Price action: Corn futures enjoyed light short-covering throughout the day and most contracts closed high-range with gains around 8 cents. Funds bought 12,000 corn contracts (60 million bu.) today.
Fundamental analysis: Traders are cautiously optimistic the corn market may have put in a harvest low after USDA report data Friday showed the department expects corn production of just under 14 billion bushels. While this is a record-large crop, it was "smaller" than traders anticipated. Meanwhile, harvest is thought to be in its final stages and recent export data indicates prices are rebuilding demand.
But in light of the big crop, strong and consistent demand news will be needed to spur active buying in futures.
Technical analysis: December corn futures traded through and closed above near-term resistance at the mid-October low of $4.32. Bulls' next target is the August low of $4.45 3/4, closely followed by the $4.50 area. Tough support stands at Friday's low of $4.15 1/2.
Hedgers: 25% of 2013-crop production is sold via cash forward contract for harvest delivery.
Cash-only marketers: 25% of expected 2013-crop production is sold via forward contract for harvest delivery.
Price action: Soybean futures started the daytime session under light pressure, but firmed into the close to end 2 to 5 cents higher.
Fundamental analysis: Soybean futures started the day under pressure amid spread unwinding with corn, but eventually the market found spillover support from the corn market. Traders are hesitant to extend long positions following last week's gains, but January beans returned above the $13.00 level amid strong demand.
Traders still have Friday's USDA reports on their minds, which featured an uptick in the size of the crop and carryover from the September report, although carryover came in below expectations due to strong demand. Otherwise, there was little fresh news for the market to digest today due to the government holiday.
Technical analysis: January beans posted an upside day of trade on the daily chart. Bulls' next target is the October high of $13.12 3/4, with support at the early October low of $12.65 1/2.
Hedgers: Get to 100% sold in the cash market on 2013-crop production. We'll manage risk on the board the remainder of the marketing year.
Cash-only marketers: Get to 75% sold on 2013-crop production.
Price action: After a mostly firmer start to daytime trade, wheat futures began to fade, with all flavors ending mostly around 2 to 4 cents lower.
Fundamental analysis: Wheat enjoyed early support from weakness in the U.S. dollar index and spillover from corn, but favorable weather in HRW wheat country eventually began to weigh on the market. Traders say they need a fresh dose of demand news to stimulate buying interest in futures.
Traders still have Friday's USDA reports on their minds, which featured a bigger-than-expected 2013-14 carryover projection. Given the recent surge in export demand for corn, traders are also concerned that U.S. wheat has lost its competitive edge in the global market.
Technical analysis: December SRW wheat futures briefly traded above Friday's high but softened into the close. The low-range finish to the day gives bears the upper hand heading into overnight trade. Contract-low support lies at $6.35 1/2, with resistance beginning at $6.70 and extending to the October high of $7.11 1/4.
Hedgers: 75% sold on 2013-crop in the cash market. No 2014-crop sales are advised.
Cash-only marketers: 50% sold on 2013-crop. No 2014-crop sales are advised at this time.
Price action: Cotton futures saw two-sided trade today but bears had the advantage at the close. December closed mid-range with losses of 3 points, while March through July futures settled low-range with losses around 50 points. Far deferred months posted slight gains.
Fundamental analysis: Traders in the cotton market continue to digest USDA's Friday report data that showed USDA raising its 2013-14 production and carryover estimates, but to a lesser extent than traders' anticipated. This encouraged short-covering at times today. However, there was also some disappointment USDA did not raise its U.S. cotton export forecast. Plus, world cotton production is expected to be up sharply from the 2012-13 marketing year.
A weaker U.S. dollar index helped limit pressure today.
Technical analysis: December cotton futures saw an inside day of trade, leaving support at last week's low of 75.27 cents and resistance at last week's high of 78.94 cents.
Hedgers: 50% of expected 2013-crop is sold in the cash market.
Cash-only marketers: 50% sold on 2013-crop production.