Corn futures began the week poorly. Last Friday’s news that the EPA had proposed a cut in the ethanol mandate in 2014 and beyond continued exerting pressure on the corn market Monday. The weekly Export Inspections report stated the latest corn sales figure well above forecasts, but the resulting bounce proved short lived. December corn futures fell 10.0 cents to $4.12/bushel late Monday afternoon, while May sank 9.25 to $4.2925.
Strong export figures boosted the soy complex Monday. After tumbling last Friday, soybean futures got off to a slow start this week. However, the weekly USDA Export Inspections report stated the latest result at 87.8 million bushels, which topped expectations rather handily. That rise sparked fresh buying in the meal pit, but soyoil prices seemed to suffer from belated Asian palm oil weakness. January soybean futures climbed 7.0 cents to $12.875/bushel at their Monday close, while December soyoil declined 0.36 cents to 40.11 cents/pound, and December soymeal advanced $5.3 to $415.8/ton.
The corn losses seemed to depress wheat futures as well. Talk of low-ball bidding at weekend wheat tenders seemed negative for the golden grain markets. Conversely, the solid result on the weekly Export Inspections report probably encouraged buying. However, the bulls proved unable to offset the weakness spilling over from the CBOT corn pit. December CBOT wheat futures settled 2.25 cents lower at $6.4225/bushel Monday, while December KCBT wheat futures slid 4.25 to $6.94, and December MWE futures slipped 1.5 to $6.9525.
Technical selling reportedly undercut cattle futures. Although cash cattle prices proved firm again last week, choice beef values seem vulnerable to continued short-term weakness. The slippage stemming from those ideas apparently tripped sell stops around midsession Monday, which sent futures sharply lower. December cattle futures dove 1.50 cents to 131.90 cents/pound in late Monday trading, while April futures tumbled 1.22 to 133.80. Meanwhile, January feeder cattle plunged 1.52 cents to 164.30 cents/pound, and March feeders sank 0.85 cents to 164.60.
Concerns about high weights and growing supplies probably sank hog futures. Although hog slaughter remained below last year-ago levels last week, traders are apparently still worried about soaring hog weights and the underlying implications for larger supplies in the near future. CME premiums over the cash equivalent price weren’t encouraging either. December hog futures sagged 0.30 cents to 85.60 cents/pound at Monday’s close, while April skidded 0.15 to 92.30.