Price action: Corn futures faced pressure for most of today's session and futures ended low-range with losses of 1 1/4 to 3 3/4 cents for the day.
Fundamental analysis: Fresh news was lacking for the corn market today, which left traders to focus on some light profit-taking amid strength in the U.S. dollar index and rumors EPA may reduce the ethanol mandate in the Renewable Fuels Standard. Gulf basis strength signals exporters see current prices as a value, as does the uptick in weekly ethanol production last week. But due to the record-large 2013 crop, this has only been enough to stave off heavy selling pressure.
Technical analysis: December corn posted a downside day of trade, but the contract respected psychological support at the $4.25 area, after which tough support stands at the 2013 low of $4.15 1/2. Resistance is tightly layered from this week's high of $4.38 to the October high of $4.49 3/4.
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 saw a choppy day of trade and mostly ended steady to 2 1/2 cents lower on the day, which was mostly a mid-range close. Soymeal ended steady to slightly higher while soyoil closed mixed with an upside bias.
Fundamental analysis: Strong export demand for U.S. soybeans is known, which means today's 40,000-MT soybean oil sale for 2013-14 was only enough to ward off heavy selling; not enough to spur active buying interest. Spillover from the corn market and dollar strength for much of the day added light pressure, as does a favorable start to soybean planting in South America.
Traders will get an update on weekly export sales tomorrow, with pre-report expectations showing the market anticipates another week of strong sales. Pre-report expectations for monthly NOPA crush are for an increase in the crush rate in October as supplies became available.
Technical analysis: January soybean futures hit a new weekly high of $13.21 1/2 before profit-taking ensued, pushing the contract down to support at the Oct. 8 high of $13.05. But the contract ultimately ended mid-range.
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: Wheat futures enjoyed gains overnight and this morning, but the market saw some profit-taking ahead of the close. SRW wheat futures closed fractionally to 2 1/4 cents lower, HRW ended 1 to 2 1/2 cents higher and HRS wheat ended marginally higher in the front-month but around a penny lower in deferred contracts.
Fundamental analysis: Wheat futures initially benefited from some corrective buying and a flurry of export business overnight. Wheat has trended lower since late October and traders are on-watch for signs prices have dipped "low enough." Buys of U.S. wheat by Japan, South Korea and Brazil spurred some thoughts U.S. wheat may have again found "value" levels.
But countering this is news Egypt bought wheat from Romania and France. The strong start to the growing season for the U.S. winter wheat crop will also remain a limiting factor.
Technical analysis: December SRW wheat futures have been consolidating around and closing near the $6.45 area this week, and today was no exception. The contract must move above the July double-bottom at $6.66 1/4 to signal a trend change is in the works. The contract low of $6.35 1/2 marks tough support.
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 faced pressure throughout the day and the market ended low-range with losses of 80 to 129 points.
Fundamental analysis: Traders took advantage of yesterday's gains and early strength in the U.S. dollar index by booking profits today. The December contract has chopped in a wide range between 79 cents and 75 cents for the month of November as the market remains uncertain about future export demand from China. The country is expected to release some of its massive stockpiles onto the market soon, which is would likely curb Chinese demand for the U.S. fiber.
Tomorrow's weekly export sales report will provide another read on the export demand situation.
Technical analysis: December cotton futures faced pressure today, but the contract settled in line with the uptrend drawn of the November lows, which intersects around 76.80 cents tomorrow. A move below the uptrend would point to a test of the 2013 low of 75.27 cents.
Hedgers: 50% of expected 2013-crop is sold in the cash market.
Cash-only marketers: 50% sold on 2013-crop production.