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Wheat pulls back as volatility continues in the market

AgweekTV's Michelle Rook and Randy Martinson of Martinson Ag Risk Management said the Russia-Ukraine conflict continues to fuel volatility in the markets. In soybeans, South American weather still is a factor.

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The volatility continued in the markets as the trade continues to grapple with what will happen with business that usually comes out of the Black Sea.

On this week's Agweek Market Wrap, AgweekTV's Michelle Rook said wheat remains the most volatile, closing lower this week than last, which she speculated was profit taking.

Randy Martinson of Martinson Ag Risk Management said there was some profit taking but that wasn't the only factor. Wheat had started looking overvalued, and, even with Ukraine and Russia out of the market, little export business has been coming to the U.S. The World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates also didn't project any business for the U.S.

"The wheat market was a little disappointed," he said.

And he expects volatility to continue.

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"I think the market is trying to figure what fair market value is for wheat," he said.

While the U.S. saw little of Ukraine and Russia's wheat business, they did pick up some corn export sales. That helped the corn market, which is looking to get more acres.

Soybean demand has been strong, with U.S. picking up more exports. Brazil may have a smaller crop on more acres than last year, Rook said. Martinson said beans are actually priced higher in Brazil than in the U.S. right now.

Cattle closed higher, and even feeders were strong despite high corn prices. Martinson said despite signals that can spell a decrease in demand, like higher fuel prices and expected interest rate hikes, boxed beef prices increased. Exports also have stayed strong. He expects the U.S. cattle herd to tighten further with expected drought expansion. Even with the higher corn prices, there are opportunities to hedge and stay profitable, he said.

Hogs also continue to close higher, though even steeper increases are coming in farther out contracts. Rook and Martinson said the hog herd continues to tighten and looks to be a bigger issues into the summer and fall. Exports, Martinson said, were OK but not fantastic, and he expects demand to improve domestically.

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