Crop and livestock markets diverged Monday

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Monday’s old-crop bean reversal seemed to spark widespread crop selling. The tight old-crop bean situation has been supporting bean and meal prices lately, but September beans and meal futures reversed sharply lower today, which seemingly triggered a concerted decline among the crop markets. Corn was certainly no exception despite the supportive result on the weekly Export Inspections report. September corn closed 5.5 cents lower at $3.60/bushel Monday, while December lost 4.0 to $3.675.

Beans and meal tumbled in Monday trading. Strong demand and limited soybean supplies had recently sent old-crop bean and meal prices soaring. However, that trend apparently ended today, with diving old-crop bean and meal quotes likely indicating a drop in crusher demand. A weekend bounce in palm oil values spilled over into oil, although soyoil values may also have benefited from the break in meal quotes. September soybean futures dove 40.25 cents to $11.2575/bushel at Monday’s CBOT close, while November futures sank 12.75 cents to $10.2925. September soyoil surged 0.38 cents to 32.74 cents/pound, and September soymeal dropped $27.2 to $406.1/ton.

Wheat followed the other markets lower. Although persistently high tensions between Russia and Ukraine are still affecting wheat futures, those markets fell in concert with corn and soybeans today. The likely negative price impact of the fall harvest of those crops seemed to remind wheat traders of the bearish global situation. September CBOT wheat ended Monday’s trading down 9.5 cents to $5.425/bushel, while September KC wheat slumped 10.75 cents to $6.2275/bushel, and September MWE wheat fell 9.75 to $6.17.

Cash and beef strength are probably supporting cattle futures. Nebraska cattle traded lightly at $2.0/cwt higher last Friday afternoon; that was followed by modest beef gains at noon today. Those are likely causing traders to wonder if seasonal strength will now be felt into autumn. October live cattle futures jumped 1.15 cents to 148.15 cents/pound in late Monday trading, while December futures climbed 1.15 to 151.00. Meanwhile, September feeder futures leapt 2.37 cents to 213.27 and November futures soared 2.47 to 210.25.

Hog traders seem to think prices will soon stabilize. Recent reports have been almost unanimously bearish for the hog outlook, but on Monday CME traders seemed to react to an upward USDA revision to its 2014 pork price forecast and news of steady wholesale prices at midday. October hogs vaulted 0.57 cents to 93.45 cents/pound at their Monday settlement, while December rallied 0.85 to 88.00.

Cotton posted firmed impressively Monday afternoon. The current heat wave is probably hurting the forthcoming cotton crop and supporting prices as a consequence. However, Monday’s price action seemed technical in nature, with futures ultimately staging a comeback from midsession lows. This suggests further tests of overhead moving-average resistance. December cotton slipped just 0.03 cents to 66.15 cents/pound in Monday’s closing action, while March futures rose 0.06 cents to 66.63.


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