Ag markets posted varying showings Monday morning.

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Talk that slowing rainfall will spark a surging in U.S. corn plantings reportedly sank the market early Monday morning. That weakness was then exaggerated by a disappointing result on the weekly Export Inspections report; that came in at just 6.506 million bushels (mib) later in the morning, whereas traders were apparently looking for a result between 10 and 13 million. July corn fell 21.25 cents to $6.40/bushel late Monday morning, while December dropped 18.75 cents to $5.3475.

Evidence of persistent tightness in the soybean market here and in China seemed to limit losses in the soybean complex Monday morning. The fact that the latest USDA Export Inspections report stated the weekly total at 11.6 mib, thereby matching industry expectations, probably offered support as well. However, the soy complex apparently could not resist the general weakness depressing the Chicago crop markets. July soybean futures sank 13.25 cents to $13.74/bushel as the lunch hour loomed Monday, while July soyoil dipped 0.14 cents to 49.13 cents/pound, and July soybean meal slid $4.8 to $401.7/ton.

Wheat futures apparently suffered follow-through losses Monday morning in the wake of the surprisingly large result of last weeks Wheat Quality Council tour. Traders were probably disappointed by the USDA Export Inspections report as well, since the stated 16.639 mib result fell well short of forecasts in the 23-27 mib range. The potential for accelerating spring wheat plantings also seemed to weigh upon prices. July CBOT wheat futures dove 19.0 cents to $7.02/bushel around midsession Monday, while July KCBT wheat plunged 20.75 cents to $7.5775 and July MGE futures lost 13.25 cents to $8.0575.

Cattle futures reportedly reversed downward last Friday as bulls took profits on recent gains in apparent anticipation of a sustained wholesale price decline in the wake of big gains posted last week. However, the late-Friday jump to a record high in choice cutout encouraged fresh buying Monday morning. The course taken by cash and wholesale prices this week will very likely set the tone for short-term futures trading. June cattle climbed 0.72 cents to 122.55 cents/pound late Monday morning, while December gained 0.17 cents to 127.07. August feeder cattle futures surged 0.90 cents to 148.40 cents/pound, while November added 0.87 cents to 153.00.

CME lean hog futures were mixed Monday morning, which probably reflected trader uncertainty about the spring outlook. That is, while they are almost surely expecting a major rise in cash and wholesale values over the next 4-6 weeks, it is not at all guaranteed that those gains will justify the optimism already built into CME futures. June hog futures edged up 0.15 cents to 92.32 cents/pound in late Monday morning trading, while December futures skidded 0.62 cents to 78.27.

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