Corn futures dipped early Tuesday morning. The weekly USDA Crop Progress report showed the U.S. corn harvest moved forward very quickly last week and is now 80% complete. The advance wasn’t unexpected. Early news that CONAB had only tightened its forecast for the Brazilian crop may also have had little market impact. Futures are trading mixed. December corn futures crept up 0.25 cent to $3.695/bushel Monday night, while May lost 0.25 to $3.9075.
The soy complex is starting Tuesday on a firm note. The Crop Progress report stated the U.S. soy harvest as being 90% complete, which fell slightly short of expectations at 91%. That news, along with underlying ideas about soy demand strength, may have enabled the market to shrug off a relatively large soy export forecast out of Brazil. January soybean futures rallied 2.5 cents to $10.2825/bushel in predawn Tuesday trading, while December soyoil climbed 0.29 cents to 32.65 cents/pound, and December meal gained $2.6 to $383.5/ton.
The wheat markets traded mixed overnight. The Crop Progress report indicated U.S. winter wheat conditions improved 1% to 50% good-to-excellent, thereby topping the 10-year average by 2%. That probably explains the slippage suffered by the Chicago and KC markets last night. Brazil’s modest cut to its wheat harvest forecast may be supporting spring wheat prices. December CBOT wheat slid 2.0 cents to $5.1525/bushel early Tuesday morning, while December KC wheat skidded 1.75 cents to $5.7125/bushel, but December MWE wheat rose 0.75 to $5.55.
Weather news may have supported cattle futures Monday. The cattle and beef situation remains tight, but the supply shortage could become extreme if the Great Plains are hit with a cold, snowy winter. Thus, futures rallied in response to the storm that hit the northern tier of states. Late-day electronic action suggested a weak opening today. December live cattle futures closed up 0.32 cents to 167.12 cents/pound Monday afternoon, while April futures climbed 0.40 to 167.55. Meanwhile, January feeder cattle futures rallied 0.30 cents to 232.75 cents/pound, and March feeders rallied 0.65 to 230.30.
Talk of weather conditions may have boosted hogs as well. CME hog traders seemingly expect a short-term hog/pork rally, which probably reflects suspicions that hams are underpriced. Forecast wintry conditions may also slow hog growth and make deliveries difficult, thereby tightening mid-November supplies. That likely boosted prices yesterday, but late-day spot quotes were not supportive. December hog futures vaulted 0.77 cents to 89.55 in late Monday trading, while April hogs surged 0.70 to 90.80.
The Crop Progress report may be boosting cotton prices. The weekly USDA report indicated the cotton harvest progressed nicely in most areas last week. However, recent Texas rainfall has delayed the harvest in that state and may be hurting cotton quality. Those factors probably explain the overnight ICE bounce. December cotton futures rebounded 0.37 cents to 62.80 cents/pound shortly after sunrise Tuesday, while March futures inched up 0.03 cents to 61.35.