Price action: After a weaker start, July corn futures rallied to end 17 1/4 cents higher. The rest of the market ended 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 cents higher after a choppy day of trade. Funds bought an estimated 3,000 contracts (15 million bu.) of corn today.
Fundamental analysis: Bull spreading was the dominant force in the corn market again today as supplies are tight and there have been no deliveries against the July contract. Meanwhile, traders view the near-term weather forecast as non-threatening for the corn crop and for now, are ignoring crop struggles in Minnesota and Iowa.
Traders are also focused on evening positions ahead of the key July 4th holiday. Grain trade will end at noon CT tomorrow. The market is open Friday, but some traders will take an extended holiday break.
Technical analysis: Technical-based chart action also was key today, as December corn saw trade below the key $5.00 level for the first time since December 2010. Today's low of $4.96 1/2 is near-term support. Traders stepped in to modestly buy corn below $5.00, but if this level fails again, it could trigger a round of sell stops.
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 continued to see bull spreading today with the July contract surging as much as 15 cents higher in mid-morning trading. But the rise attracted profit-taking and the contract slipped back to finish about 2 1/2 cents higher, posting a mid-range close. August and September soybeans ended 2 3/4 and 2 1/2 cents lower, respectively. New-crop contracts finished fractionally to 1 1/2 cents lower, closing mid-range as well.
Fundamental analysis: After a stronger start, a decline in Gulf basis brought some selling into the market. New-crop futures failed to attract buying interest as traders continue to digest the rise in intended planted acres indicated by USDA along with forecasts for favorable growing conditions. However, traders were reluctant to sharply press new-crop futures lower until they have a clearer picture on crop yield potential.
Technical analysis: July futures posted an inside day on the daily chart, trading inside of Monday's wider trading range. The May-June uptrend line remains intact offering support around $15.10. November soybean futures posted another day with a lower high and lower low, eroding the previous support area at $12.50. There is wider support under $12.20. The $12.60 area appears to offer resistance. November futures are trading under the short-, mid- and long-term Moving Average momentum indicators, signaling bears have a stronghold.
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 saw trade on either side of unchanged today. Chicago ended 1 1/4 to 3 3/4 cents higher. Kansas City posted marginal losses in most contracts. Minneapolis wheat finished 21 1/2 cents lower in the front-month contract but slightly higher in most deferred contracts.
Fundamental analysis: Buying and selling interest was limited today, limiting daily action to a narrow range. Harvest-related hedge pressure continues to weigh on the Chicago and Kansas City wheat markets, but somewhat offsetting this is improving export demand and variable harvest results. Harvest was estimated at 43% complete as of Sunday; hedge pressure will likely ease once it passes halfway complete. Traders were also unwilling to push nearby Chicago wheat futures below recent contract-low support levels.
Meanwhile, slow development and emergence of the spring wheat crop is an underlying source of support for new-crop Minneapolis contracts.
Technical analysis: September Chicago wheat futures hit a new contract low of $6.52 1/4 today, slipping 1/2 cent below yesterday's low. The next level of chart support is the psychological $6.50 level, followed by the May 2012 low of $6.02 on the weekly continuation chart. The contract must move back above the $7.00 mark and the spring high of $7.41 3/4 to signal a low is in place.
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: Cotton futures posted losses of 16 to 107 points today. Nearby contracts led losses and ended low-range for the day; 2014 contracts ended mid- to high-range.
Fundamental analysis: Bears had the advantage in the cotton market after a mixed report on the state of the U.S. cotton crop from USDA yesterday. While the percent of cotton rated "good" to "excellent" rose 4 percentage points to 47%, development of the crop is well behind the norm. Thirty-seven percent of the crop is squaring, which is 8 points behind the five-year average and just 6% of the crop is setting bolls, compared to 11% on average.
Strength in the U.S. dollar index also weighed on the cotton market today.
Technical analysis: December cotton futures spent the day in the upper half of yesterday's trading range, leaving support at the late-June low of 83.05 cents. Tough resistance stands at the 100-day Moving Average, which roughly coincides with the 85.50-cent area that has capped action the past two days.
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.