Price action: July and September corn futures settled 8 1/2 and 13 cents lower, respectively. New-crop futures were 9 1/4 to 10 cents lower, which was mid-range for the day.
Fundamental analysis: Corn futures faced pressure from negative outside markets as investors reacted to liquidity concerns in China. A "rain makes grain" attitude also weighed on corn futures. While conditions are too wet across Iowa, southern Minnesota and northern Missouri, traders see conditions as mostly favorable in the eastern Corn Belt. As a result, traders have a price-negative attitude toward weather.
Funds sold an estimated 7,000 contracts (35 million bu.) of corn today. Given the price pressure on corn, it's a little surprising funds weren't even more active sellers.
Technical analysis: After challenging the top of the extended, choppy range last week, December corn futures have moved into the middle of that range. Today's low at $5.42 1/2 is initial support. A drop below that level would have bears targeting the June 17 low of $5.25 3/4. Strong support is at the May low of $5.12. To the upside, today's gap from $5.49 1/4 to $5.53 3/4 is initial resistance, followed by the tough band from $5.70 to $5.73 3/4.
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: 90% sold on 2012-crop. 25% of expected 2013-crop production is sold via forward contract for harvest delivery.
Price action: Soybean futures were under pressure most of today, aside from the lead-month July contract, but rallied near the close to finish steady to firmer. July soybeans ended 18 3/4 cents higher, while the August contract was 7 1/2 cents higher and farther-deferred contracts were steady to 3 1/4 cents higher.
Fundamental analysis: The global selloff in equities prompted by China's efforts to tighten credit pressed prices lower through most the session. But a rise in Gulf basis for immediate delivery this morning and a better-than-expected export inspections report from USDA turned trader attitudes positive toward old-crop contracts.
Traders have turned their attention away from planting delays to crop conditions and view recent rains as a long-term positive for crop yields, which pressured new-crop futures much of the day. But a late extension of gains in the July contract pulled new-crop contracts higher.
Technical analysis: July futures traded under support at Friday's low near the $14.90 area and then moved higher surging above Friday's high and closing near the daily high to post a bullish reversal.
The new-crop November contract traded sharply lower, evening gapping lower during the overnight session. But futures firmed through the trading day, filling the gap and ending steady. The $12.40 area offers broader support for November futures while the $12.80 area offers resistance. Traders are keeping their eyes on the 9-day and 200-day moving averages for a potential crossover.
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 and Kansas City wheat futures were pressured heavily today and finished with double-digit losses. Chicago wheat closed mostly 14 to 19 cents lower, while Kansas City wheat was 11 to 21 cents lower. Pressure on Minneapolis wheat was tempered and those contracts ended 2 3/4 to 6 1/4 cents lower.
Fundamental analysis: A combination of spillover pressure from sharp losses in the corn market, strength in the dollar (at least most of the day) and stepped-up harvest-related hedge pressure resulted in sharp pressure on Chicago and Kansas City wheat futures. After rain-related delays, harvest moved northward in Kansas over the weekend and as expected, yields and test weights have improved.
Losses in Minneapolis futures were tempered by concerns about unplanted acreage in North Dakota and yield potential for the late-planted crop.
Technical analysis: September Chicago wheat is hovering just above support at the June low of $6.82 1/4. Violation of this level and the April low of $6.73 3/4 would open fresh downside risk. But if these support levels are respected, it should set the stage for a post-harvest rally.
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 opened narrowly mixed but quickly softened on pressure from broad risk aversion to end 91 to 217 points lower amid bull spread unwinding.
Fundamental analysis: Early strength in the dollar index triggered stepped-up selling in the cotton market. But as the dollar weakened, buyers remained on the sidelines as traders have a cautious attitude about returning to the long side of the market. A general "risk-off" mentality triggered by liquidity concerns in China was largely behind today's weakness in cotton.
Traders remain concerned about drought conditions in Texas, but with some rains in the near-term forecast, they are waiting it out to see if crop conditions improve before reestablishing long positions.
Technical analysis: December cotton futures saw trade in positive territory in the early going, but as futures softened sell stops were triggered. Next support lies at the June low of 81.72 cents. If violated, bears' next target would be the halfway point of the rally from the November low to the June high near 82.00 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.