The surging dollar seems to be depressing the ag markets. Monday’s USDA Crop Progress report stated U.S. corn plantings at 85% complete, which may have encouraged bears somewhat. However, the U.S. dollar is rebounding rather dramatically from recent losses, thereby raising the implicit cost of U.S. goods to export customers. That’s apparently weighing upon the corn market. July corn futures sank 6.5 cents to $3.615/bushel as lunchtime loomed Tuesday, while December lost 6.25 to $3.795.      
 
The soy complex also proved vulnerable to early selling. The Crop Progress report stated soybean planting progress at 45% complete as of Sunday. That result actually fell somewhat short of industry expectations. Moreover, the belated weekly Export Inspections report, as well as news of a big old-crop sale to China, also looked supportive of bean and product prices. But the dollar surge, as well as concurrent palm and crude oil losses seemed to drag the whole complex lower. July soybean futures fell 10.25 cents to $9.4425/bushel around midsession Tuesday, while July soyoil plunged 0.72 cents to 32.06 cents/pound, and July meal sagged $1.6 to $306.4/ton.      
 
Wheat futures have given back much of Monday’s advance. The USDA wheat conditions data indicated another improvement in winter wheat conditions, which got bulls looking for damage from excessive rains off on the wrong foot overnight. When combined with recent news that Russia has lifted it export tariff and the big dollar surge, those factors sent exchange prices tumbling. July CBOT wheat futures dropped 13.5 cents to $5.0825/bushel in late Tuesday morning action, while July KC wheat dove 14.75 cents to $5.4025/bushel, and July MWE wheat slumped 12.5 to $5.62.      
 
Cattle futures bounced from technical support Tuesday morning. CME traders apparently worry that grocer interest for Memorial Day is ending, thereby presaging a short-term drop in beef demand. That helps explain the big CME losses seen lately. Conversely, the wholesale market seems to be holding together very well, which probably played a role in this morning’s rebound from moving average support. June live cattle futures bounced 0.57 cents to 152.25 cents/pound shortly before the lunch hour Tuesday, while August cattle rallied 0.70 to 150.72. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures rose 0.22 cents to 216.95 cents/pound, and November feeders moved up 0.30 to 214.77.       
 
Hog futures stabilized in the wake of early losses. The livestock/meat industry also seems pessimistic about short-term hog/pork prospects, as exemplified by the fact that the nearby June contract was trading belowthe latest estimate for the CME Hog Index (which futures cash-settle against) around midday. That fact may be a big reason bears couldn’t force a downside follow-through from early losses. June hog futures slid 0.15 cents to 82.25 cents/pound late Tuesday morning, while December skidded 0.10 to 70.20.    
    
Cotton futures followed through to the downside this morning. Having the weekly Crop Progress report indicate U.S. cotton plantings were only 35% complete seemed supportive of ICE values, but the fact that excessive moisture is delaying farmer activity (after years of general drought) probably stifled bullish reactions. The midmorning failure of a belated rally attempt, as well as the ongoing U.S. dollar surge, apparently
spurred active selling, especially after the July future penetrated major moving average support. July cotton tumbled 0.81 cents to 64.11 just before noon Tuesday, while December futures dropped 0.63 to 64.55.