Price action: Corn futures settled 17 1/4 to 20 3/4 cents lower through the July 2014 contract, which was near session lows.
Fundamental analysis: The bulk of the price pressure on corn came from the soy complex, which was under heavy pressure today. That triggered active fund-led selling, with funds dumping an estimated 18,000 contracts (90 million bu.) today. Technical-based selling pressure also came into play as support levels were violated.
Gulf basis was steady to firmer today, but overall, traders remain concerned with corn demand. While Japan has been buying U.S. corn recently to make up for shipping delays in Brazil, the export pace signals high prices have slowed use.
Technical analysis: December corn futures broke support at the October low of $7.32 1/4, which opens downside risk to the September low at $7.05, which is the bottom of the nearly two-month, sideways trading range.
Hedgers: 100% sold on 2012-crop in the cash market -- 90% for harvest delivery; 10% for March 2013 delivery. Also, Dec. $6.50 put options, which were purchased on 40% of 2012-crop for 31 1/2 cents, are held as a crop insurance hedge.
Cash-only marketers: 75% sold on 2012-crop -- 50% for harvest delivery; 10% for March 2013 delivery; and 15% for May 2013 delivery.
Price action: Soybean futures posted a sharp downside day of trade and ended low range with losses in the 40s through the May contract. Deferred months were down 30-plus cents. Soybean meal and oil also posted heavy losses, though oil finished well off its lows.
Fundamental analysis: Needed rains in dry areas of northern Brazil over the weekend with more in the forecast and a drier forecast for soggy southern regions of the country encouraged followthrough selling today as it ups the odds for a record-large soybean crop for the region. This encouraged bears to build on Friday's heavy losses after USDA report data showed carryover and production are larger than earlier thought. Until fresh demand news arises, the market will likely remain in free fall.
Technical analysis: January soybean futures faced heavy followthrough selling after a close just below the 62% retracement level of the June to September rally at $14.52 3/4 on Friday, which is new resistance. The market is headed for a test of the 75% retracement level at $13.82 1/2. But before that, the market will challenge the psychological $14.00 mark.
Hedgers: 100% sold on 2012-crop in the cash market. No futures/options positions at this time. No 2013-crop sales advised yet.
Cash-only marketers: 75% sold on 2012-crop production for harvest delivery.
Price action: Wheat futures sharply extended losses through the day and finished just off session lows. Chicago and Minneapolis wheat futures posted losses in the mid- to upper 20s in most contracts. Nearby Kansas City wheat ended roughly 31 cents lower.
Fundamental analysis: Much of today's pressure was tied to spillover from soybean futures, as traders had little fresh news to digest due to USDA being closed for the holiday. As a result, traders remained focused on Friday's higher-than-expected carryover projection from USDA, as well as concerns U.S. wheat is not competitively priced on the global market.
However, traders remain concerned about the lack of moisture in the U.S. Central and Southern Plains. Weekend showers missed the driest areas of the region and there's little in the near-term forecast. Traders expect tomorrow afternoon's crop condition data to show further deterioration in the crop.
Technical analysis: December Chicago wheat posted a big downside day of trade on the daily chart. Followthrough buying would threaten support at the October low of $8.40 1/4. A move through that level would make $8.00 bears' next target. Resistance stands at Friday's high of $9.16 1/2.
Hedgers: 75% cash sold on 2012-crop in the cash market.
Cash-only marketers: 75% of 2012-crop production is sold.
Price action: Cotton futures benefited from short-covering today, though they came off session highs for a mid-range finish with gains of 68 to 130 points.
Fundamental analysis: Funds started the week by covering short positions. But with the government closed today there was little fresh news, so futures settled mid-range. Traders also suspect new export business was behind this morning's gains, although nothing has been confirmed and traders see supplies as abundant.
Cotton's ability to shrug off mixed outside markets and especially spillover from sharp losses in soybean futures was impressive, as the two will compete for acres in the South next spring.
Technical analysis: December cotton futures posted an upside day of trade on the daily chart, but ended just beneath initial resistance at last week's high of 71.10 cents after moving above this level earlier. Support begins at last week's low of 69.03 cents and extends to the contract low of 64.61 cents.
Hedgers: 50% priced on expected 2012-crop production via cash forward contract for harvest delivery. A breakout from that range is needed to spark a trending move.
Cash-only marketers: 50% priced on expected 2012-crop production via forward contract for harvest delivery.