Ag markets turned mixed Tuesday afternoon

Favorable weather conditions continued weighing on corn futures Tuesday. The weekly Crop Progress report stated current U.S. corn conditions at 76% good-to-excellent, which is the highest for mid-July since 1999. When combined with near-ideal weather forecasts for the critical pollination period, it's no wonder CBOT futures fell again today. September corn slumped 7.5 cents to $3.74/bushel at Tuesday's close, while December stumbled 6.5 cents lower to $3.8175.

The soy complex also moved mostly lower. Monday's Crop Progress report stated current soybean conditions at 72% good-to-excellent, thereby marking a 20-year high for mid-July. Anticipation of extremely favorable weather during late July also seemed to spur fresh selling. In addition, the monthly NOPA Crush report was seen as bearish for meal, which in turn supported oil futures. August soybean futures dove 16.5 cents to $11.805/bushel late Tuesday afternoon, while November futures stalled at $10.8625. August soyoil rose 0.02 cents to 36.90 cents/pound, while August soymeal dropped $9.5 to $379.1/ton.

Wheat markets generally following corn and beans downward. Monday's Crop Progress report also seemed favorable to improved U.S. wheat production, and traders reportedly expect plunging corn prices to undercut wheat feed usage during the coming months. Nevertheless, Chicago wheat prices rose, with wire service sources citing bargain hunting by buyers. September CBOT wheat settled unchanged at $5.3775/bushel Tuesday, while September KC wheat lost 7.25 cents to $6.395/bushel, and September MWE wheat fell 8.75 cents to $6.305/bushel.

Cattle futures rallied moderately Tuesday. Bearish summer expectations have weighed on cattle futures lately, as indicated by last week's losses and the discounts now built into the various contracts. However, ideas that those pessimistic ideas are overdone seemed to boost CME values today. August live cattle bounced 0.77 cents to 148.57 cents/pound in late Tuesday trading, while December advanced 1.00 cent to 151.85. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle surged 0.85 cents to 211.52 cents/pound, and October climbed 0.85 to 211.77.

Hog futures moved mostly higher. Cash hog prices rose again Monday, thereby seeming to justify the broad rally and today's follow-through in the nearby contracts. Pork cutouts bounced somewhat at midday, which probably encouraged bulls. Traders still worry about reduced demand and lower late-year prices, as implied by discounts built into futures. August hog futures rallied 0.37 cents to 130.72 cents/pound as Tuesday's CME session ended, but December dipped 0.45 cents to 104.70 cents.


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