Ag markets diverged widely Tuesday afternoon

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The Crop Progress report weighed on corn futures. Monday’s USDA Crop Progress report stated corn conditions at a rating that tied 2010 for the best mid-June reading on records going back to 1994. Of course, much depends upon weather during the July pollination period, but conditions are obviously very favorable at present. July corn closed 2.25 cents lower at $4.3875/bushel Tuesday, while December slid 2.5 cents to $4.395.

Old-crop futures lead the soy complex lower Tuesday. The Crop Progress report stated U.S. soybean conditions at a record high for mid-June, which rather obviously bodes well for the fall crop and bearishly for new-crop prices. However, diminished short-term conditions apparently undercut old-crop prices, while new-crop futures held up surprisingly well. July soybeans plunged 23.5 cents to $13.9825/bushel at their Tuesday settlement, while July soyoil rebounded 0.18 cents to 39.68 cents/pound, and July soymeal dove $11.7 to $450.7/ton.

Wheat markets proved surprisingly firm Tuesday. The Crop Progress report indicated good spring wheat conditions, while winter wheat ratings were unchanged at depressed levels. Those data didn’t seem very supportive, but prices at all three exchanges rose on the day. Worries about moisture damage to winter wheat may be boosting prices, along with the overnight cut in Australian export estimates. July CBOT wheat futures rose 0.75 cent to $5.8175/bushel Tuesday afternoon, while July KCBT wheat bounced 4.25 cents to $7.125 and July MWE futures gained 3.75 to $6.8375.

Profit-taking likely hit cattle futures today. The cattle market marched strongly higher last week, then paused Monday despite surging beef prices. Although the situation seems very supportive, traders apparently worried about looming seasonal weakness, which in turn probably sparked a big wave of bullish profit-taking late in the session. August cattle dropped 0.73 cents to 148.72 cents/pound at Tuesday’s close, while December fell 0.90 to 150.80. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle slumped 0.85 cents to 207.85 and October sank 0.87 to 208.70.

CME hog prices fell despite supportive wholesale news. The cash hog and wholesale pork markets climbed Monday, which encouraged early Chicago buying today. But negative technical action and weak midday cash quotes apparently triggered renewed selling, with only the expiring July future rising on the day. August hog futures slid 0.22 cents to 128.05 as Tuesday’s CME pit session ended, while December tanked 1.32 cents to 94.85.

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