Livestock futures diverged sharply from crop markets Tuesday

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Favorable conditions again weighed on the crop markets. Monday’s Crop Progress report indicated that corn growing conditions are still very good by historical standards, which matched expectations. Prospects for a bumper harvest and concurrent bean and wheat losses apparently weighed on corn prices again today. July corn closed 1.5 cents lower at $4.43/bushel Tuesday, while December declined 1.75 to $4.4075.

The soy complex led the way lower Tuesday. The Crop Progress report stated the soybean crop rating at 72% good-to-excellent, which marked a record-high rating for the third week of June. That result rather obviously depressed bean and product futures in early action, but overnight palm gains triggered the oil market rebound. Old crop prices also proved quite weak. July soybeans dove 11.25 cents to $14.135/bushel as CBOT trading ended Tuesday, while July soyoil climbed 0.29 cents to 40.97 cents/pound, whereas July soymeal tumbled $7.4 to $448.4/ton.

Traders cited harvest progress for depressing the wheat markets. The Crop Progress also stated spring wheat conditions in relatively good shape, but weather related problems are growing. Wheat futures dropped significantly despite those issues, with wire service sources citing the progress of the ongoing winter wheat harvest for exerting downward pressure on prices. July CBOT wheat futures fell 8.75 cents to $5.71/bushel at their Tuesday settlement, while July KCBT wheat sank 8.5 cents to $7.055, and July MWE futures lost 8.75 to $6.765.

Cattle futures were reacting to fresh beef gains. CME cattle traders seemed to be anticipating continued beef strength as they pushed prices higher Monday. However, the big gains posted by the USDA yesterday afternoon probably exceeded expectations, which in turn would explain the big follow-through seen today. August cattle jumped 2.80 cents to 149.72 cents/pound at Tuesday’s CME close, while December surged 2.22 to 153.92. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle spiked 2.72 cents to 210.62 cents/pound and October rocketed up 2.90 to 212.35.

Cash and wholesale strength again supported hog futures. The cash hog and wholesale pork markets seemingly resumed last week’s advance Monday, thereby seeming to point to even higher levels. Traders appeared to worry about the market’s historical tendency to peak in late June, but they obviously got past that issue as the day passed. August hog futures soared 2.10 cents to 131.07 in late Tuesday trading, while December climbed 0.95 cents to 97.90.

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