Crop markets are starting the week on a generally firm note

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Corn futures followed beans higher again Sunday night. The prospect of a huge fall crop depressed corn futures badly over the past 10 weeks, but they are currently trying to rebound from the depressed levels reached last week. Talk of surging export demand for soybeans and dryer August weather is apparently supporting the markets at this point. September corn gained 2.0 cents to $3.65/bushel early Monday morning, while December rose 1.75 cents to $3.735.

The soy complex posted solid early week gains. Traders are hearing talk of strong bean sales to China and are seeing few signs of rain in the latest Corn Belt forecasts. The latter development probably explains the fact that new-crop futures led the way higher Sunday night. August soybean futures climbed 5.5 cents to $12.1775/bushel soon after dawn Monday, while November futures surged 9.0 cents to $10.925. August soyoil bounced 0.06 cents to 36.15 cents/pound and August soymeal added $1.5 to $399.5/ton.

The wheat markets are mostly lower. Wheat futures continue suffering from a dearth of substantive news, which may be one reason they are giving back a significant portion of last week’s late advance. The nearby contracts also seemed to fail at short-term moving average resistance Sunday evening. September CBOT wheat dipped 4.5 cents to $5.335/bushel in early Monday trading, while September KC wheat slumped 5.5 cents to $6.2575/bushel, and September MWE wheat dropped 7.0 cents to $6.2075.

Continued cash and wholesale gains encouraged cattle bulls last Friday. The CME cattle market seemed in danger of stalling after cash prices surged to fresh records Wednesday. However, spot quotes jumped to new highs Friday morning and beef quotes seconded the move at noon; those boosted Chicago quotes. Spiking country values suggest a blow-off top is looming. August live cattle soared 2.55 cents to 159.10 cents/pound as Friday’s CME session ended, while December ran up 1.00 cent to 158.77. Meanwhile, August feeder futures jumped 0.92 cents to 218.25 cents/pound, and October feeders leapt 1.22 to 218.85.

Hog futures proved surprisingly mixed in late-Friday trading. Cash hog and pork values suffered seasonal losses early last week, but bounced around midsession Friday. The late strength, along with surging cattle and beef, likely supported nearby August futures, whereas bearish expectations continued weighing on late-2014 futures. August hog futures closed 0.42 cents higher at 123.62 Friday, while December fell 0.47 cents to 98.15.

Cotton futures are trying to bounce from last week’s late break. As with the grain market’s there’s little fresh cotton news. The weather still looks conducive to a very large fall crop, but the sheer size of the drop since mid-May has traders wondering if a bottom is near. December cotton rallied 0.26 cents to 65.61 Sunday night, while March futures advanced 0.35 cents to 66.38 cents/lb.

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