After the Bell | December 29, 2021

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Corn: March corn futures rose 3/4 cent to $6.05 1/2, after falling as low as $5.99 1/2 overnight. Corn futures were supported by concern dry conditions will reduce South America’s crop prospects. Hot and mostly dry weather is increasing crop stress in southern Brazil, World Weather Inc. said today. Also supportive: U.S. ethanol production rose 8,000 barrels per day (bpd), to 1.059 million bpd in the week ended Dec. 24, up 13% from the same week a year ago. Tomorrow’s weekly USDA export sales report is expected to show net U.S. corn sales of 500,000 to 1.1 MMT for the week ended Dec. 23.

Soybeans: March soybean futures rose 3/4 cent to $13.68 3/4, down from a five-month high yesterday. March soybean meal fell 90 cents to $408.20, while March soybean oil rose 24 points to 56.91 cents per pound. Soybean futures recovered from earlier weakness to end mostly firmer amid ongoing concern dry conditions will limit production potential in South America. USDA’s weekly export sales report is expected to show net U.S. soybean sales ranging from 700,000 MT to 1.2 MMT.

Wheat: March SRW wheat rose 4 1/4 cents at $7.87 3/4, while March HRW wheat 2 3/4 cents to $8.24 1/2. March spring wheat futures rose 9 3/4 cents to $10.09, after earlier dropping to a seven-week low of $9.93 3/4. Winter wheat stabilized and posted modest gains amid concerns over potential winterkill in the U.S. winter wheat crop as a blast of arctic air moves into the country’s midsection. USDA’s weekly export sales report is expected to show U.S. wheat sales of 200,000 to 500,000 MT in the 2021-22 marketing year.

Cotton: March cotton futures surged 294 points to 112.99 cents per pound, the contract’s highest closing price since 115.78 cents on Nov. 24. Cotton futures closed at a five-week high with support from stronger crude oil prices and weakness in the U.S. dollar. Also, U.S. stock indexes are at or near record highs on signs of retailer strength and easing concern the Omicron coronavirus variant will disrupt the global economy. Cotton traders await tomorrow’s USDA weekly export sales report.

Cattle: February live cattle rose $1.325 to $140.725. March feeder cattle rose $2.825 to $165.05, the highest closing price since Dec. 2. Futures were supported by reports of cash trade $2 to $3 higher compared with last week in the northern market. Trade in the southern market remained quiet, though the firmer northern trade should entice other packers to raise bids from last week. Choice cutout values rose $1.05 today to $265.71, the highest daily average since Dec. 7, on solid movement of 135 loads.

Hogs: February lean hogs rose $1.20 to $83.825, still down from a four-week intraday high of $84.65 posted yesterday. Tight supplies and optimism over cash fundamentals boosted nearby futures. Tomorrow’s CME lean hog index is expected to rise 38 cents to $72.20. Pork cutout values fell $2.60 to $84.29 today, as a decline of $16 in loins offset gains in bellies, hams and ribs. Today's cutout average is the lowest since Dec. 8. Movement totaled 236.44 loads. Despite the wholesale market's inability to sustain strength, there is considerable optimism built into futures, as illustrated by February's nearly $12 premium over the index.


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