After the Bell | December 23, 2021
Corn: March corn futures rose 3 1/4 cents to $6.05 3/4, the third consecutive daily gain and the contract’s highest settlement since $6.16 on June 11. Corn futures extended a three-week rally to close at a six-month high ahead of the three-day holiday weekend, supported by dryness stressing South American crops. USDA today reported net U.S. corn sales of 982,900 MT for the week ended Dec. 16, down 50% from the previous week and down 29% from the average for the previous four weeks.
Soybeans: March soybeans rose 5 3/4 cents to $13.40 3/4, the highest close since Aug. 18. March soymeal gained $2.20 to $400.50 per ton, the contract's highest close since May 12. March soybean oil rose 58 points to 55.42 cents per pound. Forecasts signal much of southern Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay will remain dry over the coming week. While there are some rain chances for dry areas next week, moisture isn’t expected to be enough to counter stress from increased temps. Net weekly U.S. soybean sales fell to a marketing-year low at 811,500 MT, down 38% from the previous week and down 42% from the prior four-week average.
Wheat: March SRW wheat futures rose 3/4 cent to $8.14 3/4, up 39 3/4 cents for the week. March HRW futures rose 7 3/4 cents to $8.61 1/2, the highest closing price since Nov. 26 and a gain of 51 1/2 cents for the week. March spring wheat futures rose 4 3/4 cents to $10.32 1/2, up 10 cents for the week. Winter wheat reversed a steep, three-week drop, supported by strength in corn and ongoing concern over tight global supplies. Net weekly U.S. wheat sales totaled 425,400 MT, down 35% from the previous week but up 11% from the four-week average.
Cotton: March cotton futures rose 29 points to 109.12 cents per pound, up 182 points for the week. Cotton futures posted a technically bullish weekly high close that may generate followthrough buying next week, though disappointing export data may mute upside. USDA today reported net U.S. cotton sales of 243,900 running bales (RB) for 2021-22, down 15% from the previous week and down 21% from the prior four-week average.
Cattle: February live cattle surged $2.25 to $139.625, the contract’s highest closing price since $139.65 on Dec. 6 and a gain of $3.20 for the week. March feeder cattle rose $1.825 to $163.75. Live cattle futures may face pressure next week after USDA’s Cattle on Feed Report showed higher than expected feedlot placements last month. Feedlot operators moved 1.971 million head into feedlots for fattening during November, up 3.6% from the same month in 2020. Feedlot placements were expected to rose closer to 3.2%, based on a Reuters survey. Choice cutout values rose 47 cents today to an average of $261.86, down from $263.01 at the end of last week.
Hogs: February lean hogs fell 12.5 cents to $83.225, after earlier rising to a four-week intraday high at $83.925. The lead contract gained $2.425 for the week. Futures may gain support early next week after USDA’s Hogs and Pigs Report showed a larger than expected decline in the U.S. herd. All hogs and pigs as of Dec. 1 totaled 74.2 million head, down 4.0% from the same date in 2020. Analysts expected a drop closer to 2.9%, based on a Reuters survey. Animals kept for breeding, an indicator of expansion, were little changed at 6.18 million head, compared to expectations for a 0.1% increase over year-ago levels. Futures may also draw support from strength in wholesale pork. Pork cutout values jumped $6.80 today, led by gains in bellies and hams, to an average of $91.47, up from $85.82 at the end of last week.