Corn: Corn futures ended the day steady to 1 1/4 cent higher, trimming this week's losses. December corn still finished the week 5 1/2 cents below last week's closing level. Traders' focus will undoubtedly remain on the weather next week. This week's rain event was disappointing for much of Iowa, but cooler temps are limiting stress on the crops. The forecast for early August remains dry, which should at least help to limit pressure on corn next week. But the absence of heat will limit buying interest.
Soybeans: Soybean futures settled 5 1/2 to 6 cents higher for the day, with nearbys ending back above the $10.00 mark. For the week, the market posted slight losses, with the November contract down 9 1/4 cents. We have been in a weather market and scrutiny on the market will increase as the calendar flips to August and the soybean crop's key pod filling period. The outlook for next week currently looks cool and dry for much of the Corn Belt, and dry conditions are already causing some crop concerns in western areas of the Belt.
Wheat: Wheat futures enjoyed solid gains for much of the day, but profit-taking moved into these markets late, resulting in a mixed trade for HRW and HRS wheat futures. SRW wheat still edged out gains around a penny. All three flavors ended lower on the week, with the September HRS wheat contract down 25 1/4 cents. The Northern Plains could see some rains over the weekend, but the outlook for the first week of August is hot and dry. If the forecast plays out as expected, yield potential will likely continue to erode.
Cotton: Cotton futures ended the day slightly lower, but posted slight gains for the week. Light support this week came from an unexpected drop in cotton crop conditions. But our weighted Crop Condition Index still shows the crop nearly seven points above the five-year average. Crop ratings will again be in focus on Monday, with there being risk of further declines next week due to mostly dry conditions across Texas and the mid-South the last seven days.
Cattle: Cattle futures ended the day under pressure to extend this week's losses. October live cattle posted a weekly loss of nearly $5 and September feeders posted a weekly loss of just over $6. Bears clearly have momentum on their side heading into next week, but nearby futures hold a discount to their respective cash markets, which should limit early week selling. Still, traders have last week's bearish Cattle on Feed and Cattle Inventory Reports on their minds and beef prices continue to soften seasonally.
Hogs: Lean hog futures faced pressure today and the market settled 30 cents to $1.17 1/2 lower for the day. The front month posted gains for the week, while deferred contracts finished with modest weekly losses. Traders will continue to monitor the product market closely for signs pork bellies have put in a top, likely pulling down the product market and cash prices. But traders have a decline factored into futures prices.