighing upon hog futures. The cash hog markets suffered moderate losses again Tuesday, with packers apparently stretching industry capacity to process 440,000 head Monday and Tuesday. Thus, despite firm pork values, traders are reportedly worried about increased market-ready hog supplies at this juncture. February hog futures inched up 0.02 cents to 89.00 cents/pound early Wednesday morning, while June slumped 0.15 to 99.32.

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