Corn futures built on Monday gains last night. Corn seemed to follow wheat higher yesterday despite general ideas that current U.S. conditions are setting the stage for another bumper harvest. The weekly USDA Crop Progress report stated current good-to-excellent corn conditions unchanged from the week prior, whereas a slight improvement was expected. That news, along with continued wheat gains, seemed to boost prices again overnight. July corn gained 2.5 cents to $3.5475/bushel early Tuesday morning, and December added 2.75 to reach $3.7175.
Surprisingly slow bean plantings may have sparked the overnight bounce. The Crop Progress report stated U.S. soybean plantings at just 71% complete, whereas a 75% reading was expected. Indeed, the pace fell behind historical norms for late May, which may be diminishing fall yield prospects. Bearish traders also proved unable to trigger a drop to fresh chart lows yesterday, which may have encouraged speculative bottom picking. July soybean futures bounced 6.25 cents to $9.3225/bushel Monday night, while July soyoil slumped 0.17 cents/pound to 34.34, and July meal rose $2.9 to $299.5/ton.
The wheat markets sustained their Monday surge. Surprisingly good news on the weekly Export Inspections report apparently triggered yesterday’s wheat rally, with the move reportedly being exaggerated by active funds short covering. Futures continued the advance overnight, due in part to a decline in winter wheat ratings on Monday’s USDA report. Minneapolis price also rose despite an increase in spring wheat condition ratings. July CBOT wheat futures moved up 3.75 cents to $4.975/bushel soon after the sun rose over Chicago Tuesday, and July KC wheat rallied 4.5 cents to $5.1875/bushel, and July MWE wheat climbed 3.75 cents to $5.5175.
Cash cattle trading last Friday supported prices Monday. Last Friday’s huge wholesale losses undercut cattle futures and seemingly boded ill for week-ending cash market action. However, country prices actually proved rather mixed, which very likely powered Monday’s gains. Mixed afternoon beef quotes seemed to lend futures some bullish momentum in GLOBEX action, which may lead to a firm Tuesday opening. August live cattle futures advanced 0.975 cents to 152.15 cents/pound at Monday’s close, while December cattle rose 0.57 to 155.05. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures rallied 0.65 cents to 223.55 cents/pound, and November feeders ran up 0.57 to 219.77.
Friday’s pork bounce seemed to spur hog gains. Hog futures resumed their recent tendency to track with cattle Monday, rising in concert with nearby cattle most of the day. However, bulls couldn’t overcome persistently firm overhead resistance and finished only moderately higher. Monday’s late spot news was rather mixed, but the sizeable increase in Iowa direct hog prices seems likely to translate into early-Tuesday CME strength. August hog futures ended Monday having surged 0.80 cents to 83.37 cents/pound, while December moved up 0.35 to 69.77.
Cotton firmed in response to the USDA data. As one would expect, the rains swamping large areas of the southern Plains kept much Texas cotton from being planted last week, with the weekly Crop Progress report indicating the national planting total running over a week behind normal as of Sunday. Texas planting is only 46% complete, versus a seasonal norm at 70%. That wasn’t terribly surprising, but still seemed to spur renewed overnight buying. July cotton rebounded 0.16 cents to 63.91 cents/pound in early Tuesday trading, and December futures lifted 0.19 to 64.26.