Ag markets still mixed Tuesday morning

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Short covering seemingly boosted corn futures Tuesday morning. A big drop in central Illinois corn prices dragged the expiring September corn contract lower Tuesday morning, but deferred futures rose slightly. That apparently resulted from active trader short covering ahead of Thursday’s USDA Crop Production and WASDE reports. December corn rose 3.5 cents to $4.67/bushel late Tuesday morning, while May gained 3.0 cent to $4.8775.

The soy complex extended its Monday losses this morning. The weekly USDA Crop Progress report seemed negative for soybean futures, since it stated current conditions somewhat better than anticipated. In addition, the latest forecasts suggest light rainfall over the Corn Belt this weekend, which might improve harvest prospects somewhat this fall. November soybeans fell 6.5 cents at 13.50/bushel just before lunchtime Tuesday, while October soyoil lost 0.27 cents to 42.61 cents/pound, and October soymeal dipped $2.5 to $428.1/ton.

The wheat markets also rose in early Tuesday action. Australia’s equivalent to the USDA (ABARE) published cut its wheat production forecast by almost 1.0 million tonnes on its latest report overnight. That news, as well as the modest corn gains, probably played major roles in boosting wheat prices this morning. December CBOT wheat climbed 5.5 cents to $6.4675/bushel around midsession Tuesday, while December KCBT wheat rallied 6.25 cents to $6.9475 and December MGE futures added 4.25 cents to $7.07.

Cattle futures remained surprisingly weak in early-Tuesday trading. Despite a history of considerable strength after Labor Day, cattle traders apparently worry that recent cash and wholesale losses will persist during the days and weeks ahead. October cattle futures slid 0.02 cents to 125.32 cents/pound by late Tuesday morning, while December slipped 0.07 cents to 128.65. October feeder cattle tumbled 0.07 cents to 157.97 cents/pound, and January slumped 0.22 cents to 157.72.

Hog futures moved lower as Tuesday morning passed. Although Monday afternoon cash and wholesale reports confirmed recent strength, traders are seemingly concerned about an end to the seasonal bounce later this month. The fact that the CME index, which hog futures cash-settle against, has risen only slightly since turning upward last week, may be discouraging bulls. October hog futures declined 0.47 cents to 90.40 cents/pound as the lunch hour loomed Tuesday, while December dropped 0.32 cents to 87.30.

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