Corn futures are apparently feeling early-harvest pressure. Although concurrent soybean gains are probably providing some support, corn futures declined modestly this morning. There isn’t a great deal of news, so we’re inclined to agree with those arguing that the yellow grain market is beginning to feel the effects of the slowly progressing harvest. December corn declined 1.5 cents to $4.5175/bushel late Tuesday morning, and May lost 1.75 cents to $4.725.

The soy complex sustained its Monday night advance. Although the southern soybean harvest is also getting underway, the legume and product markets moved generally higher. The fact that recent rains did not improve the condition ratings on the weekly USDA Crop Progress report apparently powered the rise. Weak palm oil prices in Asia apparently depressed soy oil futures once again. November soybeans surged 7.5 cents to $13.1525/bushel around midsession Tuesday, while October soyoil slid 0.10 cents to 41.87 cents/pound, and October soymeal climbed $3.9 to $415.0/ton.

The wheat markets rallied in early Tuesday trading. The weekly Crop Progress seemed to affect wheat futures very little, since the spring wheat harvest is virtually complete and winter wheat plantings are quite normal. Ultimately, talk of robust export demand is probably pushing the three markets higher. December CBOT wheat gained 1.5 cent to $6.55/bushel just before lunchtime Tuesday, while December KCBT wheat lifted 8.0 cents to $7.0575, and December MGE futures advanced 7.25 cents to $7.06.

Beef gains boosted cattle futures this morning. The cattle market reacted well to bullish news Monday and has continued rising since then. The Monday afternoon wholesale report indicated a substantial rise in beef cutout values, which probably bodes well for the cash markets. Strength spilling over from the hog market may also be encouraging bulls. October cattle futures advanced 0.55 cents to 127.15 cents/pound late Tuesday morning, while December lifted 0.60 cents to 131.10. Meanwhile, October feeder cattle jumped 0.80 cents to 162.90 cents/pound and January leapt 0.85 cent to 162.57.

Smithfield news probably exaggerated early hog gains. Monday’s cash and wholesale news was not very supportive of the hog market, but futures seemed to rally on technical considerations. The nearby contracts’ discounts to the CME index may also have encouraged bulls. But news that Smithfield shareholders had approved its takeover by Shuanghui of China very likely powered the big advance. October hog futures rocketed up 2.72 cents to 92.90 cents/pound in late Tuesday morning action, while December spiked 2.30 cents to 88.72.