Ag markets posted modest losses Monday night

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Monday’s crop report is weighing on the crop markets. The weekly USDA Crop Progress report raised the latest rating for the U.S. corn crop 1%, which made it the second-highest mid-August reading since 1994. The fact that traders are already anticipating a huge harvest probably limited the bearish overnight reaction. September corn dipped 1.5 cents to $3.585/bushel Monday night, while December lost 0.25 to $3.6725.

The soy complex moved unanimously lower overnight. The soybean crop rating on the Crop Progress report slipped 1%, whereas traders were looking for an unchanged result. Nevertheless, the current reading is the best for mid-August since 1992, thereby implying outstanding fall yields. The old-crop reversal suffered Monday and overnight palm oil weakness are rather clearly weighing on prices today. September soybean futures dove 20.25 cents to $11.055/bushel early Tuesday morning, while November futures sank 3.75 cents to $10.255. September soyoil slumped 0.21 cents to 32.53 cents/pound, and September soymeal dropped $9.5 to $396.6/ton.

Wheat began Tuesday in mixed fashion. The Crop Progress report seemed supportive of the wheat markets, since it indicated a late-season drop in conditions and a laggardly harvest pace. Still, futures also seemed to be affected by concurrent corn and soy losses. Lack of Black Sea news may be seen as negative as well. September CBOT wheat slipped 2.25 cents to $5.4025/bushel in early Tuesday action, while September KC wheat inched down 0.25 cent to $6.225/bushel, and September MWE wheat stalled at $6.17.

Cattle futures set back from Monday’s highs. As expected, last Friday’s late cash strength sparked a response in CME futures yesterday. However, beef prices slid later in the day, thereby seeming to cause second thoughts among bullish traders. October live cattle futures skidded 0.02 cents to 148.12 cents/pound soon after dawn Tuesday, while December futures declined 0.12 to 150.87. Meanwhile, September feeder futures slumped 0.20 cents to 213.07 and November futures slid 0.10 to 210.15.

Cash and wholesale losses are weighing on hog futures again. The hog and pork complex seemed set to stabilize around midsession Monday, but the late-afternoon reports were discouraging. Both cash and wholesale values resumed their recent drop. October hogs lost 0.05 cents to 93.40 cents/pound early Tuesday morning, while December fell 0.52 to 87.47.

Cotton declined in response to the Crop Progress data. The ongoing heat wave seemed likely to depress ratings for the U.S. cotton crop, but Monday’s report actually boosted the latest reading 1%. That very likely caused the overnight dip in ICE cotton prices. December cotton sagged 0.05 cents to 66.10 cents/pound shortly after sunrise Tuesday, while March futures sank 0.13 cents to 66.50.


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