Corn futures are trading lower at midday. Corn planting progress came in higher than expected. As of Sunday planting was 53% complete, up from 28% a week ago and well above trade expectations in the 40%-45% range. Planting progress surged higher last week particularly in the western Corn Belt and is 50 points ahead of the five-year average in Illinois and Indiana. Wet weather this week will slow planting progress, but should boost crop development for corn that has been planted. July corn is 5 ¼ cents lower at $6.29 The December contract is 7 ½
Soybean futures are trading mixed at midsession. The old-crop futures are lower whereas the new-crop contracts are adding to Monday’s gains. USDA announced another sale of new-crop soybeans to China this morning. The sales totaled 110,000 tonnes. The weather forecast maps are again indicating the potential for heavy rains over the next week around the Great Lakes region. Although soybean plantings are ahead of average at 12% complete on Sunday, a turn to excessively wet weather could negate the benefits achieved so far for new-crop prospects. The July contract is down 6 cents at $14.97, but the November contract is up 8 cents at $13.89.
Wheat futures are trading lower at midday. Prices are pulling back from Monday’s late-session gains, which pushed the market to its highest close in 3 weeks. Favorable rains in the U.S. Midwest are adding pressure, as well as timely rains in Eastern European wheat regions. The trade is also awaiting reports from the Wheat Quality Council’s annual crop tour which is getting underway today, and we will be providing you with our own insights on that as well. Winter wheat is progressing well ahead of normal this year and condition ratings are good. CBOT July is 6 3/4 cents lower at $6.47 1/4; KCBT July is 5 1/4 cents lower at $6.56 3/4, and MGE July is 6 1/2 cents lower at $7.77.
Cattle futures are trading mixed at midday. Nearby futures were higher early, but gains faded by midmorning on profit-taking after Monday’s sharply higher close. Beef price were mixed on Monday. Futures discount to cash is providing underlying support to the June contract. Cattle slaughter Monday is estimated at 115,000 head, down 11% from a year ago. June cattle futures are 52 cents lower at $113.65 and August is 32 cents lower at $115.87.
Lean hog futures are trading mostly higher at midday. An increase in the pork cutout value of more than $1 on Monday helped trigger a modest futures market rally Tuesday morning. Traders are looking for any sign that hog prices have bottomed – but while the cutout value was up Monday, the cutout and cash hog prices are still about $8 per cwt below the June contract. June was up 30 cents at $86.23 and the July contract was 85 cents higher at $87.10.