Cattle futures diverged from Monday's general ag decline

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Planting progress may be weighing on corn futures. The corn market may be suffering somewhat from spillover wheat weakness, whereas the supportive result of the weekly Export Inspections report may have cushioned the early slide. Ultimately, expectations for a major improvement in planting progress on this afternoon’s report seem to be depressing prices. July corn dipped 8.25 cents to $4.9925/bushel late Monday morning, while December lost 7.0 cents to $4.9175.

Soybeans also turned downward Monday morning. The soy complex traded mixed to firm Sunday night, but turned downward as Monday’s trading accelerated. Talk of declining Chinese demand seemed to undercut beans and meal despite the surprisingly large result on the Export Inspections report. The industry may also interpret a big surge in corn plantings as implying bean progress and a larger fall crop. July soybeans declined 15.0 cents to $14.72/bushel around midsession Monday, while July soyoil climbed 0.09 to 41.27 cents/pound, and July soymeal slumped $7.1 to $480.2/ton.

Southern Plains rainfall seemingly sparked wheat sales. Although the Black Sea situation seems to be deteriorating, the wheat markets are apparently reacting to other developments. The fact that parts of Kansas and Oklahoma were hit by heavy rain over the weekend is weighing on winter wheat prices, as well as the bearish global nature of last Friday’s WASDE report, appear to be depressing futures. July CBOT wheat futures fell 13.25 cents to $7.0925/bushel in late Monday morning action, while July KCBT wheat futures tumbled 6.75 cents to $8.22, and July MWE futures dropped 5.0 to $7.9025.

Friday’s steady cash action is supporting cattle futures to start this week. Although beef losses seemingly boded ill for the cash market last week, country prices ended Friday at steady-firm levels. That news, along with the discounts already built into CME futures seemed to support the Chicago market Monday morning. June cattle gained 0.30 cents to 138.35 cents/pound just before lunchtime Monday, while December advanced 0.70 cents to 145.47. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle jumped 1.60 cents to 192.97 cents/pound, and October leapt 1.37 cents to 193.42.

Cash weakness may be exaggerating technical losses in the hog pit. Despite industry hopes for a big seasonal surge through the balance of spring, cash prices proved quite weak again this morning. Moreover, the resulting June futures drop below the 120-cent level seems to hold substantial downside risk. June hog futures had fallen 1.30 cents to 118.87 cents/pound late Monday morning, while December sank 0.27 cents to 93.80.

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