Most ag markets seem set to start Tuesday quite firmly

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Monday’s Crop Progress report boosted the corn market. The weekly USDA report on planting progress showed corn seedings at 19% complete, which fell well below average and about 2% below forecasts. That news almost surely caused the Monday night rally. May corn rose 4.25 cents to $5.12/bushel early Tuesday morning, while December added 3.5 cents to $5.105.

The soy complex is mixed to higher in early Tuesday action. The USDA did publish its first soybean planting progress figure Monday, with the 3%-completed figure falling below norms and slightly ahead of last year. That may explain the mixed nature of overnight bean and meal trading. Oil rose in defiance of early-Tuesday palm oil losses in Asia. May soybeans climbed 2.5 cents to $15.1075/bushel Monday night, while May soyoil inched up 0.03 cents to 42.65 cents/pound, and May soymeal egged $1.0 higher to $497.9/ton.

Wheat proved surprisingly weak overnight. The USDA Crop Progress report indicated that winter wheat conditions had diminished again last week, whereas no change was expected. Spring wheat plantings increased significantly, which may explain Monday night Minneapolis losses. The reason for the CBOT and KCBT slippage isn’t readily apparent. May CBOT wheat futures slumped 1.75 cents to $6.985/bushel in early Tuesday trading, while May KCBT wheat futures sagged 3.75 cents to $7.795 and May MWE futures lost 3.5 to $7.4675.

Persistent firmness may be supporting cattle futures. Although cash prices declined last week, the ultimate losses posted yesterday seemed surprisingly small. Also, the wholesale market was mixed Monday, whereas weakness is usually anticipated late in most months. Those developments appeared to support futures last night. June cattle futures crept up 0.10 cents to 136.92 cents/pound as Tuesday dawned over Chicago, while December rose 0.07 cents to 142.70. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle gained 0.10 cents to 181.20 cents/pound, and August added 0.15 cents to 186.50.

Cash and wholesale strength boosted the hog market. Despite the apparent downtrend recently dominating the hog and pork complex, both cash and pork values exhibited unexpected strength Monday afternoon. Bulls likely expect more of the same during the days and weeks ahead. June hog futures surged 0.42 cents to 124.65 cents/pound early Tuesday morning, while December advanced 0.17 to 91.62.

The cotton market posted an indecisive reaction to the planting data. The weekly USDA Crop Progress report indicated that cotton seedings had advanced 4% to 13% complete last week. The fact that Texas plantings are running well behind normal seems supportive, especially with drought persisting in that region. Old crop prices bounced slightly from Monday’s decline, but new-crop futures were flat to lower. July cotton rallied 0.20 cents to 92.43 cents/pound just after sunrise (EDT) Tuesday, while December cotton stabilized at 82.74.

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