Crop futures are starting the week on a firm note

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Corn seems to be following beans and wheat higher to start the week. Little news concerning corn emerged over the weekend, which opened CBOT futures to outside influences. Thus, concurrent soy and wheat gains apparently boosted yellow grain prices to start the week. July corn rose 1.75 cents to $4.4875/bushel Sunday night, while December edged up 0.75 cent to $4.4825.

Old crop tightness is supporting the soy complex. The tight old crop situation is reportedly spurring buying of nearby beans and meal this morning, but beans are sliding despite Asian palm strength. Traders may be evening up positions or taking bullish stances ahead of today’s NOPA crush report. Fine Midwest weather is probably weighing on new crop prices. July soybeans gained 3.75 cents to $14.295/bushel in early Monday action, while July soyoil sagged 0.25 cents to 39.44 cents/pound, while July soymeal inched $1.3 higher to $469.2/ton.

Wet weather may be supporting winter wheat. The central U.S. has recently been blessed with plentiful rains, thereby boosting prospects for spring-planted crops. However, the moisture may soon begin hurting winter wheat quality as harvest looms. Talk that Australian farmers are holding grain off the market due to El Nino concerns also seems to be affecting prices. July CBOT wheat futures surged 7.5 cents to $5.935/bushel shortly after dawn Monday, while July KCBT wheat climbed 6.5 cents to $7.1975 and July MWE futures added 5.5 to $6.8975.

Cattle futures built upon Thursday’s big advance on Friday. News of a surprising increase in cash cattle prices triggered a major rise in CME cattle futures last Thursday. Although short-term beef prospects look rather weak, futures resumed their cash-driven surge Friday. August cattle jumped 1.57 cents to 146.62 cents/pound in late Friday action, while December vaulted 1.10 cents to 151.75. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle spiked 2.30 cents to 208.15 and October leapt 2.12 to 208.80.

Midday cash and wholesale weakness undercut hog bulls late last week. The CME swine market followed cattle higher Thursday and again Friday morning. However, that day’s midsession reports proved surprisingly weak, thereby undercutting what had been an across-the-board advance. August hog futures rallied 0.47 cents 131.27 at their Friday close, while December sank 0.22 cents to 98.42.

Cotton moved mixed to higher Sunday night. As with corn, there was a dearth of cotton news over the weekend, thereby encouraging technically dominated trading. The nearby July future tested its early-June high and failed, but remains significantly higher to start the week. December remained within its recent trading range. July cotton advanced 0.74 cents to 87.72 cents/pound in early Monday trading, while December cotton gained 0.06 to 77.81.

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