May 12, 2008
Corn fell over 2-percent today, with the July contract settling 14 1/2 cents lower at $6.14 ¾ a bushel. Improving planting conditions in the U.S. Midwest with forecasts for no major storms before May 21st will accelerate plantings that have experienced extended delays due to wet weather.
After the close of trading the USDA released the weekly crop progress report for the week ending May 11th. Corn plantings jumped to 51-percent planted from only 27-percent the prior week. Plantings are still well below the 77-percent 5 year average.
Today's planting number for corn came just in the middle of analysts expectations of between 40 to 60-percent planted as of Sunday.
Corn crop yields typically decline unless planted before the middle of May. Plants need to pollinate before the arrival of hot summer weather.
Rice closed mixed toady on spreading out of the July contract into September. July rice settled 23 1/2 cents lower at $22.74 per hundredweight, September rice settled 9 cents higher at $20.09 per hundredweight.
July wheat closed 1 cent higher at $8.05 1/2 per bushel, July soybeans settled 15 1/2 cents lower at $13.42 1/2 a bushel, July soy-meal settled unchanged at $338.50 per short ton, and July soy-oil settled 72 points lower at 61.28 cents per pound.
Coffee closed 1.5-percent higher today, with the July contract settling 200 points higher at $1.3855 a pound. Forecasts for below normal temperatures in Minas Gerais, Brazil's largest producing region, with concerns that frost could damage the crop sent coffee higher on the session.
Cocoa closed modestly higher today, with the July contract settling $10 higher at $2,751 a metric ton. Strength in the British pound versus the U.S. dollar helped push cocoa higher for the sixth out of the past seven sessions.
Orange juice fell to a 2 1/2-week low with the July contract settling 570 points lower at $1.1580 a pound. Weak demand and climbing estimates for this year's Florida crop, continues to weigh on orange juice.
July cotton settled 26 points higher at 71.81 cents a pound, and July sugar settled 4 points higher at 11.65 cents a pound.
Pork futures closed modestly lower today, with July lean hogs settling 60 points lower at 76.35 cents a pound. Profit-taking after climbing over 10-percent in the past 6-weeks was noted for today's decline.
Speculation that cash prices are topping out sent pork lower on the session, with July pork bellies settling 52 points lower at 79.55 cents a pound.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's mid-day boxed beef wire reported choice cuts gained $0.55 per hundredweight, while select items were $0.20 per hundredweight higher.
Cattle futures settled mixed on Monday, with June live cattle closing 22 points lower at 94.30 cents a pound. August feeder cattle settled 85 points higher at 110.77 cents.
Gold settled modestly lower, with the June contract settling 90 cents lower at $884.90 an ounce. Weakness in the U.S. dollar was not enough to offset the influence of declining energy prices as gold settled slightly lower today.
Copper closed 1-percent higher with the July contract settling 3 cents higher at $3.75 a pound. Weakness in the U.S. dollar and strong demand from China pushed copper higher on the session.
July silver settled 32 cents higher at $17.23 an ounce, July platinum settled $21.50 higher at $2,123.30 an ounce and June palladium settled $2.95 higher at $446.80 an ounce.
Crude oil fell over 1-percent today, with the June contract settling $1.73 lower at $124.23 a barrel. Rising inventories and profit-taking after climbing 8.3-percent was noted for today's decline. June RBOB gasoline settled 4 cents lower at $3.16 a gallon.
June heating oil settled 8 cents lower at $3.56 a gallon and June natural gas fell 24 cents to settle at $11.30 per million British thermal units.