Corn futures traded mixed Monday morning. Talk of another round of rainfall and some snow over the Great Plains this week appears to be supporting corn futures today. The weekly Export Inspections report also seemed somewhat supportive. However, few traders appear eager to sponsor the long side ahead of Friday’s much-anticipated USDA crop reports. December corn futures skidded 1.0 cent to $4.2625/bushel around midsession Monday, while May lost 0.5 to $4.4525.
The Export Inspections report seemed bullish for the soy complex. Soybean futures fluctuated at modestly higher levels in early Monday trading, then firmed in response to the weekly Export Inspections report, which stated last week’s total at a very high level. However, Asian palm oil weakness apparently depressed soyoil values. The fact that traders are also looking for a big production figure on Friday’s crop reports may also be limiting rally potential. January soybean futures rallied 5.5 cents to $12.57/bushel late Monday morning, while December soyoil tumbled 0.44 cents to 41.15 cents/pound, and December soymeal added $1.9 to $396.9/ton.
The inspections report had to disappoint wheat traders. After trading firmly Sunday night, wheat futures turned decidedly lower in this morning’s action. Wire service sources cited spillover corn weakness for early losses, but the weekly Export Inspections report almost surely sparked additional selling. In contrast to a huge total the week prior and more moderate expectations, the actual figure was stunningly small (7.1 million bushels vs forecasts in the 17-21 mib range). December CBOT wheat futures fell 4.5 cents to $6.6325/bushel just before lunchtime Monday, while December KCBT wheat futures slipped 2.75 cents to $7.3075, and December MWE futures declined 3.0 to $7.225.
Cattle traders seem confused about short-term prospects. It isn’t terribly unusual for rising beef prices to boost the cattle market early in most months, since grocers tend to be active wholesale buyers during the first half of the month. However, with Thanksgiving arriving as late as possible this year, early-December beef sales (for which grocers are probably buying), may be stifled. That may explain the mixed CME cattle trading seen this morning. December cattle edged up 0.05 cents to 132.12 cents/pound late Monday morning, while April lifted 0.05 to 133.50. January feeder cattle slid 0.02 cents to 163.45 cents/pound, while March feeders rose 0.07 to 163.90.
Hog futures may reflect the latest PEDV rumors. Although recent supply reductions probably can’t be attributed to the spring-summer PEDV outbreak, the potential for persistent reductions in hog marketings through next spring are almost surely affecting trader thinking about the outlook. December hog futures dipped 0.10 cents to 88.25 cents/pound just before the lunch hour Monday, while April bounced 0.20 cents to 93.07 cents/pound.