The weekly Crop Progress report released Monday afternoon obviously depressed corn futures Tuesday, since the indicated surge in U.S. corn plantings easily exceeded expectations. Concurrent developments in the financial markets, particularly equity index slippage and U.S. dollar strength may have weighed upon prices early, but late mitigation of those moves seemed to take pressure off of commodities. Talk that recent old-crop price strength had sparked active farmer selling apparently weighed upon nearby futures. July corn fell 9.5 cents to $6.40/bushel Tuesday afternoon, while December ended the day unchanged at $5.2025.
Old crop soybean futures were hit by talk of accelerated farmer sales in response to rising spot quotes Tuesday morning, but the nearby July contract reversed to the upside later in the day. Ideas that frantic corn plantings will enable farmers to plant beans on time seemingly depressed the deferred contracts. July soybean futures gained 13.75 cents to $14.7825/bushel at the Tuesday close, while July soyoil bounced 0.28 cents to 49.48 cents/pound, and July soybean meal inched $3.4 higher to $438.7/ton.
Tight old crop supplies seemed to support the expiring Minneapolis wheat contract Tuesday, whereas prospects for increased production apparently dragged the other contracts lower. The fact that many areas where plants are already growing are being blessed with plentiful moisture may also be weighing upon the markets. July CBOT wheat futures dropped 4.75 cents to $6.805/bushel in Tuesday trading and July KCBT wheat tumbled 6.5 to $7.385, while July MGE futures rose 2.75 cents to $8.135.
The ongoing advance in wholesale values seems to support cattle futures Tuesday; choice cutout set a fresh record at 210.04 cents/pound Monday afternoon and rose slightly again at midday. That strength, as well as very profitable margins for beef packers suggest country cattle prices will also rise later this week. That made discounted CME futures seem rather cheap. June cattle surged 0.77 cents to 120.90 cents/pound at the Tuesday settlement, while December advanced 1.30 cents to 125.20. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures leapt 2.00 cents to 146.47 cents/pound, and November jumped 1.95 cent to 152.00.
Anticipation of seasonal strength through mid-June seemed to support CME lean hog futures Tuesday, especially with the CME index remaining above the latest futures quotes. On the other hand, both the cash and wholesale markets have shown signs of weakness to start this week; that might bode rather ill for the hog/pork complex over the short run. June hog futures rose 0.32 cents to 92.40 cents/pound at their Tuesday close, while December futures added 0.52 cents to 78.60.