After the Bell | December 31 2021
Corn: March corn fell 2 3/4 cents to $5.93 1/4, down 12 1/2 cents for the week. Some rains fell on southern Brazil and areas of Argentina this week and rains are expected to continue next week, providing temporary relief from recent dryness. But temperatures are also expected to be seasonal to above average, which will stress corn if the rains don’t develop. Corn is currently a weather market, meaning day-to-day price action will likely depend heavily on the South American outlook, though it’s a follower relative to soybeans in that regard.
Soybeans: March soybeans rose 3/4 cent to 13.39 1/4, down from $13.40 3/4 at the end of the last week for the first weekly decline in five. March soymeal fell $4.60 to $399.10 per ton, down $1.40 for the week. March soyoil rose 45 points to 56.53 cents per pound, up 109 points this week. Soybean futures’ technical posture eroded late this week as the market came under profit-taking pressure after hitting a four-month high at $13.84 1/2 on Dec. 28. South America weather and early harvest results will be among key influencers in the soy complex during the first month of the new year.
Wheat: March SRW futures wheat fell 9 cents to $7.70 3/4, down 44 cents for the week and the contract’s lowest settlement since Dec. 20. March HRW futures fell 11 1/4 cents to $8.01 1/2, down 60 cents for the week. March spring wheat fell 9 1/2 cents to $9.82, the lowest close since Oct. 21. Futures extended a week-long slump as sluggish exports continue to burden U.S. wheat, which is uncompetitively price compared to other producers. Traders will be watching an expected arctic blast that’s raised prospects of winterkill in the Northern and Central Plains crop.
Cotton: March cotton fell 174 points to 112.60 cents, up 348 points for the week. Cotton market bulls will have the upper hand from a momentum standpoint when the new year starts. But outside markets and speculative money flow will likely play a key role in the price direction cotton takes. Fundamentally, there won’t be much new for the cotton market. Export sales and shipments must improve to reach USDA’s 2021-22 forecast. As of Dec. 23, shipments are 20.4% of USDA’s forecast.
Cattle: February live cattle futures fell 27.5 cents to $139.70, up from $139.625 at the end of last week and up $1.80 for the month. March feeder cattle rose 95 cents to $169.95, the contract’s highest closing price since Sept. 1. Live cattle futures ended the week on a soft note after profit-taking pressure chewed away at a midweek jump to four-week highs. A resurgent cash market briefly lifted futures earlier this week, but the weak close suggests traders may be skeptical over how aggressive packers may go after cattle early in the new year. Live steers as of yesterday averaged $139.88, up from last week’s average of $135.64. Choice cutout values ended the week at $265.26, up $2.32 from the end of last week.
Hogs: February lean hogs dropped $1.225 to $81.475, down $1.75 for the week. Packers will be working with a full slaughter schedule for the first time in a couple of weeks. With slaughter numbers continuing to run well under year-ago levels, that could increase post-holiday demand for hogs and support the cash market. If the cash market doesn’t show strength early next week, an extension of today’s corrective pullback is likely. Pork carcass cutout values ended the week at $91.35, down 12 cents from a week earlier but up $7.37 from the end of November.