Crop and livestock markets diverged in early Tuesday action

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Corn traders reacted well to a fresh USDA report Tuesday. The weekly Crop Progress report stated corn good-to-excellent ratings 1% below last week, which was expected. However, futures rallied early this morning in reports to a planted acreage report from the USDA’s FSA division. It indicated that U.S. farmers had been prevented from planting 3.573 million acres to corn last spring; that seemed quite high. December corn climbed 9.5 cents to $4.66/bushel in early Tuesday action, while May gained 9.0 cents to $4.8625.

The FSA report also cut soybean acreage substantially. The Crop Progress report cut high quality soybean crop readings by 2% Monday, which was worse than anticipated. That news, along with the FSA report stating prevented soybean plantings at 1.687 million acres apparently boosted the soy complex overnight. November soybeans jumped 14.25 cents to $13.625/bushel around dawn Tuesday, while October soyoil rose 0.21 cents to 42.34 cents/pound, and October soymeal surged $5.7 to $436.9/ton.

The wheat markets followed corn and soybeans higher overnight. The Crop Progress report stated the spring wheat harvest and winter wheat plantings near expected levels Monday, so traders probably paid it little attention. The Wheat Belt was less affected by excessive spring rains, so the gains posted Monday night likely mark strength spilling over from the corn and soybean markets. December CBOT wheat rallied 6.75 cents to $6.48/bushel early Tuesday morning, while December KCBT wheat ran up 5.5 cents to $6.9525, and December MGE futures added 4.75 cents to $7.065.

Cattle futures slumped in Monday night trading. Little fresh news concerning cattle seemed to emerge overnight. For example, the Monday afternoon wholesale report stated cutout values very near their midday readings. One might argue that rising grain prices weighed upon cattle prices, but other could just as easily argue that rising feed costs will curtail cattle and beef production and boost prices down the road. October cattle futures declined 0.25 cents to 125.30 cents/pound in early trading Tuesday, while December slid 0.32 at 128.90. Meanwhile, October feeder cattle plunged 1.30 cents to 158.20 cents/pound, and January dove 1.12 cents to 158.82.

Wholesale weakness undercut hog futures Tuesday morning. Tight hog and pork supplies have been boosting hog futures lately, with Monday’s strong gains exemplifying the upward trend. However, traders were apparently surprised when large wholesale losses posted at noon yesterday were confirmed later in the day. That weakness probably depressed prices overnight. October hog futures fell 0.80 cents to 91.32 cents/pound early Tuesday morning, while December dropped 0.62 cents to 87.85.

Overnight events seemed supportive of cotton futures. The weekly USDA Crop Progress report stated cotton acreage rated in good-to-excellent condition in the U.S. and in Texas 2% below the previous reading. Those declines suggest deteriorating conditions and poorer yields than previously thought. The overnight gains in the grain and soy complexes, probably boosted cotton as well. December cotton advanced 0.67 cents to 84.67 cents/pound just after sunrise Tuesday, while March rose 0.71 to 84.50.


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