The Crop Progress report weighed on grain futures Tuesday night. Tuesday’s belated weekly USDA Crop Progress report stated corn plantings at 88% complete, which matched industry expectations. That seemingly opened the door to a follow-through on yesterday’s CBOT decline, especially since weather forecasts imply conditions favor good plant development. July corn sank 3.25 cents to $4.665/bushel early Wednesday morning, while December lost 2.0 cents to $4.6425.
Soy futures rallied in the face of bearish news. The Crop Progress report indicated that U.S. soybean plantings had surged last week, with the 59% completion rate topping forecasts by four points. Having nearby July futures lead the complex higher despite that news and concurrent Asian palm weakness suggests traders recalled the tightness of the old crop situation. Technical support also seemed to provide a springboard for the July bean bounce. July soybeans rallied 8.25 cents to $14.97/bushel Tuesday night, while July soyoil gained 0.15 cents to 40.09 cents/pound, and July soymeal rebounded $3.0 to $497.2/ton.
Bearish news only modestly depressed wheat markets last night. The Crop Progress report stated spring wheat plantings farther along than expected, while winter wheat conditions improved after weekend rains. In addition, Russian officials boosted their 2014/15 export forecast by 3.0 million to (25 million tonnes). Having Egyptian officials talk of boosting quality standards for imported wheat may have helped U.S. sales prospects. July CBOT wheat futures slid 3.75 cents to $6.3725/bushel in early Wednesday action, while July KCBT wheat slipped 1.75 cents to $7.365, and July MWE futures dipped 1.25 cents to $7.1725.
Persistent beef gains are probably encouraging cattle traders. Expectations for continued seasonal cash losses have clearly depressed live cattle futures lately. However, wholesale prices have stubbornly refused to join the generally decline. Indeed, the sizeable beef gains posted Tuesday afternoon likely powered the overnight CME bounce. June cattle rose 0.25 cents to 135.85 cents/pound early Wednesday morning, while December added 0.20 cents to 144.15. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle ran up 0.37 cents to 193.87 cents/pound, and October gained 0.10 cents to 194.97.
Hog futures weren’t helped by the latest cash and wholesale reports. In contrast to the cattle market, hog traders expect strong seasonal gains as summer advances. However, Tuesday’s late cash and pork reports refused to cooperate, with prices declining across the board. That largely explains overnight losses posted by 2014 swine futures. June hog futures fell 0.97 cents to 115.52 cents/pound as Wednesday dawned over Chicago, while December slumped 0.20 to 95.10.
Cotton futures were mixed Tuesday night. The weekly Crop Progress report showed cotton planting increased substantially last week, but lost ground to accelerating rates seen last year. That probably explains the limited new-crop losses experienced overnight. In contrast, surging equity markets imply continued economic strength, with the indicated vigor of apparel demand seemingly sparking the bounce in July futures. July cotton advanced 0.73 cents to 85.70 cents/pound shortly after sunrise Wednesday, while December cotton stalled at 77.86.