Ag markets posted mixed closes again Monday.
Corn futures continued their post-report rally Monday. Although last Friday’s USDA Crop Production and WASDE reports implied the U.S. corn situation is quite liquid, the numbers were not as bearish as many anticipated. Wire service reports cited widespread short covering, buying from end users and unwinding of bean/corn spreads for today’s gains. December corn futures surged 8.0 cents to $4.3475/bushel Monday, while May added 8.5 cents to $4.555.
Bean and meal futures staged a late-Monday comeback. Last Friday’s reports sent soybean and meal futures sharply higher, whereas oil prices languished. Those markets reversed those moves to some extent to start this week, especially with the palm oil markets rising modestly in Sunday night action. However, the sustained corn strength seemingly spurred renewed soy complex buying. January soybean futures closed 5.0 cents higher at $13.01/bushel Monday afternoon, while December soyoil rebounded 0.18 cents to 40.42 cents/pound, but December soymeal slipped $0.2 to $422.1/ton.
The wheat markets proved unable to sustain their early gains. Technical considerations, as well as concurrent corn strength, apparently boosted golden grain prices to start this week. However, talk of increased 2013/14 production and diminished export prospects appeared to drag prices downward as Monday passed. December CBOT wheat futures declined 3.5 cents to $6.4325/bushel at their Monday settlement, while December KCBT wheat futures sank 2.25 cents to $7.0625, and December MWE futures lost 3.5 to $7.045.
Late-Friday cash strength may have spurred CME cattle buying. Fed cattle prices apparently bounced from around $131/cwt (cents/pound) on Thursday to the $132 area Friday afternoon. That news seemingly inspired today’s modest Chicago gains. Renewed hopes for the short-term wholesale outlook may have supported prices as well. December cattle futures rallied 0.35 cents to 132.75 cents/pound late Monday afternoon, while April futures advanced 0.47 to 135.27. Meanwhile, January feeder cattle dipped 0.25 cents to 164.17 cents/pound on rising feed costs, while March feeders were steady at 164.32.
Hog futures began the week in mixed fashion. Monday’s early cash calls were steady to weak, with wire service reports citing partial packing industry shutdowns for Veterans Day. Traditional seasonal weakness here in early November may also be handicapping bulls. Conversely, they apparently still expect persistent supply tightness next year. December hog futures settled 0.07 cents lower at 88.05 cents/pound Monday, while April bounced 0.35 to 94.05.
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