Corn futures are expected to open steady to a little higher on Monday. An uptick in the value of the dollar caused some weakness in commodity markets, including the corn market. Reports that China’s manufacturing activity slowed again put pressure on stock markets and fueled the turnaround in the dollar. Technically the corn market is a little oversold. Overnight corn prices mostly between unchanged and 3 cents higher.
Soybean futures are called down 1 to 4 cents on Monday. Soybean futures were active in overnight trade. The July contract was up as much as 8 cents early in the session, but was nearly unchanged near the end of trading. The news about China’s slowing manufacturing activity and the resulting strength in the U.S. dollar put pressure on the soybean market. Technically the market is oversold, but that has been the case for the last few weeks.
Wheat futures are expected to open mixed. Overnight the Chicago contracts were mostly down 1 to 3 cents, but spring wheat contracts were a little higher. The condition ratings of the winter wheat are expected to be raised in the weekly Crop Progress report released after the market closes on Monday. If this year’s yields come in at or above trend, U.S. wheat ending stocks could rise, putting more pressure on wheat prices. In general, foreign wheat crops look pretty good too.
Cattle prices are expected to open steady to 40 cents higher on Monday. The data in the Cattle on Feed report was in line with expectations with placements down 6 percent year-over-year and marketings 4 percent lower. That leaves us with an inventory up 2 percent compared to 2011. Packers start the week needing to buy cattle because of the light purchases last week. That could push cash bids up and futures prices would probably follow.
Hog prices are called steady to 50 cents higher. Cutout values were up again on Friday, but the increases only about 50 cents. Both pork prices and cash hog prices remain low, but traders are looking for any signs that prices are near the bottom. After the bid drop in prices last week, expect modest buying interest early on Monday. Pork supplies in storage at the end of March were down from the month-earlier levels, which should also give hog futures a little boost at the open.
Cotton futures are expected to open higher on Friday. Cotton futures prices moved higher last week with the July contract rising by about 4 cents per pound. Moisture conditions have improved somewhat in the Delta region and a good part of the Southern Plains. Overnight cotton prices were higher even though there is not much news to support the market.