Price action: Corn futures were choppy in early trade, but selling picked up as the day progressed and futures ultimately ended near sessions lows with losses of 1 1/4 to 4 3/4 cents. Nearby contracts were the downside leader.
Fundamental analysis: As has been the trend this week, fundamental news was lacking for the corn market today. This left it vulnerable to profit-taking as soybeans softened and risk aversion heightened. The market remains uneasy about the U.S. fiscal cliff and news the euro-zone has slipped into a double-dip recession.
But selling interest also remains limited by improvement in already historically high basis levels around the country the past week. Low water levels on the Missouri river are disrupting shipping for an already limited amount of corn.
Technical analysis: December corn futures saw an inside day of trade, leaving near-term support at this week's low of $7.10 1/2, closely followed by the September low of $7.05. Resistance is layered from the November high of $7.63 1/4 to the October high of $7.76.
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 extended losses into the close to finish 11 3/4 to 17 cents lower in the January through July contracts. Deferred futures ended mostly 4 to 9 1/2 cents lower. Meal and soyoil saw spillover pressure.
Fundamental analysis: Focus in the bean pit returned to the improved South American weather outlook today, as traders say the start of the rainy season in Brazil's tropics improves crop prospects. Early pressure was limited by ideas China was increasing purchases on the price setback, but in the end, bears had momentum on their side.
Negative outside markets added to weakness in the soy complex. Slight strength in the U.S. dollar index triggered selling in crude oil and gold futures, which resulted in a risk-off stance across the commodity world.
Technical analysis: January soybean futures posted a downside day of trade on the daily chart, but held above support at this week's low of $13.91 1/4. Closes below this level would make bears' next target the June low of $12.49 1/2.
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 saw another volatile day of trade, but bears had the upper hand going into the close. Wheat futures at all three locations ended roughly 2 to 3 cents lower.
Fundamental analysis: This morning, wheat futures benefited from the Drought Monitor's depiction of the widespread drought in winter wheat country and the Climate Prediction Center's three-month outlook for drought to persist in the region. Plus, Strategie Grains lowered its European Union wheat production estimate and its world carryover projection. Adding to the tightening world stocks outlook, Egypt (the world's largest wheat importer) received notification that Ukraine will halt its wheat exports as of Dec. 1.
But the market struggles to rally without strength in the corn market. Thus, profit-taking picked up ahead of the closing bell.
Technical analysis: December Chicago wheat tested and respected near-term support at this week's low of $8.43 1/4, which is closely followed by the October low of $8.40 1/4. Resistance is layered from the Oct. 24 high of $8.95 to the November 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 finished at or near their daily highs. December futures ended 233 points higher, while deferred months closed 60 to 98 points higher for the day.
Fundamental analysis: Cotton futures benefited from ideas the downside has been overdone recently as well as ideas tomorrow's export sales report may reflect strong Chinese cotton buys after the recent price dip. Early gains triggered buy stops.
In addition, cotton's price prospects improve as one looks ahead into 2013, as the crop will need to bid for acres against soybeans. Even after the recent price break in soybean futures, cotton will still be hard-pressed not to lose acres to beans.
Technical analysis: December cotton futures surged to prices last seen in October today. Followthrough buying tomorrow would strongly signal the market has put in a near-term low and is headed for a test of the August high of 77.49 cents. Last Thursday's low of 69.03 cents is strong support.
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.