Ag markets began Tuesday trading on a down-beat

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Corn futures dipped Monday night. After rising moderately during Monday’s CBOT session, the corn market responded weakly to the afternoon release of the USDA Crop Progress report. It stated national conditions unchanged at 73% good to excellent. That compares well to normal seasonal reductions and traditionally declining ratings at this time of year. September corn slipped 1.0 cent to $3.5575/bushel early Tuesday morning, while December lost 1.75 to $3.665.

The soy complex continued its recent mixed pattern. Talk of strong short-term demand is again supporting old-crop bean and meal futures, whereas the prospect of a huge fall harvest is depressing new-crop prices. Although soy ratings on the weekly USDA Crop Progress report slipped 1%, they remain quite high by historical standards. Meanwhile, soyoil also declined despite an Asian palm oil bounce from one-year lows. September soybean futures skidded 3.0 cents to $11.055/bushel just after dawn Tuesday, while November futures slid 4.75 cents to $10.685. September soyoil dropped 0.34 cents to 34.58 cents/pound, and September soymeal inched up $0.9 to $368.4/ton.

European news is again undercutting the wheat markets. Instead of curtailing wheat shipments from the Black Sea, tensions between Russia and Ukraine are reportedly spurring sales from the latter country. French officials also announced that its wheat crop will top year-ago levels; quality is thought to be low, which won’t encourage bulls either. September CBOT wheat slumped 5.75 cents to $5.4075/bushel Monday night, while September KC wheat tumbled 6.0 cents to $6.1775/bushel, and September MWE wheat sagged 2.0 to $6.1475.

Sliding beef prices seemingly weighed on cattle futures as well. Cattle and feeder futures rebounded somewhat from last week’s late breakdown yesterday. However, they’re mostly lower this morning, which may reflect sizeable losses in wholesale beef values; those may signal much more of the same in the wake of huge contra-seasonal gains in early summer. October live cattle futures sank 0.12 cents to 150.32 in early Tuesday trading, while December futures edged up 0.02 cents to 151.27 cents/pound. Meanwhile, September feeder futures declined 0.05 cents to 217.37 cents/pound and November futures bounced 0.02 to 215.25.

Big pork losses are depressing hogs. Cash hog prices continued their late decline Monday afternoon, but pork cutout values plummeted over 4.0 cents after having held up well late last week. Thus, it wasn’t terribly surprising to see CME futures resume their recent breakdown overnight. October hog futures dove 1.42 cents to 98.75 cents/pound early Tuesday morning, while December fell 0.87 cents to 88.67.

The dip in cotton ratings may be supporting ICE futures. The weekly Crop Progress report indicated a 1% drop in good-to-excellent ratings (to 52%) in U.S. cotton conditions. The decline wasn’t very surprising, but the fact that it also reflected a 1% drop in Texas ratings probably exaggerated its market impact. December cotton rallied 0.25 cents to 64.65 shortly after sunrise Tuesday, while March futures climbed 0.24 cents to 65.53.

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