After the Bell | January 3, 2022

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Corn: March corn futures fell 4 cents to $5.89 1/4, after rising overnight to $6.03 1/2. Corn futures fell for the fourth day in the past five, pressured by spillover from slumping wheat and profit-taking following the market’s rally to 6 1/2-month highs early last week. USDA today reported 596,092 MT (23.5 million bu.) of corn inspected for export during the week ended Dec. 30, down from 954,488 MT (37.6 million bu.) the previous week and at the low end of market expectations.

Soybeans: March soybeans rose 16 1/4 cents to $13.55 1/2. March soymeal gained $12.20 to $411.30, a lifetime-high close for the contract. March soyoil fell 11 points to 56.42 cents per pound. Soybeans and soymeal were supported by hot temperatures and limited rainfall across dry areas of the northeastern Argentina and southern Brazil over the weekend. Commodity broker StoneX lowered its Brazil soybean crop estimate by 11 MMT, or nearly 8.0%, to 134 MMT as persistent dryness hampers yield potential. The broker’s projected Brazil crop would be below last year’s 138 MMT record.

Wheat: March SRW futures fell 12 3/4 cents to $7.58, the fifth decline in the past six days and the contract’s lowest closing price since $7.56 on Dec. 15. March HRW dropped 10 cents to $7.91 1/2. March spring wheat declined 14 1/4 cents to $9.67 3/4, the lowest close since Oct. 21. Wheat futures extended last week’s declines as sluggish U.S. exports and eroding charts overshadowed concerns extreme cold in the U.S. Plains may have damaged the crop. Weekly wheat export inspections totaled 141,816 MT, less than half the previous week’s level and under trade expectations.

Cotton: March cotton futures rose 63 points to 113.23 cents per pound, up 95 points over the past week. Cotton futures rose for the third day in the past four with support from modest strength in U.S. stocks and in Nymex crude oil, though gains in the U.S. dollar muted buying interest. Prices remain fundamentally supported by optimism over economic growth and strong global demand. The S&P 500 index traded near a record high to start the year, suggesting investor confidence that the recent spike in coronavirus cases will fade and consumers will keep spending. 

Cattle: February live cattle fell 77.5 cents to $138.925, while March feeder cattle fell 42.5 cents to $169.525. Traders are watching the development of this week’s cash cattle trade, which may require a few days before packer-feedlot negotiations turn active. Last week’s average live steer price of $139.59 was up $3.95 from the previous week and was the first weekly gain in four. With packers buying cattle for full slaughter schedules after the holidays, there are prospects for higher cash prices again. Choice cutout values rose 77 cents today to an average of $266.03, while Select rose 67 cents to $258.90. Movement totaled 129 loads.

Hogs: February lean hogs fell 35 cents to $81.125, the lowest closing price since $79.475 on Dec. 20. Futures fell to a two-week on followthrough from last week’s sharp losses and lack of direction from the cash market. The latest CME lean hog index fell 45 cents to $71.75. February futures’ unusually large $9.375 premium to index is likely keeping some futures buyers on the sidelines. Price downside may be limited with packers resuming a full slaughter schedule this week and after wholesale pork strengthened last month. But pork carcass cutout values fell $5.33 today to $86.02, led by a drop of over $11 in loins. Movement was strong at 381 loads.


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