After the Bell | February 3, 2022

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Corn: March corn futures fell 5 3/4 cents to $6.16 3/4, the lowest closing price since $6.16 1/4 on Jan. 21. December futures fell 4 3/4 cents to $5.68 1/4. Corn settled near a two-week low on profit-taking and technical selling following the early-week rally to nine-month highs. Drought-driven production shortfalls in South America remain supportive for prices, but crop losses have likely been factored in and the market requires sustained export business and an extended rally in soybeans to hold at elevated levels. USDA reported net U.S. corn sales of 1.175 MMT for the week ended Jan. 27, down 16% from the previous week but up 47% from the average for the previous four weeks.

Soybeans: March soybeans fell 1 cent to $15.44 1/4 after gaining earlier to $15.60. March soybean meal rose $2.00 to $437.10. March soybean oil fell 23 points to 65.75 cents. Soybean futures fell for the first day in the past eight sessions under corrective profit-taking pressure following a sharp rally to contract highs earlier this week. Argentina's Buenos Aires grain exchange lowered its forecast for the country’s 2021-22 soybean production by 2 MMT to 42 MMT. Consultancies Cogo and Datagro lowered their forecasts for Brazil’s 2021-22 soybean production to 125 MMT and 130 MMT, respectively. USDA's current estimate is 139 MMT.

Wheat: March SRW wheat futures fell 3 1/4 cents to $7.51 3/4. March HRW futures fell 1/2 cent to $7.69. March spring wheat fell 7 1/4 cents to $9.00 3/4. Wheat futures were pressed by followthrough selling but finished in the upper part of today’s ranges, aided by sharp losses in the U.S. dollar index, which helped mute poor weekly export sales. USDA reported weekly sales of just 57,500 MT for 2021-22 and 103,500 MT for 2022-23. The old-crop sales were down sharply from a marketing-year high of 676,700 MT the previous week and the second lowest for 2021-22.

Cotton: March cotton futures rose 129 points to 127.62 cents. Cotton futures were supported as Nymex crude oil futures rose over $90 a barrel to a seven-year high and the U.S. dollar index slipped to the lowest level in over two weeks. USDA reported net weekly U.S. cotton sales of 332,100 running bales (RB) for 2021-22, down 15% from the previous week but up 10% from the prior four-week average. Increases were primarily for China (90,200 RB) and Vietnam (58,700 RB).

Cattle: April live cattle fell 15 cents to $146.75, after posting a contract high at $147.275. March feeder cattle fell 15 cents to $166.725. Live cattle fell for the first time in five sessions amid slumping wholesale beef and corrective pressure following the rally to contract highs. Cash cattle strengthened this week as meatpackers boosted slaughter rates, but continued weakness in boxed beef indicates packers are cutting prices to attract retail buyers. Choice cutout values fell another $1.69 today to $281.46, a three-week low, though movement remained relatively strong at 134 loads. USDA-reported live steers averaged $139.99 so far this week, up about $3.00 from last week.

Hogs: April lean hog futures fell 75 cents to $98.375 after posting a contract high at $101.25. Hog futures faded late after strengthening cash fundamentals pushed prices to contract highs for a third straight day. Deferred futures also set contract highs on prospects for reduced hog supplies and substitution demand for pork this spring. Near-term, futures may be due for a corrective pullback. Slaughter continues to lag, with the estimated kill so far this week at 1.811 million head, down 58,000 head from the same period last week. Pork cutout values rose 77 cents today to $97.21 on movement of about 295 loads.

The CME lean hog index is expected to rise 4 cents to $83.33, the highest since mid-October, but recent gains have slowed dramatically from late last week and early this week.


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