Crop Progress data and harvest forecasts weighed on the crop markets. Monday’s USDA Crop Progress report stated last week’s corn harvest rate far above expectations, thereby sparking significant overnight selling. Wire service reports cited long-liquidation and talk of increased production forecasts on next week’s USDA reports for today’s follow-through losses. December corn futures tumbled 9.0 cents to $3.645/bushel at Tuesday’s close, while May lost 8.75 to $3.86.
The soy complex also turned sharply lower Tuesday. The Crop Progress report indicated the soy harvest had surged 13% to 85% complete last week, thereby topping forecasts and undercutting prices. Bearish forecasts for next week’s reports probably encouraged selling. Concurrent losses in crude and palm oil values depressed soyoil as well. Meal held up relatively well. January soybean futures fell 20.0 cents to $10.0975/bushel as Tuesday’s CBOT session ended, while December soyoil plunged 0.96 cents to 33.07 cents/pound, and December meal skidded $0.2 to $372.5/ton.
Wheat futures followed corn and beans lower. The Crop Progress report looked modestly bearish for wheat futures, due largely to the improved condition rating for winter wheat. The lack of supportive news for the golden grain markets probably rendered them vulnerable to the spillover selling. December CBOT wheat dipped 7.75 cents to $5.305/bushel in late Tuesday action, while December KC wheat sagged 7.25 cents to $5.9025/bushel, and December MWE wheat sank 8.0 to $5.69.
Cattle traders seemed to await developments Tuesday. Although recent news hasn’t been very supportive of cattle futures, the situation remains very tight. Thus, cattle traders appeared to be awaiting news today, with bulls and funds rolling longs out of the nearby contracts and into their spring/summer counterparts. December live cattle futures ended Tuesday having lost 0.40 cents to 166.65 cents/pound, while April futures moved up 0.47 to 166.27. Meanwhile, January feeder cattle futures leapt 1.80 cents to 231.60 cents/pound, and March feeders jumped 1.60 to 228.52.
Falling pork prices reversed early CME hog gains. As expected, Tuesday’s late spot market firmness translated into a strong CME hog opening this morning. However, insider talk that pork prices were declining once again apparently triggered the midmorning reversal that carried into the close. December hog futures settled down 0.87 cents at 87.97 cents/pound Tuesday afternoon, while April hogs dropped 1.00 to 88.70.