Corn futures firmed overnight on a 1% slip in weekly crop ratings to 71% good-to-excellent. The trade was expecting a reading steady with last week, but this is a time-frame when conditions normally decline a little bit each week. The expectation of a large crop and near term demand concerns keep pressure on the corn market, though. Dec corn was up 2 to 3 cents overnight to 3.26 after holding 320 support, but the technical and seasonal trend is lower. The uptick on the chart from contract lows may, perhaps be a raise of the hammer to further drive the proverbial nail into the floor of the market? Yield projections for the August 12 WASDE report are expecting to move up to 180.4 bushels per acre.
Soybean futures saw a 5 cent trading range overnight from 8.70-1/4 to 8.75-1/4 in the November contract. Weekly crop ratings will weigh on the market as the soybean crop improves by 1% to 74% good-to-excellent. In tomorrow's USDA WASDE report, analysts are expecting the soybean yield to move to 51.3. The technical picture is weak and the trend lower, but prices are finding support at the 100-day moving average near 8.70 as the market garners some support from active buying from China and talk that key areas of Iowa and Ohio could miss much needed rains.
Winter wheat futures gained 3 cents overnight in an attempt to consolidate within a weak technical picture that keeps the market poised for additional long liquidation. U.S. wheat prices are struggling versus global wheat prices, though the lower dollar offers some support. Dec Chi wheat is building support at $5.00 level. A close below that psychological price area would support another round of selling pressure amid a lower trend where the market is looking for a potential fall season low. Rising production forecasts for Russia and good rains boosting crop prospects for Australia should mean the path of least resistance is lower for the wheat market.
Live cattle futures are called mixed. Cash optimism for the week and improved midday retail values provided support in the cattle market on Monday. Cash was undeveloped on Monday, but expectations are for maintaining higher trade as futures inch higher. Typically, early August shows seasonal weakness into early September, but Mondays move in the October contract, back above the $107, level was technically supportive.
Lean hog futures are called steady to higher. Hog futures pushed through resistance levels on Monday, and the Oct contract closed above the 100-day moving average for the first time since January after a choppy start to the day before buyers turned active. Strong retail prices and lower-than-expected slaughter is leading to short covering strength.