Crop futures are expected to open mostly lower on Tuesday

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Corn futures are expected to open about a nickel lower Tuesday. The corn market rallied late in the day on Monday, but futures traded lower throughout the overnight session. The weekly Crop Progress report was a little bearish, showing 53 percent of the crop was planted as of Sunday far above the average pace of 27 percent. Recent rains have also improved the outlook in the upper Midwest. The market appears to have factored in the recent export sales to China and to unknown destinations.

Soybean futures prices are set to open 10 cents to 15 cents lower. Soybean prices were pulled higher late Monday by the rally in the corn market. With corn prices weakening overnight, soybean prices also fell. Farmers are making good progress planting soybeans, with 12 percent of the crop planted as of Sunday. The soybean market remains vulnerable to noncommercial long-liquidation.

Wheat prices are forecast to open 5 to 10 cents lower. Wheat prices are taking their lead from the corn and soybean markets and wheat futures traded lower at all three markets overnight. The condition of the winter wheat crop held steady in this week’s report and more than half of the crop has headed out. Nearly ¾ of the spring wheat crop was planted with planting nearly complete in Minnesota and South Dakota.

Cattle futures are expected to open steady to lower on Tuesday. So far there has been no real activity in the cash market this week. Feedlot showlists are reported to be smaller than they were last week, but so far buyers are holding off. Cattle slaughter was light last week, but boxed beef trade is sluggish. Cattle futures prices have been generally trending down since late February and the June contract is still about $8 to $10 below cash prices which should tend to support future prices.

Hog futures prices are expected to open steady to 50 cents higher. The pork cutout value increased by more than $1 on Monday and that will probably give the hog market a boost early Tuesday. The cutout value is still very low, below $78 per cwt, but traders have been waiting for pork prices to turn higher. The fact that hog futures are oversold should help as well, with some profit-taking. Cash hog prices were down by $1 on Monday to their lowest level so far this year.

Cotton futures prices are expected to open 20 to 70 points lower on Tuesday. Some key growing areas have received beneficial rains over the last few days, improving the outlook for the 2012 cotton crop. A little more than one-fourth of the cotton crop was planted by Sunday and the pace of planting is expected to really pick up over the next couple of weeks. The severe drought is continuing in Georgia and parts of Alabama. India has reportedly lifted the country’s ban on cotton exports.



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