Crop markets are mixed to higher at the start of the trading week

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The crop markets are starting the week on a firm note. Grain and soy futures started trading at lower levels Monday night, but have turned mixed to higher in early Tuesday action. Midwestern weather seems relatively negative at this point, but traders may see the Black Sea situation as likely deteriorating during the days ahead. December corn rose 0.75 cent to $3.655 as Tuesday dawned over Chicago, while May edged up 1.0 to $3.87.

The soy complex moved mostly higher Monday night. As with the grain markets, little news pertinent to the soy complex emerged over the long weekend. The rains now covering much of the Corn Belt will probably boost the bean harvest, but that is apparently counting for little at this point. Traders may simply think the market is oversold, although some might credit overnight Asian gains in palm oil values for spillover soy strength. November soybean futures climbed 3.75 cents to $10.28/bushel early Tuesday morning, October soyoil rallied 0.19 cents to 32.20 cents/pound, and October soymeal stalled at $363.1/ton.

The wheat markets are mixed in early Tuesday trading. Recent rainfall over the northern Plains hasn’t been conducive to a good spring wheat harvest, which may explain early strength in expiring September Minneapolis wheat. The tense Black Sea situation may also be supporting prices, but that doesn’t explain the slippage by others. December CBOT wheat slipped 0.5 cent to $5.63/bushel just after dawn Tuesday, while December KC wheat slipped 1.5 cents to $6.4125/bushel, and December MWE wheat sagged 1.75 to $6.28.

Rising cash bids spurred late-Friday CME cattle gains. Although wholesale prices proved quite weak again last Thursday, CME futures rallied rather strongly Friday. That almost surely reflected news of steady-higher packer bids for fed cattle before the three-day weekend. October live cattle futures ended Friday 1.32 cents higher at 151.42 cents/pound, while December futures jumped 1.25 to 153.95. Meanwhile, September feeder futures leapt 1.50 to 218.65 and November futures soared 2.45 to 215.37.

Hog traders clearly expect a September cash bounce. Although cash hog prices remained weak last Thursday, pork cutout values rebounded modestly from big midweek losses. They continued rising Friday, thereby encouraging bullish traders to look for much more of the same in early September. October hogs spiked 2.65 cents to 98.12 cents/pound at their Friday settlement, while December rallied 1.62 to 92.00.

Cotton futures seem to be suffering a technical drop. Mixed news seemed to hamper bullish efforts to trigger a big bullish breakdown last week. Thus, despite pushing above their 40-day moving average around midweek, nearby cotton futures ended the week poorly. The Monday night resumption of those losses may be setting the stage for a bearish follow-through. December cotton futures fell 0.92 cents to 65.65 cents/pound shortly after sunrise Tuesday, while March futures tumbled 1.06 cents to 65.95.

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