Price action: Corn futures opened even to slightly higher but quickly slumped through late morning before trimming some of the losses to post a mid-range close. September futures closed 3 1/4 cents lower while the December through July contracts finished 2 1/4 to 2 3/4 cents lower.
Fundamental analysis: Despite a lack of expected widespread precipitation this weekend across the northern and western Corn Belt, traders viewed this week's forecast of cooler temperatures and spotty precipitation as non-threatening for a corn crop moving into pollination. Some selling pressure moved into the market on the disappointing export sales report from USDA. But traders trimmed losses near the close as the $4.95 to to $5.00 range on December futures continues to provide support.
Technical analysis: September futures continue to find support in the $5.36 area, with stronger support residing at $5.25 should $5.36 break. Consecutive closes above $5.61 1/2 are needed to suggest a low is in place. The December contract continues to find support just under $5.00. It needs to move above resistance at $5.12 to signal a low is in the works.
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 closed 29 1/2 and 22 3/4 cents higher in the August and September contracts, respectively. November through March soybeans finished 11 1/2 to 14 1/2 cents higher, with lesser gains in far-deferred futures. Meal futures also posted strong gains today with the August contract ending the 20-point daily limit higher.
Fundamental analysis: Soybean futures were led higher by old-crop contracts amid tight supplies and a strong cash market. That in turn supported new-crop contracts as traders brushed aside "favorable" weather, which weighed on the corn market today.
Traders are also showing some concern with the slow development of the soybean crop. While temps are forecast to run below normal the remainder of the week and there are scattered rain chances, the lack of vegetative growth in the soybean crop is a concern.
Technical analysis: August soybean futures reached their highest level since Sept. 17 of last year on today's rally. Contract-high resistance is at $15.70.
November soybean futures are holding within the established, broad range from $12.25 to $13.33. Bulls need a close above $13.00 to open upside potential to the top of the range.
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: Chicago wheat futures settled in the lower half of today's trading range with losses around 3 to 4 cents. Kansas City wheat finished 2 to 3 1/4 cents lower for the day. Minneapolis wheat closed 3 3/4 cents lower through the May contract.
Fundamental analysis: Lacking fresh fundamental news, wheat futures took their cue from the corn market today and thus faced light selling pressure. The market continues to search for a seasonal bottom, but strong demand news is likely needed for this to occur. The U.S. has recently been passed over in favor of cheaper Black Sea supplies, though weekly export sales and export inspections tallies have nevertheless been solid.
Minneapolis wheat softened ahead of the close as traders reduced risk in preparation for USDA's Crop Progress and Condition Report. Recent reports have shown the spring wheat crop in favorable condition, despite planting delays this spring.
Technical analysis: September Chicago wheat futures continued the steady march toward contract-low support $6.52 1/4 today, coming within 2 3/4 cents of that level. A move through this key support level would open downside risk to the June 2012 low on the weekly continuation chart at $6.07 1/2. A bounce off support would have bulls eying the July high of $6.93.
Hedgers: 50% of 2013-crop is sold in the cash market. 100% sold on of 2012-crop.
Cash-only marketers: 25% of 2013-crop sale is sold. 100% sold on 2012-crop.
Price action: Cotton futures saw two-sided trade today, but the market ended high-range with gains of 14 to 61 points in all but the front-month contract, which ended 13 points lower.
Fundamental analysis: Buying and selling interest was limited in the cotton market ahead of this afternoon's crop progress and condition update from USDA. Last week's report showed crop development lagging the normal pace by a substantial margin as well as a 2-point decline in the amount of the crop rated in "good" to "excellent" condition. But there are hopes recent rains in the South have helped the cotton crop.
Weakness in the U.S. dollar index and strong gains in soybean futures gave bulls a slight advantage in today's choppy trade.
Technical analysis: December cotton futures spent the day in the upper half of Friday's trading range and finished near steady with Friday's high. This sets the stage for a test of near-term resistance at the July high of 87.11 cents, with strong resistance standing at the June high of 89.56 cents. Strong support stands at the June low of 81.72 cents, with near-term resistance at the June 25 low of 83.05 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 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.