Ag markets fluctuated significantly again Monday

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Corn futures proved mixed at Monday’s close. The USDA forecast 2014 corn acreage at 79.5 million acres last week and predicted a large 2014 crop and huge ending stocks next year. That news apparently depressed prices last Friday and again Monday morning. However, deferred futures seemingly posted technical comeback late in the day. March corn sank 1.5 cents to $4.515/bushel Monday, while May lost 1.25 to $4.5775.

Late news apparently powered beans and meal higher. Traders appeared to continue reacting Monday to last Friday’s late Oil World estimate of Brazil’s forthcoming bean crop at just 85 million tonnes, whereas the latest USDA figure came in at 90 mmt. Talk of excessive rainfall over Brazil’s main production areas may have exaggerated the reaction. March soybeans surged 15.75 cents to $13.865/bushel late Monday afternoon, while March soyoil dipped 0.20 cents to 40.75 cents/pound, and March soymeal rallied $10.1 to $465.9/ton.

The wheat markets turned higher Monday. Wheat futures continued their late-week slide early this morning, but rebounded later in the day. The bounce may have been a reaction to frigid forecasts for the central U.S this week, with traders worrying about freeze damage to winter wheat. Bulls may also have bought spring wheat in response to persistent Canadian transport problems. March CBOT wheat futures jumped 8.0 cents to $6.1775/bushel at their Monday settlement, while March KCBT wheat futures climbed 6.25 cents to $6.89, but March MWE futures skidded 1.5 to $6.6275.

Cash and wholesale strength boosted February cattle Monday. Last week’s strong cash market result and today’s midsession jump in beef values boosted the expiring February contract at the CME. However, surprisingly large January feedlot placements on last Friday’s USDA COF report rather obviously weighed on the deferred contracts, since that implies increased fed cattle supplies by late spring. April cattle futures settled down 0.22 cents to 141.22 cents/pound Monday, while August dropped 0.50 to 130.80. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle tumbled 0.50 cents to 170.20 cents/pound, but May rose 0.10 to 172.32.

Hog futures proved quite changeable today. Bullish hog traders were still anticipating strong increases in hog and pork prices during the weeks just ahead Monday morning, but the weak April close suggests things changed during the day. In contrast, deferred futures began the day weakly, but moved generally higher at the close. April hogs slumped 0.10 cents to 99.25 cents/pound at their Monday close, while June rebounded 0.10 to 108.12.

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