Ag markets proved generally weak Monday night

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Chinese rejections undercut corn Monday night. Corn futures seemed likely to test overhead resistance after yesterday’s rally, but overnight news that China had rejected a fresh set of yellow grain shipments stifled those ideas. Traders worry about diminishing demand, but the market still seems well supported. May corn slid 2.75 cents to $4.8725/bushel in early Tuesday trading, while December sagged 2.75 to $4.85.

The soy complex is trading mixed to lower this morning. Little news concerning soybeans or meal emerged overnight, while Asian palm markets bounced from recent lows. Nevertheless, soyoil prices seemed to lead CBOT futures lower, with only a few product contracts managing gains. One has to wonder if we’re already starting to see traders begin balancing positions ahead of next Monday’s (3/31) big Prospective Plantings and Grain Stocks reports. May soybeans slipped 0.75 cent to $14.2475/bushel early Tuesday morning, while May soyoil inched up 0.01 cents to 40.85 cents/pound, and May soymeal rose $0.4 to $462.4/ton.

Talk of continued dryness didn’t keep the wheat markets from sliding. The latest weather forecasts are pointing to persistent dryness over the southern Plains into early April. Wheat futures tried to build upon Monday’s big surge as a consequence, but proved unable to make fresh highs. That apparently triggered considerable technical selling. May CBOT wheat futures fell 5.75 cents to $7.0875/bushel in predawn Tuesday action, while May KCBT wheat futures dropped 5.75 cents to $7.8875 and May MWE futures lost 4.75 to $7.5825.

Cattle traders proved decidedly mixed Monday night. As indicated by discounts built into nearby futures, cattle traders are clearly concerned about a seasonal downward turn in country prices in the near future. However, wholesale beef prices proved surprisingly strong yesterday, which likely encouraged bulls. Still, CME futures were narrowly mixed in overnight action. April cattle futures slipped 0.07 cents at 144.07 cents/pound as Tuesday dawned over Chicago, while August edged down 0.10 cents to 133.62. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle gained 0.37 cents to 176.67 cents/pound, and August rose 0.17 to 179.20.

Hog futures are being hit by profit-taking. Country hog prices proved mixed Monday, as did pork values. Those certainly don’t mean the hog and pork complex won’t resume its recent price spike in short order. However, the suggestion that the market is losing its upward momentum rather clearly sparked active profit-taking Monday night. April hogs plunged 1.85 cents to 122.80 in early Tuesday action, while June dove 1.75 to 126.45.

Cotton continued sliding on Chinese news last night. Cotton futures turned sharply lower Monday in reaction to Chinese news that officials are planning to lower the floor price for cotton to be sold out of their massive government reserve. The potential reduction in Chinese demand, as well as the reduced price is apparently weighing heavily upon ICE futures. May cotton sank 0.52 cents to 90.11 cents/pound just after sunrise (EDT) Tuesday, while December cotton skidded 0.24 to 79.05.


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