The Russia-Ukraine situation is boosting the crop markets

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Korean buying seemed to boost corn futures Sunday night. A big South Korean company tendered to buy 193,000 tonnes of corn last night, which probably played a role in the week-opening rise. That’s taking place in the shadow of the Russia-Ukraine situation, which almost surely powered the wheat markets higher. May corn climbed 3.75 cents to $5.0225/bushel in early Monday action, while December added 3.0 to $5.0225.

Ukrainian news probably supported beans as well. Although neither Russia nor Ukraine is significant player in the global soy markets, the wheat gains resulting from that controversy apparently spilled over into the soy pits as well. Actually, it’s rather surprising that soy oil prices did rise more significantly, since Ukraine is a major sunflower oil producer. May soybeans gained 5.0 cents to $14.68/bushel Sunday night, while May soyoil stabilized at 42.10 cents/pound, and May soymeal rose $1.3 to 474.2/ton.

Russia’s threatened take-over of Ukraine is sending wheat prices higher. It now looks as if Russia is planning to take over the whole Ukraine after having swallowed Crimea last month. The possibility of disruptions to wheat growth and exports in that region is rather clearly boosting prices around the world. May CBOT wheat futures rallied 11.0 cents to $6.7125/bushel early Monday morning, while May KCBT wheat futures leapt 15.5 cents to $7.35, while May MWE futures jumped 12.25 cents to $7.14.

Talk of steady cash quotes boosted cattle futures last Friday. Ongoing wholesale losses seemingly presaged a drop in cash cattle prices last week, thereby depressing CME futures. However, the Chicago market turned higher in response to news of a few cattle trading at steady prices Friday morning. That firmness may bode well for today’s opening. June cattle futures climbed 0.57 cents to 135.77 cents/pound in late Friday action, while December skidded 0.22 to 140.17. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle advanced 0.40 cents to 180.07 cents/pound, and August jumped 0.55 to 182.47.

Wholesale strength seemingly supported hog futures to end the week. Cash hog and pork quotes fell sharply Thursday afternoon, which weighed heavily upon CME futures in early-Friday CME trading. And yet, late-week pork quotes exhibited modest gains, which, along with reports of limited cash slippage, apparently encouraged buying in Chicago. June hog futures inched up 0.07 cents to 121.22 cents/pound at their Friday close, while December ran up 0.80 to 89.45.

Cotton futures surged in Sunday night action. Although cotton market fundamentals looked bearish late last week, ICE futures posted a surprisingly strong performance last Friday afternoon. That strength seemingly carried over into Sunday night trading, since the nearby contracts rose sharply. Equity index strength and the Russia-Ukraine situation may have sparked buying. May cotton surged 1.27 cents to 90.29 cents/pound soon after sunrise Monday, but December cotton slumped 0.46 to 81.01.


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