After the Bell | February 17, 2022
Corn: March corn futures rose 3 cents to $6.50, while December futures rose 2 3/4 cents to $5.96 1/2. Corn rose on spillover strength from soybeans and wheat and concern a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine could disrupt global grain trade. Weather in South America remains mostly supportive, with persistent drought diminishing crop prospects in Argentina and Brazil. The International Grains Council (IGC) lowered its forecast for 2021-22 global corn production by 4 MMT, to 1.203 billion MT. USDA reported net 2021-22 U.S. corn sales for the week ended Feb. 10 at 820,000 MT, up 39% from the previous week but down 23% from the average for the previous four weeks.
Soybeans: March soybeans gained 4 1/2 cents to $15.92, the highest close since Feb. 9, while November futures rose 5 1/4 cents to $14.60 3/4. March soymeal fell 20 cents to $449.20 and March soyoil fell 16 points to 66.82 cents. Money flow remains the overriding force behind soybean price action. While old-crop soybean futures were unable to sustain gains above $16.00 after pushing above that level overnight, a general lack of seller interest suggested money continued to flow to the long side. Net weekly U.S. soybean export sales totaled 1.362 MMT for 2021-22 and 1.526 MMT for 2022-23. China and “unknown destinations” remained the primary buyers of both old- and new-crop sales.
Wheat: March SRW wheat rose 17 1/2 cents to $7.98. March HRW wheat rose 15 cents to $8.23. March spring wheat gained 5 1/4 cents to $9.57 1/4. Ongoing Russia-Ukraine tensions supported wheat prices. Both Russia and Ukraine are major wheat exporters, and a sustained conflict could disrupt exports out of the Black Sea region. USDA reported net weekly U.S. wheat sales of 118,100 MT for 2021-22, up 39% from the previous week but down 61% from the prior four-week average. Also today, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported winter wheat considered in drought condition increased one point, to 72%.
Cotton: March cotton rose 2 points to 121.93 cents per pound, while May cotton rose 3 points to 119.52 cents. Cotton futures fell amid disappointing export numbers and Russia-Ukraine tensions that pressured U.S. stocks. USDA reported U.S. cotton net sales of 158,500 running bales (RB) for 2021-22, down 14% from the previous week and down 46% from the prior four-week average. Lead buyers included China (47,800 RB), Pakistan (23,900 RB) and Vietnam (23,800 RB). Exports of 270,000 RB were down 10% from the previous week, but up 8% from the prior four-week average.
Cattle: April live cattle fell 15 cents to $146.775. March feeder cattle fell $1.25 to $166.20. Live cattle fell for the first time in four sessions amid mild corrective pressure and slumping in wholesale beef. After a quiet start to the week, cash trade picked up and extended last week's strength, with USDA-reported live steers averaging $142.15 through this morning, up $1.67 from last week’s average. Packers have been cutting wholesale beef prices to spur demand, though the market showed signs of stabilization today. Choice cutout values fell 3 cents to $269.59, a six-week low.
Hogs: April lean hog futures surged $2.175 to $107.575, the highest closing price for a nearby contract since prices surpassed $110.00 last August. Strong cash fundamentals and tighter supplies continued to lift futures. The next CME Lean Hog Index is expected to rise 91 cents to $94.25, the highest since mid-September. Wholesale pork extended a month-long rally, with pork cutout values jumped $10.02 today to $116.54, the highest daily average since late August. Primal hams soared over $25 to lead gains, and movement totaled 316 loads.