Most grain markets advanced Tuesday ahead of tomorrow’s WASDE report release. Corn, however, closed relatively neutral after heading higher during the day. The weekly USDA Crop Progress report indicated corn conditions had remained unchanged at 74% good to excellent, which is quite high by historical standards. That was hardly surprising, so traders may have paid more attention to reports out of China, which stated their domestic corn stocks at record highs. The U.S. Dollar index also weakened. July corn slipped 0.25 cents to close at $3.65/bushel Tuesday afternoon and December gained 0.5 cents to $3.83.
Slow plantings appeared to drive soybeans higher during trading Tuesday as they rose to near a three-week high. The Crop Progress report stated U.S. soybean plantings at just 79% complete as of Sunday, whereas industry analysts were looking for a figure around 82%. This result isn’t drastically behind rates from the past, but the delays are probably diminishing productive potential at harvest. Meanwhile, talk of vigorous meal demand and slow farmer selling is boosting that market, while soyoil retreated from its gains earlier in the day. July soybean futures rallied 7.25 cents to $9.515/bushel at the closing session Tuesday, while July soyoil fell 0.17 cents to 33.93 cents/pound, and July meal shot up $7 to $316.5/ton.
Wheat futures headed higher Tuesday to a near two-month high presumably in response to lower condition ratings for both winter and spring wheat on Monday’s USDA Crop Progress report. Investors also appeared to be betting that heavy rains will impact winter wheat yields in the southern U.S. Plains. July CBOT wheat futures rose 4.75 cents to $5.3225/bushel Tuesday at the close, while July KC wheat climbed 3.75 cents to $5.4825/bushel, and July MWE edged 2.25 cents higher to $5.79.
Surging beef prices boosted cattle futures Tuesday. Cattle future rallied strongly for little apparent reason Monday, but today’s midsession beef quote seemingly explained the move. That is, after declining Monday afternoon, beef cutout values soared at noon today, with choice quote leaping 3.84 cents and select prices spiking 5.41 cents/pound. Those moves, along with expectations for a follow-through stemming from grocer buying ahead of Independence Day, rather obviously inspired cattle buying at the CME. August cattle futures surged 1.52 cents to 153.12 cents/pound at the end of trading Tuesday, while December futures advanced 0.82 cents to 155.90. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures jumped 1.65 cents to 224.5 cents/pound, and November feeders gained 1.02 to 219.50.
Ongoing spot market losses continued weighing on hog futures Tuesday. The cash hog and wholesale pork markets were stated lower at the end of day Tuesday, thereby seeming to justify pessimism dominating the hog and pork complex lately. Traders clearly expect little summer strength either, since they’ve pushed the July and August contracts well below spot values. Conversely, if traditional strength reemerges in late June, futures might rebound strongly. August hog futures dove 1.25 cents to 79.40 cents/pound at the close Tuesday, while December slumped 0.67 to 66.62.
ICE cotton futures lifted Tuesday despite surging cotton plantings. It may have been in part due to a broad-based commodity rally Tuesday in response to a lower dollar that also pushed grains, crude oil, and metals higher. The weekly USDA Crop Progress report indicated a 20% surge in U.S. cotton plantings last week, with the Texas rate jumping 29% to 75% complete. Those results likely exceeded industry expectations and rendered traders wary of challenging major technical resistance at the 65.00-cent level (basis July futures). July cotton futures gained 0.02 cents to 65.82 cents/pound at the closing session Tuesday, while December advanced 0.37 to 65.71.