Livestock futures outperformed crop markets Tuesday night

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The Crop Progress report depressed corn prices Tuesday night. The belatedly released weekly USDA report boosted the corn crop rating 1% to 74% good-to-excellent, which is the second highest reading for this time of year since 1994. Thus, the prospect of huge fall yields is once again weighing on CBOT futures. December corn futures slid 2.75 cents to $3.61 early Wednesday morning, while May declined 3.0 to $3.8175.

An improved soybean rating is dragging soy prices lower as well. The USDA Crop Progress report raised the rating for the U.S. bean crop 2% to 72% good to excellent. This is a historically high rating, with such an increase at this time of year also being quite rare. The bearish CBOT response is hardly surprising, although persistently cool, wet conditions may soon be seen as hurting rather than helping yield prospects. November soybean futures slumped 6.0 cents to $10.26/bushel as Wednesday dawned over Chicago, while October soyoil skidded 0.05 cents to 31.90 cents/pound, and October soymeal slipped $1.1 to $371.1/ton.

Outside developments are weighing on the wheat markets. Although the Crop Progress report indicated continued deterioration of the spring wheat crop and a laggardly harvest, wheat futures declined in concert with corn and beans. That probably reflected spillover selling, as well as news that China had greatly increased its wheat stocks this year, thereby implying it will curtail its imports during the coming months. December CBOT wheat fell 5.75 cents to $5.4925/bushel in early Wednesday trading, while December KC wheat sagged 2.5 cents to $6.30/bushel, and December MWE wheat dipped 2.25 to $6.205.

Cash optimism seems to be supportive cattle futures. Cattle futures reacted well Tuesday to last week’s late cash strength. Beef prices actually dipped, but that seemed to do little to diminish optimism about potential seasonal strength during the days and weeks ahead. October live cattle futures surged 0.82 cents to 153.25 cents/pound Tuesday night, while December futures climbed 0.65 to 156.17. Meanwhile, October feeder futures jumped 0.95 cents to 219.77 cents/pound and January feeders leapt 0.97 to 213.57.

Cash and wholesale strength are spurring hog gains. Although hog futures set back from their early highs Tuesday, the surge was still quite substantial. Late afternoon cash and wholesale quotes encouraged additional buying overnight. October hogs rallied 0.82 cents to 100.70 cents/pound in early Wednesday action, while December advanced 0.70 to 94.10.

Cotton futures edged upward in early-Wednesday action. Tuesday’s cotton industry report predicting a fresh record for global stockpiles probably played a big role in yesterday’s drop. The Crop Progress report seemed somewhat supportive, so the modestly bullish response wasn’t surprising. December cotton futures bounced 0.10 cents to 65.41 cents/pound shortly after sunrise Wednesday, while March futures added 0.08 cents to 65.36.

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