Crop futures sank while livestock prices rose Monday morning

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Weather forecasts were weighing upon corn futures Monday morning. The latest weather models suggest relatively benign conditions over the Corn Belt during late July, which could prove much more helpful to pollination and boost harvest prospects later in the year. Conversely, the results of the weekly Export Inspections report easily exceeded expectations, which may have limited losses. September corn futures declined 8.25 cents to $5.3725/bushel by late Monday morning, while December slid 6.0 cents to $5.0325.

Old crop concerns complicated the soy outlook once again Monday morning. While the expiration of the July contract apparently undercut Corn Belt bids, the August bean and meal contracts looked cheap in comparison. That strength may also have mitigated the negative impact the latest weather forecasts exerted upon new crop prices. Oil futures continued suffering from weakness spilling over from the Asian vegetable oil markets. August soybean futures jumped 22.5 cents to $14.515/bushel in early Monday trading, while August soyoil edged down 0.01 cents to 46.21 cents/pound and August soymeal gained $7.5 to $450.4/ton.

Wheat futures followed corn lower in Monday morning trading. The fruits of the ongoing winter wheat harvest may be weighing upon the Chicago and Kansas City markets to some extent, but improving weather forecasts also appear to be encouraging bears. That seems particularly apt for Minneapolis prices, since conditions appear quite favorable for wheat. The Export Inspections result was no surprise. September CBOT wheat dove 10.0 cents to $6.71/bushel around midsession Monday, while September KCBT wheat dropped 8.75 cents to $6.9975 and September MGE futures sank 9.0 cents to $7.575.

The firm result of cash cattle trading last week reportedly sparked CME buying Monday. Cattle traders have been anticipating a seasonal second-half rally for some time, so the suggestion of renewed strength apparently prompted the bullish response. However, wholesale prices traditionally prove weak during the second half of many months, which may make forthcoming beef reports quite important. August cattle surged 0.85 cents to 122.70 cents/pound just before lunchtime Monday, while December climbed 0.55 cents to 128.85. August feeder futures leapt 2.30 cents to 152.42 cents/pound as corn prices fell, and November soared 2.17 cents to 157.90.

Hog futures rallied in concert with cattle Monday morning. Although seasonal prospects still seem rather grim, the cash cattle firmness, as well as late-Friday reports of cash hog gains, probably sparked renewed CME buying. The fact that the CME lean hog index remains substantially above second-half swine futures probably encouraged bulls as well. August hog futures advanced 0.95 cents to 95.85 cents/pound Monday morning, while December rose 0.40 cents to 81.75.


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