Corn futures began the week strongly in response to persistent concerns about excessive moisture and farmer difficulties in getting the last of the 2013 crop planted. However, futures reversed sharply around mid-morning. That may have partially reflected the negative result on the monthly PMI manufacturing report. The weekly Export Inspections report was no surprise. Wire services blamed technical factors and corn/wheat spread unwinding for the drop. Whatever the cause, it can hardly be viewed favorably by bulls. July corn dove 16.0 cents to $6.46/bushel around mid-session Monday, while December fell 11.75 cents to $5.555.
Tight cash markets and delayed plantings boosted old and new crop soybean futures, respectively, Monday morning. Prices did set back modestly from early highs as corn and wheat futures turned lower, but remained well on the plus side. Still, the legume complex seems likely to struggle to sustain gains if corn and wheat continue sliding. July soybean futures jumped 21.5 cents to $15.315/bushel by late Monday morning, while July soyoil rose just 0.06 cents to 48.44 cents/pound, and July soybean meal climbed $6.8 to $454.0/ton.
Wheat futures declined in concert with corn Monday morning, although the reasons for that drop were probably different. The most obvious reason for the slide came from the weekly Export Inspections report, which stated the result for last week at 16.799 million bushels, whereas a figure in the 19-22 mib range was anticipated. Traders may also expect the afternoon Crop Progress report to indicate strong progress in spring wheat planting last week. July CBOT wheat futures sank 7.0 cents to $6.985/bushel just before lunchtime Monday, while July KCBT wheat lost 7.5 cents to $7.435 and July MGE futures tumbled 5.5 cents to $8.145.
CME live cattle futures opened firmly Monday morning, but quickly reversed to the downside. The sizeable wholesale decline suffered last Friday afternoon may have contributed to the drop, but wire service reports cited active fund liquidation and concurrent corn losses for the slide. Traders may simply have little confidence about the cash market outlook from this point. June cattle fell 0.90 cents to 120.40 cents/pound around midday Monday, while December tumbled 1.10 to 124.75. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures slid 0.22 cents to 144.10 cents/pound, and November slumped 0.57 cents to 149.15
Hog futures posted a strong start to trading Monday morning, which probably reflected widespread expectations for seasonal gains through mid-June. However, Chicago swine prices turned downward in concert with the cattle market, which probably reflected concerns about hog and pork demand strength if cattle and beef prices decline as much as many apparently expect. June hog futures edged 0.07 cents higher to 95.70 cents/pound just before the lunch hour Monday, while December dropped 0.47 cents to 80.22.