Ag markets ended generally higher Tuesday

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Corn futures proved quite firm Tuesday. The latest Crop Progress report indicated a two-percentage point drop in good-to-excellent corn ratings Monday afternoon. The decline was seasonal in nature and above the 10-year average, but traders were apparently anticipating a better result. Having the latest weather forecasts prove less favorable for late July probably encouraged buying as well. September corn futures surged 9.0 cents to $5.4525/bushel at its Tuesday close, while December climbed 7.25 cents to $5.1075.

Soybeans led the crop markets higher in Tuesday trading. Old crop concerns apparently boosted bean and meal values, with the diminished result on the Crop Progress report and less auspicious weather forecasts boosting the new crop contracts. The oil market again struggled with Asian palm oil weakness and the potential for excess domestic supplies as the industry crushes for meal. August soybean futures jumped 21.5 cents to $14.7525/bushel at the Tuesday afternoon settlement, while August soyoil skidded 0.13 cents to 45.71 cents/pound and August soymeal leapt $13.1 to $466.8/ton.

Wheat futures were less resilient than corn and soybeans Tuesday. Golden grain prices rose along with their crop counterparts in early trading, but gave back a substantial portion of those gains before noon. Wire service reports cited profit-taking on previously established longs, but one has to wonder if having the winter wheat harvest nearing completion is weighing upon prices to some extent. September CBOT wheat closed unchanged at $6.695/bushel Tuesday afternoon, while September KCBT wheat edged 2.75 cents higher to $7.0375 and September MGE futures lifted 4.75 cents to $7.59.

Wholesale weakness seemingly weighed upon cattle futures Tuesday. Traders continue looking for a seasonal low in cattle and beef prices, which explains a portion of recent strength. However, talk of fresh wholesale weakness, which was later confirmed by the USDA, appeared to undercut CME futures as the day passed. August cattle declined 0.32 cents to 122.12 cents/pound as trading ended Tuesday, while December slid 0.12 cents to 128.70. August feeder futures declined 0.10 cents to 152.55 cents/pound, and November edged 0.02 cents higher to 158.10.

Hog futures proved more resilient than cattle Tuesday. The CME was rather impressive, since cash and wholesale prices were rather weak. Wire service reports cited forecasts for rising summer heat (which tends to reduce hog weights and short-term sales) and talk of significant piglet losses to PEDV disease. August hog futures settled 0.75 cents higher at 96.30 cents/pound Tuesday afternoon, while December rallied 0.80 cents to 82.50.

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