June 2, 2008
Corn closed 2.8-percent higher today, with the July contract settling 16 1/2 cents higher at $6.15 3/4 a bushel. The move up was attributed to short-covering prior to today's USDA crop condition report.
After the close, the USDA reported that the corn that had emerged above ground was still below the five year average. While corn that has emerged above ground climbed from 52 to 74 percent over the past week, the number is still below the five year average of 89 percent.
In addition to this bullish report, the USDA also released the condition of the corn crop for the first time this year. Corn rated in the good-to-excellent range was pegged at 51-percent. Most analysts were expecting the number to fall between the 50 to 65-percent range.
Wheat closed 2.8-percent higher today, with the July contract settling 21 3/4 cents higher at $7.83 1/4 a bushel. Dry conditions in Australia continued to increase concerns over the newly seeded crop. Rainfall in Australia for May fell to the lowest level on record.
In addition to the corn report, the USDA als reported that soybeans plantings as of June 1st came in at 69-percent complete. This number is well below the 5-year average of 81-percent and lower than the analysts' estimates of anywhere between 70 to 75 percent.
July soybeans settled 2 cents higher at $13.65 1/2 a bushel, July soy-meal settled $1.50 higher at $343.00 per short ton, and July soy-oil settled 39 points higher at 61.70 cents per pound.
Crude oil closed 0.3-percent higher today, with the July contract settling 41 cents higher at $127.76 a barrel. Crude oil started the day lower, but reveresed on a bullish manufacturing report.
The Institute for Supply Management's factory index climbed to 49.6 from 48.6 in April. Fifty is the dividing line between contraction and expansion. Analysts were expecting the index to decline to 48.5.
Natural gas closed 2.3-percent higher today, with the July contract settling 26.6 cents higher at $11.969 a million British thermal units. Forecasts for hot weather across much of the Northeast and Midwest next week, and storm fears sent natural higher.
July RBOB gasoline settled 4 cents higher at $3.39 a gallon, July heating oil settled 5 cents higher at $3.72 a gallon.
Coffee closed 2.7-percent higher toady, with the July contract settling 345 points higher at $1.3735 a pound. Concerns over further tropical storms in Central America, where a substantial amount of coffee is grown, was noted for today's strength.
Cocoa closed 2.5-percent higher today, with the July contract settling $67 higher at $2,790 per metric ton. Cocoa broke above key resistance levels on speculation that output in the Ivory Coast will be lower.
July orange juice settled 55 points higher at $1.0850 a pound, July cotton settled 30 points lower at 65.44 cents a pound, and July sugar settled 29 points higher at 10.31 cents a pound.
Cattle futures were lower today, with August feeder cattle settling 232 points lower at $113.70 per hundredweight. Softening of cash prices were noted for the decline in cattle. August live cattle settled 102 points lower at $100.82 per hundredweight.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's mid-day boxed beef wire reported choice cuts gained $0.38 per hundredweight, while select items were $0.51 per hundredweight higher.
Hogs were pounded today, with July lean hogs settling 190 points lower at 76.20 cents. August pork bellies settled 100 points lower at 77.60 cents a pound.
Gold closed modestly higher today, with the August contract settling $5.50 higher at $897 an ounce. Gold closed slightly above par on stronger energy prices and bargain hunting after falling 4.2-percent last week.
July silver settled 4 cents higher at $16.91 an ounce, after falling 7.8-percent last week.
July platinum settled $1.80 higher at $2,015.60 an ounce, and July copper settled 1.35 cents lower at $3.5965 a pound.
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