Falling livestock futures grabbing headlines Wednesday morning

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Crop tour results are weighing on corn and soy futures. A privately sponsored tour of Corn Belt fields yielded some very high forecasts Tuesday, which apparently depressed new-crop corn and soy futures last night. The nearby corn contracts are holding at short-term moving average support, so still might test their 40-day moving averages in the near future. Still, large crops look bearish. September corn slid 2.5 cents to $3.60/bushel Tuesday night, while December skidded 2.5 to $3.6975.

Old and new crop soy futures continue diverging. Prospects for a massive autumn harvest keep weighing upon new crop soy prices, especially in the wake of Tuesday’s crop tour results. However, persistent spot market strength and talk of vigorous demand are strongly supporting the nearby bean and meal contracts. Fresh five-year lows in palm oil prices are undercutting soyoil quotes. September soybean futures climbed 7.25 cents to $11.275/bushel early Wednesday morning, while November futures dropped 2.5 cents to $10.5025. September soyoil dipped 0.20 cents to 32.46 cents/pound, but September soymeal surged $6.7 to $406.5/ton.

The wheat markets were narrowly mixed Tuesday night. Tuesday’s reports of reduced Ukraine production seemed to maintain support for nearby wheat futures overnight. However, the prospect of a large U.S. spring wheat crop, the ongoing U.S. dollar rally and major technical resistance associated with 40-day moving averages for nearby CBOT futures suggest limited upside potential from this point. September CBOT wheat rose 2.25 cents to $5.4825/bushel just after dawn Wednesday, while September KC wheat edged up 1.75 cents to $6.2625/bushel, and September MWE wheat inched 0.25 higher to $6.17.

Cattle traders apparently expect further cash losses this week. CME cattle futures started the week firmly but turned decisively lower Tuesday. Big wholesale losses probably spurred the active selling seen last night, thereby seeming to confirm the start of a fresh downward move. That might carry prices substantially lower. October live cattle futures dove 1.05 cents to 146.17 cents/pound in early Wednesday trading, while December futures tumbled 1.30 to 149.15 cents/pound. Meanwhile, September feeder futures plunged 2.27 cents to 211.97 cents/pound and November futures plummeted 2.17 cent to 210.37.

Dropping spot prices are keeping the pressure on hog futures. The ongoing breakdown in cash hog and wholesale pork values continued Tuesday. Indeed, despite industry hopes for a late-August comeback, that looks pretty unlikely at this point. October hogs slumped 0.32 cents to 94.50 cents/pound as Wednesday dawned over Chicago, while December fell 0.80 cents to 87.82.

Cotton futures continue bumping up against resistance. The significant reduction in cotton crop ratings on Monday’s USDA Crop Progress report boosted cotton futures yesterday. Strong equity market gains seemed to offset U.S. dollar gains to 12-month highs (thereby discouraging export demand). Thus, the modest overnight gain is rather impressive, since ICE values are bumping up against major moving average resistance. December cotton rallied 0.10 cents to 64.26 cents/pound shortly after sunrise Wednesday, while March futures added 0.14 cents to 65.17.

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