After the Bell | March 25, 2022

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Corn: May corn rose 5 3/4 cents to $7.54, up 12 1/4 cents for the week, while December corn firmed 1 1/2 cents to $6.69, up 23 1/2 for the week. Nearby corn held to its range for the past three weeks, pivoting around $7.50, which we expect will continue ahead of Thursday’s USDA Prospective Plantings and Grain Stocks Reports. While much of the pre-report attention is on planting intentions, March 1 stocks could be the real market over, as the range of estimates from a Bloomberg survey is a wide 457 million bushels.

Soybeans: May soybeans rose 9 1/2 cents to $17.10 1/4, up 42 1/4 cents for the week, while November soybeans gained 3 3/4 cents to $14.96 3/4. May soybean meal rose $2 to $487.90 per ton. May soybean oil rose 46 points to 74.75 cents per pound. Nearby soybeans rose for the fourth day in the past five as exports showed signs of perking up. Focus next week will revolve to a large extent around USDA’s Prospective Plantings Report, which is widely expected to reflect increased U.S. soybean acreage. U.S. soybean plantings in 2022 are expected to increase 1.7 million acres from 2021 to 88.9 million acres, based on the Bloomberg survey.

Wheat: May SRW wheat rose 16 1/2 cents to $11.02 1/4, up 38 1/2 cents for the week and the first weekly gain in three. May HRW wheat rose 15 3/4 cents to $11.10 3/4, up 40 1/4 cents for the week. May spring wheat rose 21 1/2 cents to $11.04 1/4, the contract’s highest closing price since March 15. Nearby winter wheat futures ended a two-week losing streak as market focus shifted to U.S. spring weather and the planting outlook. Disruptions from the Russia/Ukraine war may keep futures elevated for the near-term but appear to be priced in for now.

Cotton: May cotton futures surged the daily trading limit if 500 points to 135.90 cents per pound, up 904 points for the week the highest settlement for a nearby contract since mid-2011. Cotton futures rallied on demand optimism and concern over worsening drought conditions in key growing regions such as Texas. Market direction next week will hinge in part around USDA’s Prospective Plantings report March 31. U.S. 2022 cotton seedings are expected to rise to 12.3 million ac. from 11.2 million ac. in 2021, based on the Bloomberg survey.

Cattle: June live cattle rose 42.5 cents to $137.375, up 30 cents for the week. May feeder futures fell $1.175 to $165.325, down $2.125 for the week. Live cattle futures may start next week under pressure after today’s USDA Cattle on Feed report showed the March 1 U.S. feedlot inventory up 1.4% from a year earlier, above expectations for a 1.1% increase. February placements jumped 9.0%, higher than expectations for a 6.1% increase. Cash cattle prices slipped slightly this week, with live steers averaging $138.96 through this morning, down 14 cents from last week's average.

Hogs: June lean hogs soared $3.775 to $125.85, up $9.725 for the week. Continued wholesale pork strength, signaling firm retail demand, boosted hog futures to contract highs. Pork carcass cutout values rose $1.89 today to a four-week high of $109.90. Strength in most cuts suggested expanding retail demand ahead of spring grilling season. Movement totaled 272 loads. The next CME lean hog index is expected to rise 75 cents to $102.25, the highest in nearly seven months.


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