Ag markets changed little Monday night

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Corn futures stalled Monday night. Expectations for a record U.S. corn crop apparently depressed CBOT prices at times overnight, whereas the rapid acceleration of the corn harvest indicated on yesterday’s Crop Progress report offered support. We still tend to look for mixed trading this week prior to Friday’s big USDA crop reports. December corn futures slipped 0.25 cent to $4.26/bushel in early Tuesday trading, while May lost 0.25 to $4.445.

Talk of strong global demand continues supporting the soy complex. The Crop Progress report indicated that the U.S. soybean harvest had accelerated rather dramatically last week. However, that bearish news was seemingly overruled by talk of strong global soy demand, particularly for meal. The firmness exhibited by the complex overnight seemingly confirmed that strength. January soybean futures rallied 3.5 cents to $12.60/bushel early Tuesday morning, while December soyoil gained 0.16 cents to 41.41 cents/pound, and December soymeal added $2.0 to $398.9/ton.

Wheat prices firmed despite the favorable crop condition data. Monday’s weekly Crop Progress report indicated that U.S. winter wheat conditions had improved last week, whereas they’re normally pretty flat at this time of year. And while Kansas City prices did slide in early Tuesday trading, the Chicago and Minneapolis markets remained quite firm. This probably reflects persistent optimism about export demand. December CBOT wheat futures rose 1.75 cents to $6.645/bushel around dawn Tuesday, while December KCBT wheat futures sank 0.5 cent at $7.2875, and December MWE futures inched up 0.25 to $7.195.

Cattle futures were mixed Monday night. Despite news of another increase in beef cutout values, particularly in choice prices, nearby live cattle futures slipped in overnight trading. Deferred futures rose slightly, which probably reflected optimism about seasonal prospects. Ultimately, cattle traders are very likely uncertain about the market’s potential performance during the run-up to Thanksgiving, when turkeys and hams dominate the meat markets. December cattle were unchanged at 132.10 cents/pound in early Tuesday action, while April sagged 0.02 to 133.87. January feeder cattle crept up 0.02 cents to 163.87 cents/pound, while March feeders slipped 0.05 to 164.12.

Conflicting cash and wholesale moves limited shifts in hog futures. Pork cutout values rose rather strongly Monday afternoon. However, country hog prices at markets west of the Mississippi River fell rather sharply, which seemed to drag CME futures slightly lower. December hog futures declined 0.27 cents to 88.05 cents/pound in early Chicago trading Tuesday, while April slumped 0.32 cents to 93.12 cents/pound.

Cotton futures continued sliding overnight. The weekly Crop Progress wasn’t terribly surprising, since it showed the U.S. harvest is still running about 10-day behind normal. News that China is cracking down upon interests trying to sell imported cotton to those buying for state reserves seemed supportive, but concurrent news of issues surrounding their situation was less than helpful. December cotton slid 0.02 cents to 75.93 cents/pound just after sunrise Tuesday, while March cotton sagged 0.3 to 78.20.

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