Price action: Corn futures extended overnight gains sharply and ended 14 1/2 to 17 cents higher, which was near session highs. Funds returned as buyers of 22,000 contracts (110 million bushels).
Fundamental analysis: The release of initial FSA's acreage data pointed to a much-higher-than-expected prevented planting acreage at 3.411 million, with big declines coming in North Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota. (See "Evening Report" for more.)
Futures were also supported by weather concerns, as dry conditions are expected well into next week and drought has spread in Iowa and Illinois and intensified in Nebraska.
Also this morning, weekly export sales came in above traders' expectations thanks to strong sales of 836,100 MT for 2013-14 more than offsetting sales reductions of 59,100 MT for 2012-13.
Technical analysis: December corn futures posted a strong upside day of trade on the daily chart and closed above Monday's high of $4.69 1/4 to turn that level into initial support. The contract still has a lot of work ahead to signal a near-term low has been posted. A 25% retracement of the decline from the June high is just above today's close and a 38% retracement stands at $4.94 1/2.
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 gapped slightly higher on the open and rose throughout the day. September through March futures ended 18 3/4 to 26 1/2 cents higher for the day, while farther deferred months ended fractionally to 13 1/4 cents higher. Funds bought 10,000 bean contracts (50 million bu.) today. Soymeal and soyoil also posted solid gains.
Fundamental analysis: The release of initial 2013 acreage data from Farm Service Agency that showed soybean Prevented Plant acreage of 1.619 million set the market up for a bullish day of trade. Adding to concerns about the 2013 crop is the expansion of the Midwest drought footprint, especially in Iowa. Pair this with the forecast for dry conditions for the western Corn Belt next week along with building heat in the upper Midwest and weather concerns are beginning to get some traction.
Another headliner today was an impressive weekly export sales tally. A net sales reduction of 10,500 MT for 2012-13 was more than overshadowed by sales of 1,893,400 MT for 2013-14 delivery. This plus recent daily sales announcements signal exporters see prices as a value.
Technical analysis: November soybean futures seem to have put in a near-term low as the market has retraced more than 50% of its June to August decline. The market traded through but failed to close above resistance at the 62% retracement of $12.67 3/4, after which tough, triple-top resistance stands in the $12.97 area. The $12.50 area is now support.
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 traded higher throughout the day benefiting from spillover support from gains in corn and soybean futures. Contracts posted high-range closes with SRW up 5 to 7 cents, HRW up 2 1/4 to 8 cents and HRS up 2 to 4 cents.
Fundamental analysis: Wheat futures benefited from the surge in corn and soybean futures to move higher in mostly corrective trade. Traders continue to fret U.S. wheat is not competitively priced on the global market and today's weekly export sales report from USDA only added to that worry. USDA reported sales of 490,100 MT for 2013-14 and sales of 5,500 MT for 2014-15, which was below expectations.
In addition, private analytical firm Strategie Grain said it had raised its estimate of the 2013-14 European Union soft wheat harvest by 0.8 MMT to 134.2 MMT, which only adds to ideas there is plenty of supply available on the global market. U.S. wheat futures did get some good news that the Taiwan Flour Millers Association had purchased 101,500 MT of U.S. milling wheat.
Technical analysis: December SRW wheat futures bounced higher in corrective trading today on spillover support from corn and soybeans. The surge quickly ran into resistance at Tuesday's high of $6.57 1/2, however. There is resistance from there up to the August high of $6.79 3/4. The downtrend offers resistance at about $7.00. Support stands at yesterday's contract low of $6.35 1/2 and then every dime lower beginning at $6.30.
Hedgers: 50% of 2013-crop is sold in the cash market. 100% sold on of 2012-crop.
Cash-only marketers: 25% of 2013-crop is sold. 100% sold on 2012-crop.
Price action: Cotton futures ended 1 to 24 points higher through the March contract, with deferreds ending 16 to 24 points lower.
Fundamental analysis: Price action in the cotton pit was limited today as traders evened positions and had little news to which to react. Traders are keeping a close eye on the weather, with gains limited by some light showers across areas of the Cotton Belt. Buying in the cotton pit was limited today by lackluster export sales of 38,500 running bales for 2013-14 and sales of 5,300 RB for 2014-15. The export commitment pace is running 22% behind year-ago, which is in the ballpark to reach USDA's export projection.
Technical analysis: December cotton futures violated support at yesterday's low but posted a strong late-session recovery to end just off the daily high of 91.85 cents. Resistance is at this week's high of 92.54 cents.
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 2012-crop in the cash market.
Cash-only marketers: 50% of expected 2013-crop production is sold via cash forward contract for harvest delivery. 100% sold on 2012-crop.