Livestock & cotton futures diverged from weak soy & grain markets

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Good crop prospects continue weighing on corn futures. Monday’s USDA Crop Progress report stated the initial condition rating for 2014 at 76% good-excellent, which is tied for second-best of the past 20 years. Pre-report estimates averaged about 70%. This implied huge fall production if summer weather cooperates. That news, along with concurrent bean and wheat losses are depressing futures once again. July corn sank 7.5 cents to $4.58/bushel Tuesday morning, while December slid 5.0 cents to $4.535.

The Crop Progress report sparked soy complex selling as well. Last week’s favorable weather enabled farmers to plant soybeans at a torrid pace, with the current completion rate at 78% topping both the five and 10-year averages for early June. That almost surely triggered new-crop CBOT sales. Trader suspicions that the recent price strength have rationed demand may be depressing old-crop futures. July soybeans plunged 20.0 cents to $14.805/bushel in late Tuesday morning action, while July soyoil dropped 0.34 cents to 37.97 cents/pound, and July soymeal slumped $5.8 to $500.2/ton.

Weather news is depressing the wheat markets as well. Having the Crop Progress report indicate such a strong advance in spring wheat plantings last week is probably spurring wheat sales again today. The winter wheat markets are also declining despite last week’s lack of improvement in conditions. Ultimately, the bearish global situation is apparently overwhelming any bullish domestic news. July CBOT wheat futures fell 8.25 cents to $6.125/bushel by late Tuesday morning, while July KCBT wheat tumbled 11.0 cents to $7.0775 and July MWE futures dove 11.75 cents to $6.855.

Fresh beef strength may have spurred CME cattle buying Tuesday. CME traders may be expecting active grocery industry buying to support beef and cattle prices through early June. Thus, they were probably encouraged by the wholesale gains indicated this morning. August cattle surged 0.97 cents to 140.10 cents/pound around midsession Tuesday, while December added 0.25 cents to 146.32. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle climbed 0.80 cents to 198.37 cents/pound, and October rose 0.05 to 198.95.

Hog traders are anticipating a bullish push. Last week’s low hog slaughter has apparently encouraged hog traders to think the long-anticipated summer surge in hog and pork prices will begin soon. That would explain today’s sizeable CME gains despite this morning’s signs of cash and wholesale weakness. August hog futures leapt 1.87 cents to 127.82 cents/pound in Tuesday morning action, but December stumbled 0.22 to 95.02.

Technical factors seem to be driving cotton fluctuations today. The Crop Progress report indicated that U.S. cotton plantings were 74% complete Sunday; the subsequent ICE rally suggests traders were expecting much more progress. Nearby July future have swung rather wildly today, which seemingly reflects a strong technical influence on prices. July cotton jumped 0.75 cents to 87.27 cents/pound around midday Tuesday, while December cotton gained 0.45 to 78.51.


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