Crop Progress data are likely weighing on the crop markets. The Monday afternoon USDA Crop Progress report indicated that the corn harvest surged last week, with the 19% weekly advance probably topping industry expectations, thereby sparking significant overnight selling. Today’s market action probably depends upon the December contract’s performance around its 10-day moving average. December corn futures sank 5.25 cents to $3.6825/bushel Monday night, while May lost 5.5 to $3.8925.
The soy complex also lost considerable ground Monday night. The Crop Progress report indicated the soy harvest had surged 13% to 85% complete last week, thereby topping forecasts. That development, as well as Monday’s weak soy performance and the ongoing breakdown in crude oil futures also sent soyoil diving. Meal is holding up relatively well. January soybean futures fell 13.5 cents to $10.1525/bushel in early Tuesday action, while December soyoil plunged 0.63 cents to 33.40 cents/pound, and December slumped $4.2 to $368.5/ton.
Wheat futures are following corn and beans lower. The Crop Progress report might also have been construed as modestly bearish for wheat futures, due largely to the improved condition rating for winter wheat. Actually, it would have been rather surprising to see wheat rally in the face of overnight corn and soy losses. December CBOT wheat dipped 3.75 cents to $5.345/bushel early Tuesday morning, while December KC wheat sagged 2.5 cents to $5.95/bushel, and December MWE wheat slid 3.0 to $5.74.
Cattle futures ended Monday quite firmly. Both the cash cattle and wholesale beef markets ended last week poorly, which sparked a weak Monday opening. However, cutouts proved quite firm at midday, thereby seeming to trigger the afternoon CME surge. The fact that beef values turned mixed overnight may make for a weak opening today. December live cattle futures jumped 1.00 cent to 167.05 cents/pound at Monday’s CME settlement, while April futures added 0.20 to 165.80. Meanwhile, January feeder cattle futures leapt 1.32 cents to 229.80 cents/pound, and March feeders surged 1.17 to 226.92.
Talk of short-term stability apparently encouraged hog bulls. Cash hog prices were called steady again Monday morning, although midsession pork quotes declined moderately. Nevertheless, CME swine futures rallied, possibly due to ideas that demand for hogs and pork is improving in the wake of recent losses. Firm late-afternoon quotes confirmed the underlying strength and suggest a modestly higher opening today. December hog futures advanced 0.82 cents to 88.85 cents/pound as Monday’s pit session ended, while April hogs lifted 0.55 to 89.70.
Cotton declined again Monday night. The Crop Progress report stated the U.S. cotton harvest at 50% complete, which is well ahead of last year but behind the 10-year average. That result didn’t seem particularly bearish, but futures did lose ground last night. Financial markets, as well as technical factors, appear to be exerting great influence over fiber prices at this juncture. December cotton futures dropped 0.48 cents to 63.77 cents/pound shortly after sunrise Tuesday, while March futures stumbled 0.51 cents to 62.76.