Ag markets began the week with general losses

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Planting progress may have weighed on corn futures Monday. The corn market may have suffered modestly from spillover wheat weakness today, whereas the supportive result of the weekly Export Inspections report probably cushioned the slide. Ultimately, expectations for a major improvement in planting progress on this afternoon’s report seemed to depress prices. July corn slid 8.0 cents to $4.995/bushel Monday, while December lost 6.75 cents to $4.92.

Soybeans also turned downward to start the week. The soy complex traded mixed to firm Sunday night, but turned downward as Monday passed. Talk of declining Chinese demand seemed to undercut beans and meal despite the surprisingly large result on the Export Inspections report. The industry may also have interpreted expectations for a big surge in corn plantings as implying bean progress and a larger fall crop. July soybeans dove 21.75 cents to $14.6525/bushel at Monday’s close, while July soyoil declined 0.20 to 40.98 cents/pound, and July soymeal slumped $9.1 to $478.2/ton.

Southern Plains rainfall seemingly sparked Monday’s wheat sales. Although the Black Sea situation still seems to be deteriorating, the wheat markets apparently reacted to other developments today. The fact that parts of Kansas and Oklahoma were hit by heavy rain over the weekend weighed upon winter wheat prices, while the bearish global nature of last Friday’s WASDE report appeared to depressed spring wheat futures. July CBOT wheat futures fell 7.5 cents to $7.15/bushel in late Monday action, while July KCBT wheat futures tumbled 4.25 cents to $8.245, and July MWE futures dropped 4.5 to $7.9075.

Renewed seasonal concerns may have depressed cattle futures. Although cash cattle prices held up surprisingly well last week, discounted futures show CME traders clearly expect a seasonal breakdown during the coming weeks. Those concerns apparently came to the fore as Monday passed. June cattle settled down 0.40 cents at 137.65 cents/pound as Monday’s pit session ended, while December stabilized at 144.77. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle rallied 0.50 cents to 191.87 cents/pound, and October climbed 0.55 cents to 192.60.

Cash weakness may have exaggerated technical losses in the hog pit. Despite industry hopes for a big seasonal surge through the balance of spring, cash hog prices proved quite weak again this morning. Wholesale strength may have limited the drop, but having June futures drop below the 120-cent level seems to hold substantial downside risk. June hog futures plunged 1.17 cents to 119.00 cents/pound Monday afternoon, while December was unchanged at 94.07.

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