Favorable conditions are again weighing on the crop markets. Monday’s late afternoon Crop Progress report indicated that corn conditions had diminished a bit last week, but they’re still very good by historical standards. The result matched expectations. Thus, prospects of a bumper harvest are weighing on prices again this morning. July corn slipped 2.25 cent to $4.4225/bushel Monday night, while December declined 2.5 to $4.40.
The soy complex is also proving weak Tuesday morning. The Crop Progress report stated the soybean crop rating at 72% good-to-excellent, which is the best ever rating for the third week of June. That result rather obviously depressed bean and product futures, although overnight palm gains in Asia limited the oil slide. Old crop prices also proved surprisingly weak again. July soybeans fell 10.25 cents to $14.145/bushel in early Tuesday action, while July soyoil sagged 0.05 cents to 40.63 cents/pound, and July soymeal dipped $2.7 to $453.1/ton.
The wheat markets also moved lower overnight. The Crop Progress also stated spring wheat conditions in relatively good shape, but weather related problems are growing. Worries about declining quality, particularly for the SRW crop in the southern Corn Belt offered some support for CBOT prices, while KCBOT & MWE prices slipped. July CBOT wheat futures edged down 1.0 cent to $5.7875/bushel shortly after sunrise Tuesday, while July KCBT wheat skidded 1.25 cents to $7.1275, and July MWE futures lost 0.75 to $6.845.
Cattle futures are reacting mildly 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. Indeed, the slight futures gains seen overnight seem remarkably modest. August cattle rose 0.12 cents to 147.05 cents/pound as Tuesday dawned over Chicago, while December inched up 0.25 to 151.95. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle jumped 0.95 cents to 208.85 cents/pound and October advanced 0.62 to 210.07.
Cash and wholesale strength are again supporting hog futures. The cash hog and wholesale pork markets seemingly resumed last week’s advance yesterday, thereby seeming to point to even higher levels. However, traders may worry about the market’s recent tendency to peak in late June. August hog futures surged 0.77 cents to 129.75 in Monday night trading, while December added 0.30 cents to 97.25.
The expiring July contract is leading cotton futures lower. Issues surrounding the expiration of the July contract seemingly sent it diving Monday night and again this morning. New crop futures also fell modestly, which probably reflected the improvement in cotton condition ratings on the Crop Progress report. July cotton futures plunged 2.62 cents to 84.90 cents/pound early Tuesday morning, while December cotton sank 0.22 to 77.46.