After the Bell | January 11, 2022

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Corn: March corn futures edged up 1 1/4 cents to $6.01 in narrow-range trading ahead of several USDA reports at 11 a.m. CT tomorrow. USDA is expected hike its final estimate for the 2021 U.S. corn crop by about 7 million bu., to 15.069 billion bu., based on a Reuters survey of analysts. Tomorrow’s reports also include Dec. 1 U.S. grain stocks and monthly Supply and Demand balance sheet updates. The corn stocks report has a history of surprising the industry, so a sharp futures reaction can’t be ruled out.

Soybeans: March soybean futures rose 1 3/4 cents to $13.86 1/2. March soybean meal fell $3.20 to $413.10 per ton, while March soybean oil rose 84 points to 58.87 cents per pound. Soybean futures rose modestly ahead of USDA reports that are expected to include reduced production estimates for South America, reflecting extended heat and dryness in key crop-growing regions. In its monthly Supply and Demand update, USDA is expected to reduce its projection for Brazil’s soybean crop by about 2.38 MMT, to 141.62 MMT. Argentina’s crop is expected to be cut 1.39 MMT, to 48.11 MMT.

Wheat: March SRW wheat rose 8 1/4 cents to $7.70 1/4. March HRW wheat rose 13 1/2 cents to $7.91 3/4. March spring wheat rose 14 cents to $9.28 1/4. Wheat futures climbed as traders evened positions ahead of USDA’s Winter Wheat seedings and Supply and Demand reports tomorrow. USDA is expected to estimate all U.S. winter wheat plantings at 34.255 million acres, up from 33.648 million in 2021 and the highest acreage since 2016.

Cotton: March cotton rose 80 points to 116.02 cents per pound. Cotton futures were supported by upbeat market sentiment reflected in the U.S. stock market’s renewed strength. Traders await tomorrow’s USDA Crop Production and Supply and Demand reports. USDA is expected to slightly lower its estimate for 2021-22 U.S. cotton production to 18.24 million bales, down from 18.28 million in its December report. U.S. exports may be reduced to 15.39 million bales from 15.5 million. Cotton traders will also scrutinize USDA’s India supply and demand figures for indications on worldwide demand possibly depleting the country’s stockpiles.

Cattle: February live cattle futures rose $1.425 to $137.675, the highest close since Jan. 4. March feeder cattle rose $1.00 to $166.35. Live cattle bounced back from an early decline near three-week lows on corrective buying and wholesale market strength that’s sent boxed beef prices to the highest levels since Thanksgiving. Choice cutout values today rose another $2.18 to $278.22, the highest daily average since Nov. 26, signaling scaled-up demand from retailers restocking following the holidays. Movement totaled a strong 150 loads. Early futures weakness reflected initial cash market activity $1.00 to $2.00 lower than last week's live steer average of $138.41.

Hogs: February lean hog futures dropped 52.5 cents to $77.85, the lowest closing price since Dec. 9. Futures fell despite emerging seasonal strength in the cash market. The CME lean hog index jumped 97 cents today and is expected to rise another 43 cents tomorrow to $75.13, the highest since mid-November. Pork cutout values erased morning gains to fall $4.80 to $81.62. Movement was strong at 413 loads. Futures’ weakness may reflect recent slowing in the cash market's advances and concern surging Omicron infections will hurt demand.


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