Corn: Corn futures settled 1 to 2 3/4 cents higher today, which is where they traded for much of the day. Corn futures benefited from light short-covering as traders worked to close the books on the month. But a disappointing showing in today's Weekly Export Sales Report paired with needed rains in Argentina means buying interest was otherwise limited.
Soybeans: Soybean futures closed low-range with losses of 5 3/4 to 6 3/4 cents through the July contract. November 2018 futures finished 3 1/2 cents lower. Rains in dry areas of western Argentina gave traders a reason to take profits out of the long side of the soybean market today. The low-range close and forecasts calling for more rains in Argentina through the weekend make futures vulnerable to followthrough selling. But dryness is expected to return to Argentina after brief relief. And the longer-term outlook is dry given the La Nina pattern.
Wheat: SRW wheat futures settled mixed, HRW wheat ended mostly steady to fractionally lower and spring wheat ended roughly 1 to 2 cents lower. Winter wheat futures worked higher on end-of-the-month short-covering for much of the session, but buyer interest dried up late. That doesn't bode well for price action Friday.
Cotton: Cotton futures faced pressure for much of the day, but the market was able to settle midrange with losses ranging from 1 to 62 points through the December 2018 contract. Cotton futures spent the day trading in the upper portion of Wednesday's trading range, but most contracts were unable to do more than briefly poke above yesterday's high. After the recent sharp rally, traders took some profits out of the long side of the market.
Cattle: Live cattle futures traded in a wide range today, extending the market's uptrend early but then softening and sharply extending losses before crawling back for a midrange close with losses of 57 1/2 cents to $1.62 1/2. There have been some unconfirmed reports of cash cattle trade on the Plains from $120 to $121. While this would be up from last week's average of nearly $119, traders had hoped for an even bigger jump, which led to some lower trade that triggered sell stops.
Hogs: Lean hog futures traded mixed in light trade for much of the day, but faded late to finish 80 cents to $1.20 lower. A late round of profit-taking resulted in a low-range close in the hog market. Traders also narrowed the premium futures hold to the cash index. With the poor close, the market is vulnerable to followthrough selling Friday.