Favorable crop progress data weighed on ag markets overnight. Traders and observers expected Monday’s USDA Crop Progress report to indicate a big surge in plantings last week. In fact, the results topped expectations, with corn plantings stated at 55% complete, whereas talk earlier in the day pointed to a result around 50%. The indicated rate, as well as forecasts for another week of fine weather weighed on prices overnight. July corn futures slumped 3.5 cents to $3.5775/bushel early Tuesday morning, while December lost 3.5 to $3.7425.   
    
The soy complex is staring Tuesday in narrowly mixed fashion. Monday’s talk of a potential increase in soybean oil buying sent that market higher and seemed to offer spillover support for soybeans. Meal was on the wrong side of crush spreads and rose only slightly. Oil kept rising overnight, whereas rally attempts in beans and meal seemed to be stifled by general bearishness stemming from the Crop Progress report. July soybean futures gained 0.5 cent to $9.7675/bushel Monday night, while July soyoil rose 0.11 cents to 32.74 cents/pound, but July meal skidded $0.2 to $312.8/ton.   
    
Wheat markets also declined in response to the crop news. Not only did Monday’s Crop Progress report state spring wheat plantings far ahead of normal, it bumped winter wheat condition ratings up a notch after several weeks at unchanged levels. Both of those results imply large productive potential for the summer and fall harvests, thereby exerting downward pressure upon prices. July CBOT wheat futures sagged 4.5 cents to $4.6825/bushel shortly after sunrise Tuesday, while July KC wheat dropped 4.75 cents to $4.935/bushel, and July MWE wheat dipped 3.25 to $5.27.   
    
Spot market strength apparently boosted cattle futures. Although last Friday’s surprising rebound in country cash values did little to boost CME prices, the Chicago market rallied belatedly Monday. That probably reflected the cash advance, as well as early reports of resurgent wholesale prices. Indeed, early-May beef gains could be substantial, thereby making discounted CME futures look underpriced. Afternoon GLOBEX action suggests a firm opening today. June live cattle futures ended Monday having jumped 1.55 cents to 150.72 cents/pound, while August cattle surged 1.30 to 149.12. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle futures vaulted 1.52 cents to 215.15 cents/pound, and August feeders soared 2.25 to 217.32.       
 
Cash gains likely supported CME hogs Monday. As expected, hog futures opened weakly yesterday, but turned higher almost immediately. That probably reflected indications of tightening market-ready hog supplies and talk of country strength. Conversely, midsession pork quotes proved surprisingly poor, thereby limiting gains. Afternoon pork strength suggests a higher opening this morning. June hog futures closed 0.57 cents
higher at 81.82 cents/pound Monday, while December rallied 0.55 to 69.85.        
 
Cotton futures suffered a Monday night setback. The Crop Progress report stated U.S. cotton plantings at 17% complete yesterday afternoon. That result was 1% ahead of the year-ago result, but still well behind the
10-year average (at 25% complete). The numbers seemed to weigh somewhat upon ICE values, but we suspect events in the financial markets, the May delivery situation, as well as technical factors are just as important to the fiber market at this juncture. July cotton slid 0.07 cents to 66.60 cents/pound in early Tuesday action, while December futures lost 0.38 to 66.28.