Corn: Corn futures ended the day 1 1/4 to 2 cents lower, which was midrange on the day. Following six straight sessions of price gains, corn faced profit-taking and spillover from weakness in the soybean market. Losses came in the face of a lower dollar index as traders’ focus is on evening positions ahead of year end. Thin holiday volume likely exaggerated today’s losses. Meanwhile, corn basis across the Midwest has firmed as farmers hold onto supplies due to low prices.
Soybeans: Soybean futures faced pressure throughout the day and the market settled low-range and down 9 3/4 to 10 3/4 cents through the August contract. Far deferred months posted slightly lighter losses. Concerns that new regulations on U.S. bean shipments to China could increase the cost of bringing in the oilseed and thus slow demand for it weighed on the bean market today. Added pressure came from forecasts for showers this weekend in Argentina.
Wheat: HRW wheat futures favored the upside in choppy trade today before finishing 1 1/4 cent higher across the board. SRW and HRS wheat, on the other hand, spent much of the day in negative territory. SRW posted fractional losses for the day, while spring wheat settled roughly 1 to 2 cents lower. HRW wheat futures diverged from other flavors today thanks to concerns that this weekend’s cold snap could cause some winterkill, especially since some areas of Kansas and Colorado lack protective snowcover.
Cotton: Cotton ended the day narrowly mixed, with nearbys under light pressure. Cotton futures saw two-sided trade today following yesterday’s sharp gains, with support coming from recognition that export demand has been strong and in response to a weaker dollar. But early gains were followed by some profit-taking. Tomorrow, traders will digest weekly export sales data, as well as even positions as traders close their books on 2017.
Hogs: Lean hog futures saw a choppy day of trade, but futures ended high-range and up 15 to 52 1/2 cents across the board, with nearbys leading gains. Lean hog futures saw choppy trade today as the market saw pressure at times from efforts to narrow futures’ premium to the cash hog index. But market bulls regained the advantage by the close, thanks in part to frigid Midwest conditions along with heavy snowfall in some eastern areas of the Belt that have forced packers to raise bids this week.
Cattle: Live cattle futures ended the day $1.05 to $2.52 1/2 higher through the April contract, with deferred futures posting lighter gains. Nearby futures rose sharply in thin-volume trade, with fundamental support coming from concerns about stressful feedlot conditions and expectations for higher cash cattle trade. December live cattle hold around a $4.60 premium to the average of last week’s cash trade, which reflects traders’ higher bias toward the cash market.