Corn futures were off 2 to 3 cents overnight in light volume. March corn is down 2-1/4 cents to 6.09-1/4 within a 3 cent range between 6.10-3/4 and 6.07-3/4. overnight. Dec corn is down 1-3/ 4 cents to 5.63. USDA Weekly Export Sales are pushed back to tomorrow morning due to the markets having been closed on Monday of this week. Talk of increased demand for U.S. corn exports and lower South America supply offers support. There were rumors that China may be buying 1.5 mmt of U.S. new crop corn as a gesture of good faith as negotiations begin on the Phase 2 trade deal with US after falling short of buying agreed U.S. Ag goods under the terms of the Phase 1 trade deal. China has been an active buyer of US sorghum, Australia and EU feed wheat and Ukraine corn. March corn held support near 5.85 which likely triggered new technical buying. 6.17 is a key price to trade over to encourage more buying. Managed funds were net buyers of 15,000 corn contracts. Besides the rumors of China buying, managed funds were reported buying U.S. futures as a hedge against inflation. There are still talk that Omicron is reducing work forces especially in Ag transportation. Argentina is seeing needed rains. Paraguay, Brazil remains dry. Brazil 2nd corn crop will not be available until July.
Soybean futures were firm overnight with March up 3 cents to 13.94-1/4 and Nov up a penny to 13.05-1/2. Rumors that China may be buying 1.5 mmt of U.S. new crop soybean as a gesture of good faith as negotiations begin on the Phase 2 trade deal underpin the current market situation. China fell short of buying agreed U.S. Ag goods under the terms of the Phase 1 trade deal. Managed funds were net buyers of 16,000 soybean contracts. Besides the rumors of China buying, managed funds were reported buying U.S. futures as a hedge against inflation. In South Americas, Argentina is seeing needed rains. Paraguay, and key locations in Brazil remains dry. March beans are back to retesting 14.00 ahead of key resistance up at 14.15. Overnight, Chinese May Bean futures were up 83 yuan; Soymeal up 68; Soyoil up 104; Palm oil up 74; Corn up 15. Malaysian palm oil prices were up 66 ringgit (+1.29%) at 5190.
Winter wheat futures eased overnight and are settling down after Wednesday’s rally back from a recent drawdown. March CBOT wheat is down 7 cents to 7.89-1/2 after testing the contract’s 200 day moving average near 7.40. KC wheat is down 4 to 7.96; And, March spring wheat in MPLS is up 1-1/2 cents to 9.41-1/4. Concerns over tension in Russia and Ukraine have traders on edge, and there are questions surrounding USDA’s estimate of Russia and EU wheat exports. Global wheat demand could also be higher than the agency’s estimate. Ongoing dryness across the U.S. south Plains HRW crop areas has offset the increase in south hemisphere supplies. Scientists do not look for any change to global weather due to the volcano in the Pacific which was the largest eruption in the world in three decades.
Cattle futures are called steady to higher as money flows into the commodity markets. Led by strong overall commodity market and risk on trade, cattle futures tried to push out of recent trading ranges. After April cattle traded within a $2.00 range for the last 9 sessions, yesterday saw a breakout to the top-side. April posted its highest close for the month, and with the strong price action, looks to challenge higher prices levels. Estimated slaughter was 115,000 head, up 3,000 head from last week, as the market may be moving past concerns regarding plant slow down due to COVID. Cash trade continued to build at $137, slightly lower than last week, but with packers stepping into the market early, this is an encouraging sign of them wanting to secure supplies. Beef retail values are still trending higher, closing on Wednesday with choice carcasses adding 2.11 to 291.60 and Select 2.04 firmer to 280.43. The load count was light at 113 loads. The strong push higher in grain markets limited gains in the feeder complex on Wednesday. Jan feeders expire on January 27 and are closely tied to the cash index. The Feeder Index was 0.06 lower to 161.24.
Hog futures are called steady to higher as money flows into the market. Strong buying allowed contracts to post triple digit gains on short covering and technical buying while breaking out to the topside. The trend has turned friendly as prices are challenging or setting new contract highs. April hogs broke through trendline resistance and posted its highest closed since June of last summer. A challenge of the contract high at 91.875 seems to be in order. Deferred contracts starting with May hogs and later all established new contract highs on Wednesday. Concerns regarding hog numbers and ongoing talk of PRRS disease affecting hogs numbers may leave supplies of market hogs tight for the summer and later months. The Lean Hog Index traded higher, gaining .88 to 76.78, and is still holding a 5.520 discount to the futures. The spread will likely limit the near-term upside in the futures market for the Feb contract. Pork carcasses traded higher, helping support the jump in futures prices. At midday, pork carcasses rose 6.29, and trended higher into the close, gaining 8.26 to 95.47. The load count was moderate to 387 loads