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Grain surge, cattle & hogs slump Tuesday

After dipping earlier in the day, the corn trade rebounding, joining soybeans and wheat to close on the high side Tuesday.

At the close, March corn was 6 1/2 cents higher at $6.07 1/2 per bushel, while January soybeans were 8 cents higher at $11.45 and March wheat was 7 3/4 higher at $6.07 1/2, according to Barchart.com.

The crop-stressing heat and dryness in South America drove Tuesday's higher prices, as did a lower U.S. Dollar index and higher crude oil and equities markets. And, Tuesday's close hit a key level, says ICAP Energy LLC Derivatives Manager Scott Shellady.

"On the upside in March corn, I am looking at technical levels to the upside at $6.07, and as some older traders say, 'Never sell a quiet market,'" Shellady said Tuesday morning.

In the livestock sector, live cattle futures hit limit-up on Monday on account of the looming blizzard in the central and southern Plains. While it did cut short the last 2 days' slaughter at packers in that region, once the sun came up Tuesday, feeders and others discovered less severe blizzard damage than expected. And, combined with some profit-taking after Monday's big rally, that sent cattle futures lower Tuesday. Nearby live cattle futures ended the day at $120.78/CWT, down just short of 73 cents.

Meahwhile, the hog complex spent much of Tuesday under pressure, with cash hogs ending the day 50 cents to $1/CWT lower on slipping pre-holiday demand.

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