After the Bell | April 18, 2022
Corn: May corn futures rallied 23 cents to $8.13 1/4, the highest nearby closing price since August 2012. December gained 14 1/2 cents to $7.49 3/4, a lifetime-high close. Corn futures rode a broad rally in commodities after the holiday weekend, with a slow U.S. seeding pace supporting new-crop contracts. USDA reported 4% of the U.S. corn crop planted as of yesterday, up from 2% a week earlier but lower than the 6% average for the previous five years. The crop was expected to be about 5% planted, based on the average analyst estimate.
Soybeans: July soybeans rose 28 cents to $16.93 1/4, the contract’s highest closing price since March 23. July soymeal rose $4.60 to $460.30 per ton and July soyoil rose 120 points to 78.09 cents per pound. Nearby soybeans surged to the highest levels in over three weeks behind strong demand and rallies in grains, crude oil and Malaysian palm oil. The U.S. soybean crop was 1% planted as of yesterday, lower than the 2% five-year average, USDA reported.
Wheat: July SRW wheat rose 24 1/4 cents to $11.28 3/4 and July HRW wheat rose 31 3/4 cents to $11.89, with both hitting six-week highs. July spring wheat rose 31 1/4 cents to $11.78. Poor crop conditions and adverse weather in key U.S. growing regions also supported wheat futures. HRW crop conditions deteriorated over the past week, as USDA rated 30% of the U.S. winter wheat crop “good” or “excellent” as of yesterday, down from 32% a week earlier.
Cotton: July cotton gained 254 points to 143.25 cents per pound, a lifetime-high close for the contract. Cotton futures hit the highest levels in over a decade on support from broad-based rallies across commodity markets. Persistent drought in key U.S. cotton production areas, such as West Texas, also supported futures, though some moisture relief may be coming.
Cattle: June live cattle fell 62.5 cents to $135.80, while May feeder cattle fell $2.625 to $159.15. Feeder cattle came under pressure from strong gains in the corn market. Live cattle futures faded from an early push to two-week highs as feeder weakness spilled over. Bullish traders are hoping for further strength in cash cattle this week after live steers averaged $141.02 last week. Choice cutout values fell $1.54 to $271.08, though movement was relatively firm at 107 loads.
Hogs: June lean hogs jumped $3.925 to $122.40, the contract’s highest closing price since $124.225 on March 30. Hog futures surged as broad commodity market strength fueled speculative buying, while firming cash fundamentals provided further support. The CME lean hog index is expected to rise 35 cents tomorrow, the fourth straight daily gain, to $100.32. Pork cutout values fell 72 cents to $109.49, down from a seven-week high reached Friday. Movement totaled 295 loads.