Crop markets are awaiting today's USDA WASDE report

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Traders were anticipating today’s WASDE report Tuesday night. The USDA will release its monthly World Agricultural Supply & Demand Estimates (WASDE) report at 11:00 AM CDT this morning. Yesterday’s corn price action, as well as that posted overnight, reflected industry ideas that the old crop situation is tight, whereas traders expect a big fall crop. May corn rose 1.75 cents to $5.0875/bushel early Wednesday morning, but December dipped 3.0 to $5.10.

Bullish WASDE expectations also seem to be supporting the soy complex. As in the corn pit, wire service sources suggest the industry expect today’s WASDE report to lower the forecast U.S. soybean carryout, thereby implying the old crop situation remains quite tight. Asian palm gains boosted the oil market overnight. May soybeans surged 11.75 cents to $14.9425/bushel in early Wednesday action, while May soyoil climbed 0.34 cents to 42.45 cents/pound, and May soymeal gained $2.6 to $480.7/ton.

The first national crop condition report boosted the wheat markets. State condition reports have recently pointed to poor prospects for the winter wheat crop. Those conclusions were confirmed Tuesday afternoon when the USDA released its first national Crop Progress report. That news, along with implications for a poor start to the spring crop apparently powered Tuesday night futures gains. May CBOT wheat futures rallied 5.25 cents to $6.8625/bushel as Wednesday dawned over Chicago, while May KCBT wheat futures ran up 6.75 cents to $7.4825, and May MWE futures added 5.75 cents to $7.29.

Hopes for seasonal grocer buying may be supporting cattle futures. The wholesale market proved mixed Tuesday afternoon, which probably explains bull’s inability to hold midsession gains. Still, grocers traditionally buy beef aggressively during the early part of most months in order to meet their needs for the first weekend of the month following, which may be supporting CME futures at this point. June cattle futures moved up 0.17 cents to 135.45 cents/pound in predawn Wednesday trading, while December slid 0.20 to 140.35. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle advanced 0.20 cents to 179.07 cents/pound, and August added 0.25 to 180.82.

Cash weakness is undercutting CME hog futures again this morning. The hog and pork complex is apparently suffering a hangover from its massive February-March price spike, with Tuesday afternoon news of fresh cash market losses apparently dragging Chicago prices downward once again. June hog futures fell 0.82 cents to 117.92 cents/pound early Wednesday morning, while December dropped 0.70 to 88.15.

Cotton futures is trying to build upon Tuesday’s late surge. After dropping sharply on Monday, cotton futures posted a sizeable technical advance yesterday. Weather news and concurrent equity market firmness may have helped power the bounce. Futures posted a modest overnight follow-through, but traders appear to be awaiting the WASDE report along with the rest of the ag industry. May cotton lifted 0.23 cents to 92.03 cents/pound just after sunrise Wednesday, and December cotton edged up 0.08 to 80.25.

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