Ag markets moved generally lower Wednesday morning

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The Midwest crop markets reacted poorly to the Crop Progress report. The weekly USDA Crop Progress report stated the latest good-to-excellent reading for the forthcoming corn crop at 56% of total acres. That 3% weekly decline matched expectations, so a neutral reaction seemed likely. The actual decline in response seemingly sends a negative signal about the market at this point. September corn dropped 7.75 cents to $4.9025/bushel Tuesday night, while December fell 3.75 cents to $4.715.

The soy complex also turned lower in response to the condition data. The weekly Crop Progress report lowered the condition rating for the current soybean crop 4%, thereby matching industry expectations. The fact that prices moved decidedly lower overnight suggests underlying weakness, especially after futures gave back such large portions of their early Tuesday gains. September soybeans dove 16.5 cents to $14.19/bushel in early Wednesday trading, while November beans tumbled 14.75 to $13.72. September soyoil sank 0.21 cents to 43.61 cents/pound, and September soymeal declined $6.8 to $478.3/ton.

The wheat markets followed corn and soybeans lower Wednesday morning. The Crop Progress report indicated that the torrid pace of the ongoing spring wheat harvest had persisted last week, with recent heat and dryness facilitating combining. Thus, it was terribly surprising to see wheat futures decline in concert with corn and soybeans. September CBOT wheat dipped 2.75 cents to $6.3375/bushel as the sun rose over Chicago Wednesday, while September KCBT wheat sagged 2.75 cents to $6.94, and September MGE futures were steady at 7.0375.

Cattle futures also dipped in overnight action. After proving surprisingly weak Tuesday afternoon, the cattle market continued sliding in early Wednesday trading. The fact that beef cutout values, particularly the price of the select cuts, posted a moderate decline probably played a big role in the drop, since traders are probably expecting seasonal strength during the days and weeks just ahead. October cattle futures slid 0.12 cents to 126.07 cents/pound early Wednesday morning, while December skidded 0.10 cents to 130.00. September feeder cattle futures bounced 0.47 cents to 157.65 cents/pound on the corn decline, while November lifted 0.15 to 160.05.

Hog traders responded well to Tuesday afternoon news. The daily cash and wholesale market reports issued late Tuesday afternoon proved decidedly stronger than had been indicated earlier in the day, which probably played a major role in boosting CME prices overnight. October hog futures climbed 0.57 cents to 88.57 cents/pound around sunrise Wednesday, while December rallied 0.37 cents to 85.35.

Cotton futures bounced in response to the USDA data. That is, somewhat more favorable weather over the southern part of the country persuaded many traders that the condition of the cotton crop might not have declined in concert with those in the Corn Belt. That was not the case, since the Crop Progress report indicated a significant deterioration of the cotton crop as well. December cotton futures rose 0.13 cents to 82.84 cents/pound in early Wednesday action, while March was unchanged at 82.27.

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