After the Bell | July 15, 2021
Corn: December corn futures closed down 2 1/2 cents at $5.56 1/4 today. Prices closed near mid-range today and saw some chart consolidation after recent gains. Corn traders are asking themselves if the recent corrective bounce in futures prices has run its course, after futures rallied around 40 cents from the July low. Today’s price action may be just a corrective pause in the rebound. Friday’s price action will be more important for corn futures. A close nearer the weekly high would suggest the bulls still have power to push prices farther north.
Soybeans: November soybeans closed down 3 1/4 cents at $13.80 a bushel today. Prices closed nearer the session low today. December soybean meal closed down $7.00 at $363.80 today and near the session low. December bean oil closed up 74 points at 64.49 cents today, near midrange and hitting a four-week high. Soybean traders continue to weigh the more bearish near-term weather picture for the U.S. soybean crop, which has seen beneficial rains the past two weeks, against the longer-term outlooks that are calling for warmer and drier conditions in the Midwest in late-July/early-August. Any hot and dry weather in August, during the key development stage of most of the U.S. soybean crop, could dent yield potential.
Wheat: Despite concurrent weakness in both corn and soybean futures, September SRW wheat futures surged 17 3/4 cents to $6.72 Thursday, while September HRW advanced 12 1/4 to $6.40 1/4 and the September HRS contract leapt 21 ¼ cents to $8.94. Forecasts for a return of extremely hot, dry weather to the Northern Plains through the balance of July played a major role in powering the wheat markets higher today. As one would expect, the HRS contracts led the way higher. Given the widespread problems the U.S. and Canadian spring wheat crops have already been experiencing, this is bad news for the late summer-fall harvest outlook.
Cotton: December cotton closed down 76 points at 89.05 cents today. Prices closed nearer the session low today and hit another contract high early on. The cotton market bulls were dented a bit today by disappointing weekly export sales. U.S. cotton net sales of 34,500 running bales (RB) for 2020-21 were down 34% from the previous week and 51% from the prior four-week average. China took 3,500 RB. For 2021-22, net sales of 116,400 RB saw China take 4,900 RB. Exports of 185,900 RB were down 37% from the previous week and 31% from the prior four-week average. Exports were 22,100 RB to China.
Hogs: July lean hog futures expired down 25 cents at $112.125. August hogs fell 80 cents, while fall- and winter-month contracts ended 17 1/2 to 65 cents higher. July hogs expired $1.125 higher than the cash index, signaling traders expect the cash market to continue to strengthen ahead of the contract’s July 19 settlement. August hogs faded today, despite more than a $7 discount to where the cash index will be quoted tomorrow (as of July 14). That suggests traders believe the runup in the index will be short-lived and seasonal pressure will weigh on the cash market as slaughter supplies typically start to build.
Cattle: Live cattle futures finished narrowly mixed, with the August, October and December contracts 12 1/2 to 25 cents lower, while far-deferred contracts posted modest gains. Feeder cattle faded from earlier gains to also finish narrowly mixed. Price action was light and choppy in the live cattle market as traders awaited more activity in the cash cattle market. So far this week, only light cash sales have been reported around steady prices with week-ago. But some of the mild pressure in nearby futures was tied to prices easing just a bit from earlier in the week.