Corn futures declined slightly Monday night. The weekly USDA Crop Progress report stated the U.S. corn harvest at 39% complete, which may have fallen somewhat short of expectations. However, that supportive influence was seemingly offset in early morning trading by the negative influence of concurrent corn and soybean losses. December corn had slumped 1.25 cents to $4.4275/bushel early Tuesday morning, while May corn lost 1.25 to $4.64.
The Crop Progress data apparently depressed the soy complex. Although the market got good news in the form a sizeable purchase of U.S. soybeans from Taiwan overnight, the whole complex had moved significantly lower. The most likely culprit was the weekly USDA Crop Progress report, which stated the domestic soy harvest at 69% complete. November soybean futures fell 9.0 cents to $12.9425/bushel around dawn Tuesday, while December soyoil slid 0.19 cents to 41.45 cents/pound and December soymeal dipped $3.1 to $412.6/ton.
Good production news continued weighing upon wheat futures overnight. Monday’s upward correction to Argentina’s latest reading for its wheat crop, improved crop weather in the Black Sea region, as well as good condition and emergence data on the U.S winter wheat crop all seemed to keep wheat futures under pressure last night. December CBOT wheat futures sank 3.0 cents to $6.9675/bushel in early Tuesday trading, while December KCBT wheat futures sagged 4.25 cents to $6.57 and December MWE futures declined 2.75 cents to $7.49.
Surging beef prices probably supported the cattle market Monday night. Doubts about the cash cattle markets’ ability to sustain last week’s big gains seemed to weigh upon CME prices Monday. However, the afternoon wholesale report stated beef cutout values 1.5-2.0 cents higher on the day, which seems quite encouraging. It’s actually rather surprising that futures didn’t react more vigorously. December live cattle futures rose 0.12 cents to 132.02 cents/pound just before sunrise Tuesday, while the April contract added 0.15 cents to 134.92. Meanwhile, November feeder futures dropped 0.05 cents to 166.35 cents/pound and January feeders skidded 0.10 to 166.32.
Pork strength may have boosted hog futures as well. Anticipation of seasonal weakness across the hog and pork complex is a major factor in the CME market at this point and seems likely to remain a dominant component in the pricing equation during the coming weeks. However, while the cash markets were stated unanimously lower Monday afternoon, late-afternoon pork quotes posted a surprising bounce. That almost surely powered the modest overnight gains. December hog futures rallied 0.40 cents to 87.87 cents/pound, while April advanced 0.20 cents to 90.00 cents/pound.
The Crop Progress data seemed rather mixed for cotton futures. Monday’s USDA Crop Progress report stated the current crop conditions at 44% good to excellent, which was two points above the comparable year-ago reading. Those figures were essentially unchanged from the September report. Meanwhile, the harvest was seen as being just 21% complete, well behind year-ago and five-year average readings. December cotton futures had slipped 0.04 cents to 83.02 cents/pound around sunrise Tuesday, while March cotton lost 0.05 to 84.20.