Favorable factors for the corn crop, and row crops in general, have caused corn futures to slide Tuesday, though they traded higher earlier in the day. Some have noted that near-term highs in mid-July are fairly common as the climate gets drier. The 6 to 10 day weather forecast shows almost no chance above average rainfall in the Midwest or in the eastern Corn Belt. This hasn’t been the case in many weeks as corn has risen 24% since early June. Technical selling and profit taking may have also added pressure. September corn futures fell 12.75 cents to $4.2825/bushel at the close Tuesday, while December lost 13 cents to $4.3875.
The soy complex trade higher until late morning Tuesday when soybeans began to fall yet meal stayed higher after losing some morning gains. Despite a 1% lower crop rating this week, the weather outlook is finally looking drier and it appears the “coast is clear” to finish the growing season, perhaps in a more similar manner to how it began. Despite ending stocks being reported lower, drier weather is instrumental in restoring confidence in projected acreage and yields, assuming it doesn’t get too dry. August soybeans climbed 3.5 cents to $10.335/bushel at the end of trading Tuesday, while August soyoil lost .38 cents to 32.36 cents/pound and August meal gained $.4 to $357.20/ton.
Higher than expect stocks, positive weather, and lackluster export inspections are helping to drive wheat futures lower Tuesday. Spring wheat conditions were rated at 71%, 1% higher than last week and last year and winter wheat harvest is 3% behind the average at 65%, up from 55% last week. These denote improving conditions as rain subsides both in the near term and in the next few weeks. September CBOT wheat futures firmed fell 4.75 cents to $5.71/bushel Tuesday, while Sep KC wheat dropped 7.25 cent to $5.6125/bushel, and September MWE slipped 6.25 cents to $5.91.
Monday was yet another day that CME live cattle futures fell as demand seems to be in a free fall. While this progressive slide lower can feel extreme, seasonal factors may largely explain the decline. Even so, some analysts feel that cattle could go as low as 140 cents/pound in the next 12 months due to competition from cheaper meats, yet the traditional ebb and flow of summer demand suggests that during early August, pre-Labor Day demand could support prices. August cattle dropped .85 cents to 146.60 cents/pound Monday, while December futures lost .40 cents to 151.60. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures rose 0.85 cents to 211.22 cents/pound, and November feeders gained 0.02 to 206.20.
Perhaps it is not coincidental that as grain futures tumbled broadly today on a better weather outlook, the livestock complex was uniformly higher, seemingly in concert. Producers may see the shift in grains lower due to warmer Jul/Aug weather as a signal to ramp up production under a lower cost environment. Cash hogs seemed to have stabilized in the 77 range as futures seems to narrow the gap in the discount of futures to cash. August hog futures gained 2.02 cents to 75.92 cents/pound Tuesday, while December advanced 2.23 cents to 61.22.