After the Bell | January 21, 2022
Corn: March corn futures rose 5 1/4 cents to $6.16 1/4, a gain of 20 cents for the week and the contract’s highest closing price since $6.22 on June 10. Corn futures rose for the fifth straight day on strengthening export demand. USDA reported net U.S. corn sales for 2021-22 of 1.091 MMT for the week ended Jan. 13, more than double the previous week and up 48% from the average for the previous four weeks. Sales topped expectations ranging from 500,000 MT to 1 MMT. Weekly exports of 1.298 MMT, a marketing-year high, rose 28% from the previous week and 29% from the four-week average.
Soybeans: March soybeans fell 11 1/2 cents to $14.14 1/2, but still rose 44 1/2 cents for the week. March soybean meal fell $8.10 to $392.70 per ton, down $12.90 for the week. March soybean oil fell 12 points to 63.00 cents per pound, up 454 points for the week. Soybeans fell under profit-taking pressure following this week’s rally to seven-month highs. Net weekly soybean sales of 671,000 MT for 2021-22 were at the low end of expectations and also down 9% from the previous week, but up 12% from the prior four-week average.
Wheat: March SRW wheat futures fell 10 1/4 cents to $7.80, up 38 1/2 cents for the week. March HRW wheat fell 3 1/4 cents to $7.93 1/4, up 48 1/4 cents for the week. March spring wheat futures fell 8 3/4 cents to $9.36, up 57 3/4 cents for the week. Wheat futures fell in a corrective pullback after this week’s gains. The market’s strong rebound may generate fresh technical buying early next week, and prices may remain supported by uncertainty regarding a potential Russia invasion of Ukraine and implications for global wheat trade. Net weekly U.S. wheat sales totaled 380,600 MT for 2021-22, up 44% from the previous week and up 62% from the four-week average.
Cotton: March cotton futures fell 212 points to 120.75 cents per pound, still up 105 points for the week. Prices fell despite a seemingly supportive USDA weekly export sales report. Net weekly sales for 2021-22 totaled 273,000 running bales (RB), with 139,200 bales reported for 2022-23. Weekly shipments, at 198,700 bales, were the largest since early September. Cotton traders next week will closely watch outside markets, including soybeans, crude oil, the U.S. dollar and U.S. stocks.
Cattle: April live cattle fell $1.075 to $142.10, down 2.5 cents for the week. March feeder cattle fell $1.65 to $163.30, near a four-week low. Live cattle may face pressure Monday from bearish figures in USDA’s Cattle on Feed Report today. Feedlot placements during December were estimated at 1.963 million head, up 6.5% from the same month in 2020 and above expectations for an increase closer to 2.6%. Cattle on feed as of Jan. 1 rose 0.6% to an estimated 12.04 million head, contrary to expectations for a 0.2% decline. Price declines may be limited by a strong boxed beef market and signs of firming cash. Live steers this week averaged $137.39, USDA reported today, up about 78 cents from last week's average. Choice cutout values fell 57 cents to an average of $292.41, still up $8.10 from the end of last week and near a four-month high.
Hogs: April lean hogs rose 95 cents to $94.95, up $6.50 for the week and a lifetime-high close for the most-active contract for the second straight day. Hog futures soared amid strengthening cash and demand fundamentals and expectations meatpackers will soon recover from Covid-related slowdowns and boost slaughter back to normal levels. Slaughter this week was an estimated 2.44 million head, up 3.0% from last week but 10% under year-ago levels. The preliminary reading for the next CME hog index rose $1.01 to $77.51, the highest since Nov. 10, while pork cutout values rose $1.05 today to an average of $93.29, up from $89.07 at the end of last week. Movement was relatively light at about 243 loads.