Corn futures edged higher to start the week. Talk of poor growing conditions and a likely improvement in Chinese demand seemed to boost the corn and bean markets to start the week. However, unlike beans, this morning’s Export Inspections report probably disappointed corn traders. September corn gained 3.25 cents to $3.55/bushel late Monday morning, while December moved up 2.75 at $3.6625.

Demand strength is supporting nearby beans and meal. As in the corn market, traders reportedly focused upon growing Chinese dryness over the weekend, since that spur buying from that country. Indeed, the weekly Export Inspections report stated last week’s bean total above forecasts, thereby seeming to confirm underlying demand strength and sending old-crop prices higher. A private forecast of record new crop Brazilian production probably undercut deferred futures. September soybean futures slipped 1.25 cents to $11.125/bushel as lunchtime loomed Monday, while November futures slid 8.5 cents to $10.7625. September soyoil dropped 0.53 cents to 34.99 cents/pound, whereas September soymeal rose $0.9 to $368.8/ton.

European news is undercutting the wheat markets. Wheat futures are apparently suffering from diminished Black Sea tension to start this week. Also, dryness across Western Europe is expected to enable E.U. farmers to start their wheat harvest. Both factors are encouraging futures sales, although the Export Inspections report seemed quite supportive for golden grain prices. September CBOT wheat dipped 3.75 cents to $5.455/bushel in late Monday morning action, while September KC wheat slumped 5.75 cents to $6.235/bushel, and September MWE wheat sagged 6.25 to $6.125.

Short-term cash pessimism is weighing nearby cattle futures. Country cattle prices fell rather sharply last week, with Southern Plains animals changing hands around $160/cwt (cents/pound) on Friday. However, traders apparently expect much more of the same during August, especially after seeing the way cash and futures prices fell late last week. October live cattle futures tumbled 0.95 cents to 149.05 around midsession Monday, while December futures stumbled 0.30 cents to 149.95 cents/pound. Meanwhile, September feeder futures skidded 0.45 cents to 214.27 cents/pound and November futures sank 0.55 to 212.05.

Hog futures moved mostly lower to start the week. Although CME lean hog futures bounced from big early losses last Friday, bears are still prowling at this juncture. Traders clearly worry that the sharp breakdown since mid-July has substantially reduced fall-winter price prospects. Spillover cattle weakness isn’t helping the bullish cause. October hog futures fell 0.95 cents to 98.37 cents/pound just before lunchtime Monday, while December tumbled 0.95 cents to 88.20.