Ag markets mixed again Tuesday

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Tight old crop conditions seemed to support corn futures Tuesday morning, with wire service sources citing cash market strength, particularly in the western Corn Belt, for early CBOT gains. Meanwhile, concerns about the ultimate size of 2013/14 crop with summer heat looming apparently boosted the deferred contracts even more substantially. July corn closed 4.75 cents higher at $6.7325/bushel Tuesday afternoon, while December jumped 12.0 cents to $5.505.

Although the U.S. soybean situation is very tight, nearby July CBOT futures declined in apparent response to an Oil World forecast of significant imports during early summer. In contrast, talk that global exports will be unable to meet demand later in the year, as well as news of a sizeable new-crop sale to China, supported the deferred contracts Tuesday. July soybean futures declined 1.75 cents to $15.1075/bushel as Tuesday trading wound down, whereas July soyoil slid 0.03 cents to 48.81 cents/pound; July soybean meal gained $2.7 to $451.8/ton.

Wheat futures rallied along with corn Tuesday. The slow pace of the winter wheat harvest indicated on the Monday afternoon USDA Crop Progress report apparently sparked buying interest, since it reminded traders that the delayed winter wheat crop could fall victim to hot, dry conditions during the weeks just ahead. Conversely, the spring wheat crop could thrive in a summery environment. July CBOT wheat climbed 7.0 cents to $6.875/bushel at its Tuesday settlement, while July KCBT wheat advanced 5.5 cents to $7.1925, whereas July MGE futures dipped 1.25 to $7.99.

Cattle traders apparently continue hoping for a quick end to the ongoing seasonal decline. That would at least partially explain the positive reaction to the Monday afternoon bounce in wholesale beef prices, as well as the modest strength exhibited at times Tuesday morning. However, the midday beef report indicated fresh weakness, thereby sparking the late sell-off. August cattle fell 0.32 cents to 119.50 cents/pound late Tuesday afternoon, while December sank 0.27 cents to 125.02. August feeder cattle futures dropped 0.15 cents to 144.67 cents/pound, and November added 0.27 to 150.82.

Seasonally reduced hog and pork production typically meet robust demand at this time of year, but expectations for easing conditions after Independence Day have weighed upon deferred CME futures lately. However, talk that current hog numbers are falling short of anticipated levels reportedly encouraged fresh buying Tuesday. Discounts now built into the summer contracts are probably sparking bullish interest as well. July hog futures settled 0.75 cents higher at 98.70 Tuesday, while December skidded 0.27 cents to 81.70.

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