Crop futures start Wednesday lower

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Corn futures are 2 to 2.5 cents lower this morning. If the weakness holds through the day it will mark the seventh consecutive session of lower closes. December futures are near the $4.00 level while the September contract has already dipped below $4.00. The highest early July crop rating since 1999 at 75% good to excellent and forecasts for favorable weather as the crop moves into pollination are pressuring the market. USDA will update supply/demand projections for the U.S. and world on Friday. Trade is likely already discounting U.S. yield higher than USDA’s 165.3 b/a, but could see some short covering ahead of the report. September corn is 1.75 cents lower to $3.96/bushel, while December is 2.5 cents lower to $4.0175.

Soybean prices are lower in early trade Wednesday. November futures are at the lowest level since early February. The highest crop rating for early July since 1994 at 72% points to strong yield potential. Weather forecasts call for moderate temperatures and normal to above normal precipitation for the next two weeks. The chart gap above the market near $11.30 for the November contract is a near-term resistance level while the Jan 2014 low at $10.88 is support. Argentina’s Rosario Exchange upped their forecast for Argentine production fractionally to 55.7 mmt vs. USDA at 54 mmt. USDA is expected to boost the U.S. 2014/15 ending stocks projection to 415 to 420 million bushels, up from 325 million from last month. August soybeans are down 11 cents to $12.375/bushel, and November is 6.25 cents lower to $11.10. August soyoil is 0.29 cents lower to 37.57 cents/pound, while August soymeal is $1.0 lower to $400.9/ton.

Wheat futures are 3 to 4 cents lower in early action on Wednesday. Nearby futures have fallen to the lowest level in nearly four years. Winter wheat harvest, favorable spring wheat prospects in the U.S. and uncertain export demand are weighing on the market. Weakness in corn and other gains is also a negative factor. On Friday USDA will issue their first spring and durum wheat production estimates of the season and update winter wheat production as well. USDA is expected to lower winter wheat production, with but spring wheat production at 536 million bushels and durum at 60 million (trade averages), total wheat production would edge up 27 million from USDA’s June estimate to 1.969 billion. The increase in production would also boost the ending stocks projection from last month. September CBOT wheat futures are 3.5 cents lower to $5.5275 bushel, September KCBT wheat futures are 4.5 cents lower to $6.5975 and September MWE futures are 3.5 cents lower at $6.535.

Cattle futures are higher on Wednesday. After a one and a half day pullback, futures are rebounding. Higher beef prices seem to be providing underlying support. Beef prices continue to march higher reaching new all-time highs again on Tuesday. On Tuesday afternoon the Choice cutout was $1.80 higher at $249.98. However, the trade remains nervous that high prices will begin to throttle beef demand, particularly as summer progress - a time when beef demand tends to slow. The trade is waiting to see how the cash market responds to a higher supply of market-ready cattle this week. August cattle are 1.07 cents higher to 154.60 cents/pound while December is 0.60 cents higher to 155.95 cents. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle are 1.40 cents higher to 217.30 cents/pound.

Hog futures are edging higher early on Wednesday, attempting a comeback from Tuesday’s setback. The national average base price on Tuesday was $1.60 higher to $130.06. The cutout was 19 cents higher to $134.33. Hog slaughter so far this week is estimated at 790,000 head, down 22,000 from last week and 18,000 from a year ago. Gains in cattle futures are supportive to hogs. August futures are testing the most recent reaction low at 129.50 cents/pound. If that level fails, next support is the mid-June low at 126.00. August hog futures are up 0.25 cents at 130.10 cents/pound and December is up 0.25 cents to 104.50 cents.

Futures are slightly higher on Wednesday as the December cotton futures contract attempts to hold above the 70 cent mark. Futures have plunged 6 cents in two weeks as crop prospects in the U.S. have continued to improve, particularly in Texas and the southern Plains. Weather forecasts continue to look favorable, but futures are deeply oversold after the sharp decline over the past two weeks. Futures are due to at least consolidate. December cotton is 0.53 cents higher at 70.63 cents per pound.

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