Ag markets generally mixed to start this week

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Talk of greatly accelerated corn plantings last week and again during the days ahead probably depressed deferred corn futures Monday. However, the morning combination of equity strength and U.S. dollar weakness, as well as the supportive result of the weekly USDA Export Inspections report seemed bullish for the nearby July contract. We suspect its recent failure to top its 50-day moving average has sparked technical sales. July corn fell 8.0 cents to $6.4475/bushel Monday morning, while December slipped 2.75 cents to $5.1675.

Continuing tightness of old crop supplies supported nearby soybean futures again Monday morning despite a very modest result on the weekly Export Inspections report. The large cash premium seems likely to continue adding support. Conversely, the deferred contracts may come under increasing pressure if traders decide speedy corn plantings would presage a similar surge in soybeans, since an early finish could translate into large harvest next fall. July soybean futures gained 2.75 cents to $14.5125/bushel around midsession Monday, while July soyoil sank 0.24 cents to 49.28 cents/pound, and July soybean meal climbed $3.2 to $428.3/ton.

The Monday morning USDA Export Inspections report stated the latest wheat figure slightly above forecasts, which seemingly offered support for nearby futures. The combination of equity strength and dollar weakness was also favorable. Those might explain the modest gain posted in the Minneapolis market. Conversely, the cause of the early Chicago slide was not obvious. Improved production prospects and sustained weakness coming out of Russia Europe seemed to weigh upon Chicago and Kansas City prices. July CBOT wheat futures dipped 6.25 cents to $6.77/bushel in Monday morning trading, and July KCBT wheat slipped 2.75 to $7.345, while July MGE futures gained 0.5 cents to $8.0425.

Concerns about seasonal weakness seemingly weighed upon deferred live cattle futures Monday morning, especially after the monthly USDA Cattle on Feed report published last Friday stated April feedlot placements above expectations. On the other hand, the sizeable discount already built into the nearby December future may have opened the door to a short-term bounce. June cattle edged 0.52 cents higher to 119.92 cents/pound just before lunchtime Monday, while December slid 0.10 to 123.42. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures lost 0.25 cents to 143.12 cents/pound, while November sank 0.32 cents to 148.87.

Persistent cash and wholesale gains seemed to boost CME lean hog index Monday morning, especially with rising equity indexes and the declining U.s. dollar holding positive implications for future demand. The fact that the pig disease rumored about last Friday does not affect humans probably sparked buying in the wake of the sell-off experienced at that time. June hog futures surged 0.77 cents to 92.30 cents/pound late Monday morning, while December futures advanced 0.80 cents to 78.20.


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