After the Bell | January 5, 2022
Corn: March corn futures fell 7 1/4 cents to $6.02 1/4, still up 9 cents so far this week. Corn futures were pressured by mild profit-taking and spillover from slumping wheat prices. Price weakness should be limited by dry weather and other adverse conditions in key South American crop regions that have prompted private forecasters to cut production estimates. Tomorrow’s weekly USDA export sales report is expected to show U.S. corn sales of 500,000 to 1.2 MMT in the 2021-22 marketing year, based on a Reuters survey of analysts.
Soybeans: March soybeans rose 5 cents to $13.94 3/4, highest close since $14.15 on June 11. March soymeal fell $1.30 to $413.40 per ton. March soyoil gained 111 points to 59.44 cents per pound, a six-week high. Soybeans gained for a fourth straight session on shrinking prospects for South American crops. Paraguay and southern Brazil remain among top areas of concern, prompting at least two private analysts to cut forecasts this week. Traders will scrutinize tomorrow’s USDA weekly export sales report for signs of improvement after late-December numbers proved disappointing. Net U.S. soybean sales for the week ended Dec. 30 are expected to range from 400,000 MT to 1.3 MMT.
Wheat: March SRW wheat fell 9 1/4 cents to $7.60 3/4. March HRW wheat fell 17 cents to $7.87, a three-week low. March spring wheat fell 22 1/4 cents to $9.48 1/4, the lowest closing price since mid-October. Wheat futures extended a recent slump despite reports of poor crop conditions in the U.S. Plains. U.S. wheat remains uncompetitive on world markets. Tomorrow’ weekly USDA export sales report is expected to show U.S. wheat sales of 150,000 to 400,000 MT in the 2021-22 marketing year.
Cotton: March cotton futures fell 11 points to 116.28 cents per pound, after earlier rising to 117.66 cents. Cotton futures posted a decline for the first time in three sessions in sideways trade ahead of USDA’s weekly export sales report tomorrow. Mild profit-taking following yesterday’s rally, along with weakness in U.S. stocks, pressured the market, though prices remain near historic highs amid generally bullish sentiment over export demand and the global economy.
Cattle: February live cattle fell 57.5 cents to $137.25, the contract’s lowest close since $136.925 on Dec. 21. March feeder cattle fell 17.5 cents to $166.175. Live cattle futures extended a week-long slide as cash prices softened and slaughter rates lagged. USDA reports yesterday indicated some steers sold for around $139.47, down modestly from last week. Later today, sources indicated a few animals traded at $220 dressed and $138 live in the Southern Plains, down $1.00 to $2.00 from last week. Packers slaughtered an estimated 340,000 head of cattle so far this week, down 18,000 from the same period last week. Choice cutout values extended a recent upswing, gaining 11 cents to $266.93, the highest daily average since Dec. 7.
Hogs: February lean hogs surged $2.125 to $82.275, while April jumped $1.675 to $88.675, the contract’s highest close since Oct. 1. Hog futures climbed on strengthening cash fundamentals. The next CME lean hog index is expected to rise to $73.87, an increase of $1.92 over the previous two sessions and the highest since mid-November. Pork cutout values rose 45 cents to an average of $85.92, led in part by a gain of $4.72 in bellies. Movement totaled 326.53 loads.