Corn futures were mixed Tuesday. Tight old crop supplies apparently supported the nearby July contract, whereas the results of the weekly USDA Crop Progress report weighed upon its deferred counterparts. The report indicated producers had made surprising progress in getting the yellow grain seeded last week, with the latest reading, at 91% complete, being only 4% behind the five-year average. July corn advanced 4.75 cents to $6.605 per bushel at its Tuesday close, while December dropped 7.0 cents to $5.53.
Soybean futures moved generally lower Tuesday. The tight old crop situation may have eased a bit in the wake of recent gains, although the July futures loss was not particularly large. The weekly Crop Progress report did not seem very negative for beans, but weather forecasts pointing to a significant opportunity to plant during the days just ahead apparently weighed upon deferred futures. July soybean futures closed 3.75 cents lower at $15.2875/bushel, while July soyoil sank 0.07 cents to 48.59 cents/pound, and July soybean meal sank $1.9 lower to $452.5/ton.
After weakening somewhat in overnight trading, wheat futures ended the day steady to lower. The reason for that strength was not readily apparent, but it may have been related to news that Japanese officials included U.S. wheat in a tender issued Monday night. That suggests their ban on U.S. wheat issued in the wake of recent news of wild GMO plants may be lifted rather quickly. July CBOT wheat futures rose 0.25 cents to $7.09/bushel Tuesday afternoon, while July KCBT wheat slipped 0.75 cents to $7.5075 and July MGE futures skidded 2.0 cents to $8.21.
Although few in the livestock industry seem very optimistic about the cattle outlook at this point, CME live cattle futures bounced from early lows Tuesday. That may reflect growing suspicions that cash prices will prove surprisingly stable over the short term despite persistent beef losses. June cattle rose 0.22 cents to 120.95 cents/pound Tuesday afternoon, while December climbed 0.67 to 125570. Meanwhile, feeder cattle futures reacted well to signs of deferred corn weakness, with the August contract advancing 1.15 cents to 145.57 cents/pound, and November surging 1.20 cents to 150.80.
Hog traders apparently expect the spring rally in hog and pork values to continue through at least mid-June, since futures rose substantially again Tuesday. The wholesale market has not been terribly supportive lately, but ongoing cash gains are apparently encouraging bulls. Ongoing cash gains are seemingly reinforcing the widespread optimism. June hog futures settled 0.70 cents higher at 96.52 cents/pound Tuesday, while December added 0.52 cents to 80.82.