Corn futures were down a penny overnight after improving on Tuesday. Yesterday’s Crop Progress report showed that 66% of the corn crop has been harvested, versus expectations that 68% of the corn crop would be harvested. Corn harvest is still 19% behind the average pace due to wet and snowy conditions across the Midwest. The longer term outlook into December does not look any better, so much will need to be accomplished when conditions allow during an also dicey 6 to 10 day forecast. Corn futures are also technically oversold, which could increase buyer interest, though moving average levels overhead have proved staunch resistance for the past month or so.
Soybean futures were up a penny overnight. Most traders were expecting soybean harvest to come in at 87% complete on yesterday’s Crop Progress report, but instead, the USDA reported that just 85% of the soybeans have been harvested. This is running 7% behind last year’s pace, and forecasts are pointing to slow harvest conditions ahead. Yesterday’s export inspections number was somewhat supportive as well, thought price action was relatively muted and was unable to break through nearby moving average resistance after falling below on Friday’s bearish Supply and Demand report. Soybean futures are oversold, though one could also argue a head-and-shoulders formation is still pointing lower on the charts.
Wheat futures eased again overnight with most contracts off 2 to 3 cents. The winter wheat contract had a stellar session yesterday, punching through nearby moving average resistance on concerns that unusually harsh late fall weather may reduce yield down the road, but was unable to keep going last night. Wheat markets seem to have a tendency to correct after sharp moves, such as yesterday’s and may have put themselves on bearish traders’ radar after the jump. Winter wheat conditions seem to reflect the friendly sentiment, with just 54% of the winter wheat crop rated good to excellent, versus the average guess of about 57%. Winter wheat plantings came in at 92%, steady with the average pace, though 1% behind the average guess.
Cattle futures are called steady to higher. Stronger cash last week and expectations for firmer cash this week provide underlying support. This was evident as futures tried to move lower yesterday but rallied toward the close on expectations for better cash. Talk of some feedyards gearing up for large scale deliveries in December are not having much impact over the December contract and any news about an earlier start date for the Tyson plant in Kansas plant might propel the nearby contract upward. April cattle made new contract high toward the end of yesterday’s session.
Hog futures are called mixed to higher on the heels of triple digit gains yesterday. Dec hogs closed 1.42 higher at 64.72, well above the index value of 59.44. Expectations for firming cash would suggest the index has plenty of room to climb higher.