The crop markets began this week on a strong note. The old crop corn situation attracted little attention, but nearby futures rose in concert with the deferred contracts. Meanwhile, the deferred contracts surged in response to fresh concerns about U.S. farmer ability to get the corn crop planted on time. The weekly Export Inspections report was not particularly noteworthy. July corn surged 9.25 cents to $6.665/bushel Tuesday, while December jumped 14.5 cents to $5.51.

Old crop soybean tightness had little apparent impact upon July futures Tuesday. Strength spilling over from deferred futures seemed to push nearby futures higher as well. New crop prices surged as traders worried about the ultimate effect of substantially delayed crop plantings. On the other hand, acreage might shift from corn to soybean plantings in early June, which might point toward increased production. The Export Inspections report held few surprises. July soybean futures leapt 33.0 cents to $15.0925/bushel at its Tuesday afternoon close, while July soyoil climbed 0.30 cents to 49.54 cents/pound, and July soybean meal jumped $14.1 to $442.3/ton.

Wheat traders seem much less concerned about planting delays than their corn and soybean counterparts, which partially reflects the fact that continued moisture is good for the winter wheat crop. That probably explains the weakness in nearby Chicago and Kansas City futures. The weekly Export Inspections total essentially matched the sizeable week-prior result, but that offered little apparent support for the futures markets. July CBOT wheat futures dropped 3.75 cents to $6.9375/bushel at the Tuesday close, while July KCBT wheat fell 2.25 cents to $7.435, whereas July MGE futures gained 0.75 cents to $8.065.

Belated cash strength late last week boosted cattle futures Friday and again, slightly, Tuesday. A modest rise in choice beef values around noon seemingly offered fresh support as well, since traders appear to be anticipating cash firmness again later this week. The discounts already built into futures may also be limiting their downside potential. June cattle rose 0.17 cents to 120.75 cents/pound at their Tuesday settlement, while December added 0.45 to 125.37. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures rallied 0.92 cents to 145.47 cents/pound, and November gained 0.55 cents to 150.50.

Hog traders apparently believe the traditional spring rally in hog and pork values will continue through early June. The recent slowdown in hog slaughter probably persuaded many that supplies are not as liquid as previously thought. However, bulls proved unable to sustain early gains Tuesday, which was not terribly surprising when the midday pork report indicated a surprising decline from the levels reached late last week. June hog futures skidded 0.17 cents to 94.70 cents/pound at their Tuesday close, and the December contract dipped 0.37 cents to 79.60.