Price action: July and September corn ended 9 1/2 and 6 1/4 cents higher, respectively, while new-crop contracts were around a nickel higher. Corn futures closed in the upper end of today's trading range.
Fundamental analysis: Corn futures bounced back from Monday's losses with a round of short-covering. The bulk of today's price activity was pre-report positioning ahead of tomorrow's USDA reports. Funds bought 8,000 contracts (40 million bu.) of corn today.
The delayed start to the growing season and the drop in Iowa crop condition ratings over the past week provided some fundamental support today. But traders don't appear overly concerned with crop prospects at this stage. Their concern could change tomorrow depending on how USDA adjusts its new-crop production and ending stocks projections.
Technical analysis: Support for December corn futures lies at last week's low of $5.39 1/2 and then the bottom of the May 28 gap at $5.36 3/4. Filling that gap would open downside risk to the May low at $5.12. To the upside, resistance is layered from $5.70 to $5.73 3/4.
Hedgers: 100% sold on 2012-crop in the cash market. 10% of expected 2013-crop production is sold via cash forward contract for harvest delivery
Cash-only marketers: 75% sold on 2012-crop production. 10% of expected 2013-crop production is sold via cash forward contract for harvest delivery.
Price action: Soybean futures got off to a mixed start on bull spreading, but the market firmed as the day progressed. July futures ended 28 3/4 cents higher, while August futures closed with a 15-cent gain. Deferred contracts ended roughly 8 to 10 cents higher.
Fundamental analysis: The market expects USDA's reports tomorrow to remind of tight carryover supplies, which supported old-crop contracts today. In addition, basis levels around the country are again on the rise, signaling supplies are not readily available.
Meanwhile, traders are not willing to push new-crop futures much lower in light of uncertainty about the 2013 growing season. Soybean planting was just 71% complete as of Sunday, and rain is expected in the Corn Belt tonight and over the weekend.
Weakness in the U.S. dollar index also helped to give bulls an edge.
Technical analysis: November soybean futures are trading near the top of its recent consolidation range, with resistance at Friday's high of $13.33. Support is layered from the psychological $13.00 level to the June low of $12.85 1/4.
Hedgers: 100% sold on 2012-crop in the cash market. 20% forward priced on expected 2013-crop production for harvest delivery. 50% of expected 2013-crop production is hedged in November soybean futures at $12.19.
Cash-only marketers: 90% sold on 2012-crop. 20% forward priced on expected 2013-crop production for harvest delivery.
Price action: Chicago wheat futures posted a high-range close with gains of 5 1/4 to 7 cents, with Kansas City wheat ending 1/4 to 3 cents higher. Minneapolis wheat futures closed 1/4 to 4 1/4 cents higher.
Fundamental analysis: Wheat futures benefited from weakness in the dollar index and spillover from neighboring markets. Traders also focused on evening positions ahead of tomorrow's USDA reports. Given the lack of fresh positive demand news, today's gains were largely viewed as corrective in nature.
Traders expect USDA to trim the size of the wheat crop by around 31 million bu. from last month and to increase demand to result in around a 36-million-bu. drop in 2013-14 carryover from last month. Traders look for only minor adjustments to 2012-13 carryover.
Technical analysis: July Chicago wheat futures posted a slight upside day of trade on the daily chart but bulls have their work cut out in order to signal a near-term low has been posted. To do this, the contract needs closes above the April high of $7.36 3/4. Support lies at the April low of $6.64 3/4.
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 ended mixed amid bull spreading. July futures closed 141 points higher, with October up 37 cents. New-crop futures ended 70 to 111 points lower.
Fundamental analysis: Old-crop futures were lifted by weakness in the dollar index, as well as spillover from sharp gains in old-crop soybean futures. But July cotton ended well off session highs. New-crop futures also saw a highly choppy day of trade with futures softening after trading sharply higher earlier today.
In the end, traders opted to trim risk ahead of tomorrow's USDA Supply & Demand Report, as traders look for USDA to raise its 2013-14 carryover figure by around 280,000 bales from 3.0 million bales last month.
Technical analysis: December cotton futures rallied to a daily high of 86.97 cents before dropping below unchanged and posting a low-range close. Today's high is initial resistance and support begins at 84.00 cents and extends to the June low of 81.72 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.