Corn: Corn futures spent most of the day session in positive territory, with gains fading as the day progressed. The market struggled to push above yesterday’s highs and was only able to muster a steady to fractionally higher close. Corn futures moved higher overnight on USDA’s report that just 30% of the U.S. corn crop had been harvested as of Sunday, which was four points lighter than anticipated and well shy of the five-year average for harvest to be nearing half complete. Harvest pressure is also limiting the market’s upside.
Soybeans: November soybeans closed up 3/4 cent at $9.34 today, while January beans gained 1 1/2 cents at $9.48 1/4. December soybean meal lost 80 cents at $306.90 and December bean oil gained 37 points, hitting a five-month high and closed at 30.85 cents. The bean market started out strong overnight and then lost steam as the U.S. day session progressed. Reports early this morning said Beijing issued Chinese soybean crushers quotas for 10 MMT of duty-free soybean imports from the U.S. in an attempt to advance trade talks.
Wheat: Winter wheat markets finished 3 to 5 cents lower, led by SRW contracts. The most actively traded spring wheat contracts finished the day unchanged. Wheat futures were firmer overnight, but once buyer interest dried up in the soybean market during daytime trade, wheat struggled to find buyers. With today’s low-range closes, the wheat market is vulnerable to followthrough selling overnight.
Cotton: Cotton futures settled midrange for the day with modest gains of 8 to 13 points through the July 2020 contract. Cotton futures attempted an early push to the upside amid positive talk on the U.S./China trade front. Both sides indicate progress is being made on the initial phase of the deal that was agreed upon two Fridays ago.
Cattle: Live cattle futures favored the downside in choppy action today and settled $1.075 lower in the front-month and mostly 2 ½ to 17 ½ cents lower in deferred months. Feeder cattle futures were able to hold onto modest gains, finishing 27 ½ to 70 cents higher on the day. Cattle futures have stalled in recent sessions amid concerns the cash market could be due for a setback. October futures are in line with last week’s cash action, and December live cattle are several bucks above the latest cash action. That, in turn, raises concerns futures may be near a short-term top.
Hogs: December lean hog futures dropped $2.325 to $65.50 today. February hogs lost $1.90 to $76.275. Prices closed near the session lows and hit two-week lows today. Record-setting hog kills recently are bearish for futures prices and have traders concerned about supplies backing up, especially since relations with China are fluid. Week-to-date estimated hog slaughter is down 1,000 head from last week, but up 31,000 head from last year.