Ag markets turned decidedly mixed again Monday afternoon

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Corn futures proved surprisingly firm Monday afternoon. After following soybeans lower in Monday morning action, corn futures posted a surprising rebound as the day passed. That may have marked a reaction to a surprisingly strong result on the weekly Export Inspections report and/or to technical suggestions that the market is trying to bottom. March corn closed unchanged at $4.245/bushel in late Monday trading, while May inched up 0.25 to $4.33.

Soybeans reversed sharply Monday. Talk of strong export demand seemed to support soybean prices over the weekend, but futures reversed rather sharply in reaction to talk that China had rejected a shipment of U.S. beans. The Export Inspections report also disappointed. Oil remained firm, but meal declined in concert with the bean market. January soybean futures dove 15.25 cents to $13.2125/bushel at their Monday settlement, while January soyoil gained 0.14 cents to 40.60 cents/pound, and January soymeal lost $7.8 to $428.8/ton.

Wheat markets followed soybeans lower. Although traders still harbor concerns about the impact frigid weather may have upon U.S. winter wheat later this week, futures turned downward in concert with the soybean markets Monday morning. The favorable result on the weekly USDA Export Inspections report seemingly did little to limit losses. Wire service reports blamed profit-taking for the weakness. March CBOT wheat futures fell 7.0 cents to $6.6175/bushel Monday afternoon, while March KCBT wheat futures sank 3.5 cents to $7.0575, and March MWE futures tumbled 5.0 to $7.025.

Cattle futures ended Monday in mixed fashion. Despite talk of frigid Great Plains weather later this week and the potential for a seasonal advance through early December, cattle futures proved decidedly mixed Monday. Weak choice cutout values at midday may have weighed upon the market. Both February and April cattle futures settled up 0.02 cents at 134.27 and 135.00 cents/pound, respectively, Monday afternoon. Meanwhile, January feeder cattle slipped 0.12 cents to 165.35 cents/pound, but March feeders were unchanged at 165.67.

Hogs were also mixed at Monday’s close. Cash hog prices were mostly unquoted this morning, but wholesale prices surged by midday. Ideas that the CME lean hog index has turned seasonally higher probably offered support, but futures’ premiums over the cash equivalent price may have limited upward movement. February hog futures sagged 0.12 cents to 90.45 cents/pound in late Monday trading, while June slid 0.02 to 100.40.

Cotton futures tumbled in Monday action. Cotton futures declined early this morning in seeming response to a report indicating 2013 Chinese buying for official stockpiles is running about 10% behind last year. The bearish reversal suffered by soybean futures probably added to the downward pressure. March cotton futures dropped 0.73 cents to 78.62 cents/pound at their Monday afternoon close, while July cotton declined 0.74 to 79.56.

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