Corn closed up 2-percent today, with the July contract settling 12.25 cents higher at $6.0625 a bushel. Soggy fields in the U.S. Midwest have prevented many farmers from getting the corn crop into the ground. Planting delays lower the probability of maximum yields.
USDA reports that 27-percent of the corn crop is planted as of May 4, up from 10-percent the previous week. This number is well behind last year's pace of 45-percent, and even further behind the five-year pace of 59-percent.
Forecasts call for rain throughout the Southern Midwest Tuesday night into Wednesday and into the weekend. Weather this time of year in the Midwest can be very volatile with forecasts usually being met with skepticism.
Corn crop yields typically decline unless planted before the middle of May. Plants need to pollinate before the arrival of hot summer weather.
Soybeans were flying early in the session, before reversing late, to settle 9 cents lower at $12.77 a bushel on the July contract. Rising energy prices sent soybeans higher out of the gates before positive news from Argentina on the strike front sent the bulls running for cover.
Speculation that Argentina's, the world's third largest exporter, government and farmers will come to a resolution on disputes over the export tax hike, sent soybeans lower.
July rice gained 10 cents to $21.10 per hundredweight, July wheat settled 12 1/2 cents higher at $8.18 a bushel, July oats settled 9 1/2 cents higher at $4.19 1/2 a bushel, July soy-meal settled $3.20 lower at $327.80 per short ton, and July soy-oil settled 47 points higher at 57.84 cents per pound.
Cocoa closed 3.6-percent higher today, with the July contract settling $95 higher at $2,726 a metric ton. Spill-over strength from a surging CRB index, and weakness in the U.S. dollar was noted for the huge rally in cocoa today.
Sugar gained over 3-percent toady, with the July contract settling 34 points higher at 11.82 cents a pound. Crude oil rallied to a record high pulling sugar, which is used to produce ethanol, higher into the close. U.S. sugar beets were 54-percent planted on Sunday, well below the five-year average of 81-percent.
July orange juice settled 60 points higher at $1.2130 a pound, July coffee settled 100 points higher at $1.3360 a pound, and July cotton settled 107 points higher at 70.36 cents a pound.
Hogs were flying today, with June lean hogs settling 155 points higher at 74.75 cents a pound. Strong demand and rising cash prices continue to send hogs higher. July pork bellies settled 165 points higher at 76.50 cents a pound.
Cattle closed modestly higher, with June live cattle settling 62 points higher at 91.82 cents a pound. Strength in the boxed-beef wire and technical buying sent cattle mostly higher on the session. August feeder cattle settled 5 points lower at 108.20 cents.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's mid-day boxed beef wire reported choice cuts fell $0.28 per hundredweight, while select items were $0.74 per hundredweight higher.
Gold closed .4-percent higher today, with the June contract settling $3.60 higher at $877.70 an ounce. Crude oil climbing to fresh all-time high and weakness in the U.S. dollar versus the euro increases the appeal of precious metals as a hedge against inflation.
July silver settled 3 cents higher at $16.86 an ounce, June palladium settled $6.95 higher at $431.40 an ounce, and July platinum settled $42.40 higher at $1,969.80 an ounce.
Crude Oil settled at a fresh all-time high, with the June contract settling $1.87 higher at $121.84 a barrel. Supply concerns due to increasing tensions in the Middle East, and weakness in the U.S. dollar helped send crude to a new record high.
The Niger Delta rebels said they would stop attacks on the oil industry if the Nigerian Government would allow Jimmy Carter, the former US President, to act as a mediator in the conflict.
June RBOB gasoline settled 5 cents higher at $3.11 a gallon, June heating oil settled 5 cents higher at $3.36 a gallon and June natural gas settled 2.2 cents lower at $11.15 per 1,000 cubic feet.
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