Ag markets posted mixed reactions to Monday's USDA data

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Corn futures couldn’t sustain Monday’s post-WASDE advance. Corn futures rallied from slightly lower levels after today’s monthly USDA WASDE report. The big reason was an upward revision in exports and commensurate drop in the carryout forecast. However, traders seemingly anticipated those changes, which would seemingly explain the weak close. March corn settled 1.25 cents lower at $4.43/bushel Monday, while May dipped 1.25 to $4.4875.

The soy complex sank in response to the USDA data. Soybean and product prices rose modestly in early Monday trading, with oil strength being the primary feature. Oil prices remained relatively firm, but beans and meal turned lower after the WASDE report was released. USDA boosted exports, but left its predicted carryout unchanged, which apparently disappointed traders. March soybeans fell 6.0 cents to $13.255/bushel at their Monday afternoon settlement, while March soyoil rose 0.17 cents to 38.73 cents/pound, and March soymeal dropped $2.4 to $444.0/ton.

Wheat built on recent gains after the USDA report was released. Weather and transportation concerns had recently boosted the wheat markets, but the WASDE report also supported prices. Not only did the USDA increase its estimate of domestic feed use, it raised exports rather sharply, with the combination of adjustments netting to a 50 million bushel cut in ending stocks. March CBOT wheat futures climbed 7.25 cents to $5.8475/bushel at its Monday close, while March KCBT wheat futures jumped 13.5 cents to $6.6275, and March MWE futures surged 12.25 to $6.515.

Cattle futures generally reversed from Friday’s highs. Bullish expectations apparently boosted cattle futures last Friday despite reports of surprising cash weakness. Wholesale prices also ended the week sharply lower. Beef values were mixed at midday Monday, which did little to encourage fresh buying. The expiring February future rose on the day, but deferred futures closed moderately lower. April cattle futures slumped 0.22 cents to 140.17 cents/pound as Monday’s CME session ended, while August tumbled 0.30 cents to 130.27. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle bounced 0.10 cents to 167.90 cents/pound, and May moved up 0.32 to 169.52.

Hog futures set back from early highs as Monday passed. The cash hog and wholesale pork markets ended mixed to mostly lower last Friday, and showed little tendency to shift this morning. Bullish expectations are already built into the Chicago market, so the afternoon slippage wasn’t particularly surprising. April hogs inched up 0.02 cents to 94.75 cents/pound Monday afternoon, while June added 0.07 to 105.42.

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