Price action: July corn futures closed 2 3/4 cents higher. September corn ended 1 3/4 cents lower while new-crop contracts finished mostly 4 to 5 cents lower.
Fundamental analysis: Pre-report positioning dominated trade in the corn market today. Most traders are wanting to be neutral heading into tomorrow's Acreage and Quarterly Grain Stocks Reports from USDA.
Soggy areas of the western Corn Belt are expected to see a drier pattern over the next week, while areas in the far eastern Corn Belt that need rain are expected to be wetter. As a result, traders perceive the weather outlook as more crop-friendly and price-negative.
Tomorrow is first notice day for July corn futures -- the start of the delivery process. No deliveries against the July contract are anticipated given very tight supplies. Because they are in delivery, July corn futures will no longer have a daily trading limit, which increases the odds for some potential volatile trade over the next two weeks.
Technical analysis: December corn futures are near the middle of the established trading range from $5.12 to $5.73 3/4. That lowers the odds of a breakout from this range tomorrow, even if there's a sharp reaction in either direction to USDA's reports -- it would take a limit move to post either an upside or downside breakout from the range.
Hedgers: 100% sold on 2012-crop in the cash market. 25% of expected 2013-crop production is sold via cash forward contract for harvest delivery.
Cash-only marketers: 100% sold on old-crop. 25% of expected 2013-crop production is sold via forward contract for harvest delivery.
Price action: Soybean futures ended split with new-crop finishing high-range with gains of 7 1/4 to 14 1/4 cents and old-crop settling fractionally lower, which was in the lower half of today's trading range. Soymeal posted gains while soyoil posted losses for the day amid spreading.
Fundamental analysis: The market focused on readying positions for tomorrow's reports, and more of the same action is expected tomorrow morning ahead of the 11:00 a.m. CT reports. Old-crop corn benefited from expectations USDA will peg June 1 bean stocks at 441 million bu., which is just two-thirds of last year's stocks for that date.
New-crop contracts, on the other hand, were pressured by expectations USDA will raise its planted acreage estimate from March intentions to 78.024 million. This reminds of expectations for production to rebound in 2013-14. The market remains largely unconcerned about the yield implications of a very slow and wet start to the growing season. However, this morning's export sales report and a daily sales announcement reminded the market of overall soy demand strength.
Technical analysis: November soybeans continue to consolidate in a narrow range between Friday's high of $12.85 1/4 and the June low of $12.55. An upside breakout would have bulls eyeing the psychological $13.00 mark, followed by the June high of $13.33.
Hedgers: 100% sold on 2012-crop in the cash market. 20% forward priced on expected 2013-crop production for harvest delivery.
Cash-only marketers: 100% sold on old-crop. 20% of expected 2013-crop production is sold via forward contract for harvest delivery.
Price action: Wheat futures chopped around unchanged with Chicago favoring the downside for much of the day and Minneapolis the upside. Chicago ended mostly 3 cents lower, Kansas City posted losses around 4 cents in most contracts and Minneapolis ended fractionally to 1 3/4 cents higher with the exception of the front month, which settled 12 1/2 cents lower.
Fundamental analysis: Futures struggled to find much in terms of either buying or selling interest today as traders were more focused on evening positions ahead of USDA's reports tomorrow. Pre-report expectations are for USDA to cut nearly 600,000 acres from its March spring wheat intentions. But on the other hand, quarterly grain stocks as of June 1 are expected to come in at 750 million bu., which is up slightly from year-ago.
Meanwhile, the Minneapolis wheat market continues to benefit from concerns about the poor start to the spring wheat growing season. On the Southern and Central Plains, harvest continues to progress. While results have generally been poor, harvest-related hedge pressure continues to limit the market's upside. Strong weekly export sales also helped limit pressure.
Technical analysis: December Chicago wheat futures penetrated but settled above key support at the 2013 low of $6.88 1/2, leaving that price as near-term support. After that, contract-low support stands at $6.84. The psychological $7.00 level is resistance.
Hedgers: 100% sold on 2012-crop in the cash market. No 2013-crop sales advised yet.
Cash-only marketers: 100% sold on 2012-crop. No 2013-crop sales advised yet.
Price action: July cotton futures settled 55 points lower, while deferred contracts ended steady to 84 points higher.
Fundamental analysis: Trade was light today as much of the activity centered on positioning ahead of USDA's Acreage Report tomorrow. Given the slow planting pace this spring and ongoing drought in Texas, some traders are anticipating cotton acreage to slip from March intentions, even though those intentions were much smaller than year-ago.
Weekly export cotton sales were not encouraging, as USDA reported sales of only 57,000 bales for 2012-13 and a net sales reduction of 7,100 bales for 2013-14. That signals the mid-June rally in prices curbed foreign buying demand.
Technical analysis: December cotton futures are hovering near the lower end of the broad, choppy range from the June 3 low of 81.72 cents to June 14 high of 89.56 cents. A downside breakout would confirm a major market top.
Hedgers: 50% of expected 2013-crop production is hedged in December cotton futures at 83.87 cents. 50% of expected 2013-crop production is also sold via cash forward contract for harvest delivery. 100% sold on old-crop in the cash market.
Cash-only marketers: 85% sold on old-crop. 50% of expected 2013-crop production is sold via cash forward contract for harvest delivery.