Crop markets were mixed ahead of today's USDA reports

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Corn futures couldn’t sustain their Sunday night bounce. After moving lower last week, the corn market rebounded slightly Sunday night. That was not terribly surprising, since a lot of short-covering is expected before the late morning release of the USDA Crop Production and WASDE reports. Prices then slipped again in early morning trading. September corn dipped 2.0 cents to $4.6375/bushel around dawn Monday, while December was unchanged at $4.5325.

The soy complex extended last week’s late rebound. After dropping sharply since July 22, soybean futures led a general rebound last Thursday and Friday. The rally continued at the start of this week. As with the other crops, traders were probably covering previously established short positions, especially with most industry forecasts implying cuts in the forthcoming USDA data. September soybeans surged 11.0 cents to $12.295/bushel early Monday morning, while November beans advanced 10.25 to $11.925. September soyoil climbed 0.42 cents to 41.92 cents/pound, while September soymeal added $3.4 to $394.0/ton.

The wheat markets were mixed in overnight action. The favorable weather outlook and fall crop prospects are not as important to wheat traders, since the winter wheat harvest is largely complete. Still, today’s USDA reports also have considerable potential to move the markets, so trading was mixed Sunday night. September CBOT wheat slid 1.75 cents to $6.3175/bushel early Monday morning, while September KCBT wheat and September MGE futures were both steady at $6.9725 and $7.32/bushel, respectively.

Cattle futures should open strongly this morning. The Chicago market backed away from gains prompted by midweek news that Tyson will not accept slaughter cattle fed the feed additive Zilmax after September 6. However, packers paid $2/cwt more for country cattle Friday afternoon than they had in recent weeks, which will very likely prompt a bullish reaction upon today’s opening. October cattle slid 0.20 cents to 126.87 cents/pound at Friday’s settlement, while December ended the week 0.07 cents lower at 128.80. September feeder cattle futures lost 0.35 cents to 157.47 cents/pound, and November sank 0.33 cents to 160.37.

Lean hog futures may also rebound to start the week. Cash and wholesale news released Thursday and again at midday Friday proved surprisingly weak, which apparently triggered selling at the CME. However, prospects for a strong cattle opening, as well as a sharp rise in pork cutout late Friday afternoon also suggest a strong start to this week’s trading in the hog pit. October hog futures tumbled 0.27 cents to 84.97 at their Friday close, while December slumped 0.10 cents to 82.05.

Cotton futures set back again in Sunday night action. After vaulting upward last Wednesday and Thursday, cotton futures declined Friday and again overnight. Optimism about future demand and concerns about forthcoming crops powered the rise, but traders are rather clearly reluctant to hold positions ahead of the midsession USDA Crop Production and WASDE reports. October cotton futures skidded 0.03 cents to 89.02 cents/pound in early Monday trading, while December fell 0.98 cents to 87.95.



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