Ag markets seemed to follow gold higher Monday afternoon

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Talk of greatly accelerated corn plantings last week and again during the days ahead probably depressed deferred corn futures Monday. The combination of U.S. dollar weakness and the supportive result of the weekly USDA Export Inspections report seemed bullish for the nearby July contract, but bulls proved unable to sustain early gains. We suspect its recent failure to top its 50-day moving average sparked technical sales. July corn fell 3.25 cents to $6.495/bushel Monday afternoon, while December rose 0.75 cents to $5.2025.

Continuing tightness of old crop supplies supported nearby soybean futures again Monday despite a very modest result on the weekly Export Inspections report. The large cash premium seems likely to continue adding support. Conversely, the deferred contracts may have been pressured by traders thinking speedy corn plantings would presage a similar surge in soybeans, since an early finish could translate into large harvest next fall. July soybean futures jumped 16.0 cents to $14.645/bushel at the Monday close, while July soyoil sank 0.32 cents to 49.20 cents/pound, and July soybean meal surged $10.2 to $435.3/ton.

The Monday morning USDA Export Inspections report stated the latest wheat figure slightly above forecasts, which seemingly offered support for nearby futures. Moderate U.S. dollar losses and the precious-metal led commodity rebound might explain the last gains. July CBOT wheat futures settled 2.0 cents higher at $6.8525/bushel Monday, then rose farther in electronic action. July KCBT wheat rallied 7.25 to $7.45, while July MGE futures gained 7.5 cents to $8.1125.

As expected, live cattle futures responded weakly Monday morning in reaction to the negatively construed USDA Cattle on Feed report published last Friday. Traders still seemed worried about short-term cash weakness. However, bulls seemed to reenter the CME pit as the precious metal markets rebounded, possibly due to broad fund buying across the commodity sector. The discounts built into futures may also have encouraged buying. June cattle rebounded 0.72 cents to 120.12 cents/pound at its Monday settlement, while December climbed 0.37 to 123.90. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures leapt 1.10 cents to 144.47 cents/pound, while November surged 0.85 cents to 150.05.

Persistent cash and wholesale gains seemed to boost CME lean hog index Monday, especially with early equity index strength and the declining U.s. dollar holding positive implications for future demand. The fact that the pig disease rumored about last Friday does not affect humans probably boosted prices as well. Finally, the leadership provided by cattle and gold futures very likely encouraged bulls. June hog futures climbed 0.55 cents to 92.07 cents/pound Monday afternoon, while December futures advanced 0.67 cents to 78.07.

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