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Corn Price Move Higher On Tight Supplies.

Tuesday's Closing Grain and Livestock Futures
Mar. corn closed at $7.32, up 9 cents
Mar. soybeans closed at $14.96 and 1/2, up 6 and 1/4 cents
Mar. soybean meal closed at $434.90, up $2.70
Mar. soybean oil closed at 49.92, down 13 points
Mar. wheat closed at $6.96 and 1/4, up 1/4 cent
Apr. live cattle closed at $129.62, down 72 cents
Apr. lean hogs closed at $79.25, down $1.05
Apr. crude oil closed at $90.82, up 70 cents
May cotton closed at 86.98, up 72 points
Mar. Class III milk closed at $16.94, up 12 cents
Mar. gold closed at $1,574.60, up $2.50
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 14,253.77, up 125.95 points

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Market News and ReCap

Soybeans were higher on fund and commercial buying, along with spillover from the outside markets. The dollar was mostly higher during the session but crude oil was up and the Dow hit a new all-time high, closing above 14,200 points. Unknown destinations bought 330,000 tons of old crop U.S. beans and China picked up 345,000 tons of U.S. beans for delivery next marketing year but that had been rumored earlier in the week. Soybean meal was up and oil was down on the adjustment of product spreads.

Corn was higher on commercial and fund buying, in addition to spillover from beans and the outside markets. There’s continued talk about new export demand, largely linked to optimism about China’s economy, and the cash basis remains at historically high levels. The nearby supply remains extremely tight with new supply and demand numbers out Friday. Ethanol futures were higher. South Korea’s Nonghyup Feed Agency rejected offers on a tender for 70,000 tons of optional origin corn citing high prices.

The wheat complex was higher on fund and technical buying, in addition spillover from corn, beans, and the outside markets. With the crop about to come out of dormancy, there are continued concerns about winter wheat conditions around the Plains and Midwest. USDA’s weekly national crop progress numbers start up for this year on Monday, April 1. European wheat was higher on expectations for good export demand going forward. Japan’s tendering for 133,057 tons of milling wheat (51,544 tons Canadian western red spring, 33,855 tons Australian standard white, 26,888 tons U.S. dark northern spring, 13,360 tons U.S. hard red winter, and 7,410 tons U.S. western white) and Lebanon is in the market for 50,000 tons of optional origin milling wheat.

The cash cattle market was quiet on Tuesday with bids and asking prices poorly defined. A few asking prices are around 130.00 plus in the South and 207.00 plus in the North. Yet country ideas seem even more unclear given the way cattle futures closed significantly lower. We may not see much cash action until late in the week. Cattle slaughter was estimated at 121,000 head, 19,000 more than a week ago, but 6,000 less than last year.

Boxed beef cutout values closed sharply higher on light to moderate demand and light offerings. Choice boxed beef was up 2.91 at 193.87, and select was 3.44 higher at 191.52.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled 67 to 107 points lower. Futures tumbled despite early market support. Traders tended to focus on the sharp gains in the outside markets which created some liquidation in livestock futures. The higher boxed beef values in the midday report were overshadowed by the light trade volume, and this created concerns that additional light movement of beef will plague the market over the near term. April settled .72 lower at 129.62, and June was down 1.07 at 124.47.

Feeder cattle ended the session 75 to 155 points in the red. The combination of moderate to sharp losses in the live cattle pit and strong gains in the grain complex helped to move the market lower. March feeders settled .77 lower at 141.75, and April was down 1.12 at 143.60.

Feeder cattle receipts at the Joplin, Missouri Regional Stockyards on Monday totaled 3291 head. Compared to a very light test light week, steer and heifer calves were 5.00 to 10.00 higher; yearlings traded 4.00 to 5.00 higher. The demand was good and the supply was moderate to light. There were a higher percentage of yearling cattle offered than in recent sales. Feeder steers, medium and large 1 averaging 616 lbs. traded at 164.26 per hundredweight. 630 lb. heifers averaged 139.54.

Lean hogs settled 70 to 122 points lower. The uncertainty about pork values and the direction of the cash hog price through the middle of the week was unable to sustain buyer interest through the Tuesday session. There continues to be concern about short and long term pork demand, which continues to erode the market. April settled 1.05 lower at 79.25, and June was down 1.02 at 89.55.

There was slow market activity, with light demand in the direct hog trade on Tuesday. Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed .01 higher at 76.82 on a carcass basis, the West was down .39 at 76.38, and the East was up 1.18 at 71.29. Missouri direct base carcass meat price closed steady from 70.00 to 71.00. Terminal hogs were steady to 1.00 higher from 48.00 to 54.00 live.

Pork trading was moderate with moderate demand and mostly moderate to heavy offerings. Pork carcass cutout value was down 1.79 at 79.88.

Even though pork production in February totaled about 1% below 2012, hog prices fell steadily through the month, suggesting serious demand problems.

Tuesday’s hog kill was estimated at 428,000 head, 8,000 more than last week and 7,000 greater than 2012.


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