Ag markets proved quite strong Tuesday. Cattle lagged

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Planting concerns boosted the corn market again Tuesday. The weekly USDA report on planting progress showed corn seedings at 19% complete, which fell well below average and about 2% below forecasts. Such concerns aren’t going away quickly, especially with cool, wet weather forecast for this week. Talk of firm cash markets also encouraged bulls. May corn climbed 8.0 cents to $5.1575/bushel at their Tuesday close, while December added 5.25 cents to $5.1225.

Talk of strong demand supported the soy complex. Although one wire service published a report of increased Argentine production, the soy complex posted across-the-board gains today. Talk of robust demand and tight old crop supplies reportedly boosted CBOT prices; deferred futures also rose, but continued corn delays suggest increased bean plantings in late spring. May soybeans jumped 15.75 cents to $15.24/bushel Tuesday afternoon, while May soyoil gained 0.15 cents to 42.77 cents/pound, and May soymeal rose $3.0 to $499.9/ton.

Anecdotal wheat tour reports likely spurred futures gains. The USDA Crop Progress report indicated that winter wheat conditions had declined again last week, but futures hardly reacted overnight. However, the Wheat Quality Council Tour is now underway, with analysts tweeting bullish results from the field; that’s why KC led the way higher. May CBOT wheat futures rallied 7.75 cents to $7.08/bushel in late Tuesday action, while May KCBT wheat futures leapt 14.0 cents to $7.9725 whereas May MWE futures slipped 3.0 to $7.4725.

Worries about seasonal weakness may have limited cattle gains Tuesday. Although the cash cattle and wholesale markets have held up well lately, traders still worry about a big supply-driven decline through the second quarter. That’s probably the reason for today’s marginal gains despite ongoing choice beef gains. June cattle futures edged 0.20 cents higher to 137.02 cents/pound as Tuesday’s pit session ended, while December slid 0.25 cents to 142.37. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle dropped 0.52 cents to 180.57 cents/pound, but August inched up 0.20 cents to 186.55.

Anticipation of seasonal strength likely sparked hog gains. The hog and pork complex proved quite firm Monday, but both cash and pork values seemed relatively weak this morning. The expiring May future dipped, but the deferred contracts rose in apparent anticipation of sizeable seasonal gains through late spring. June hog futures rallied 1.05 cents to 125.27 cents/pound in late Tuesday action, while December surged 1.50 to 92.95.

Cotton futures seemingly bounced from technical support. The weekly USDA Crop Progress report indicated that cotton seedings had advanced only 4% to 13% complete last week. The fact that Texas plantings are running well behind normal seemed supportive, especially with drought persisting in that region. However, having major support hold at their 40-day moving averages probably played a bigger role in today’s big surge. July cotton soared 1.83 cents to 94.06 cents/pound at Tuesday’s ICE settlement, while December cotton ran up 0.68 to 83.42.


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