Crop markets are starting the week on a strong note

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Corn is getting a technical boost to start the week. Nearby corn futures ended last week rather poorly, with the May future resting on support at its 20-day moving average. Sunday night news out of China seemed rather bearish, but the Chicago market seemed to ignore it. The bounce looks strong technically. May corn gained 4.25 cents to $4.8325/bushel in early Monday trading, while December added 3.0 to $4.83.

The soy complex is also starting the week firmly. Talk of slow Chinese demand reportedly weighed upon soybean futures in Sunday night trading, but price rebounded as the Chicago trading day loomed. As with corn, May futures are leading the way upward from moving average support. The fact that the oil market is rising in the face of overnight Asian palm losses reflects the surprising strength. May soybeans bounced 7.0 cents to $14.1575/bushel in pre-dawn Monday action, while May soyoil rose 0.01 cents to 41.03 cents/pound, and May soymeal edged up $2.9 to $458.8/ton.

Technical buying seems to coming into the wheat pit as well. Weather news may be affecting the wheat markets to some extent, with weathermen talking about potential for a bit of freeze damage stemming from current cold over the central U.S. However, most-active May CBOT wheat also appeared to bounce from moving average support last night. May CBOT wheat futures climbed 7.25 cents to $7.0025/bushel early Monday morning, while May KCBT wheat futures rallied 6.0 cents to $7.7725 and May MWE futures advanced 8.25 to $7.515.

Cattle futures ended last week rather poorly. Wholesale beef prices tumbled Thursday afternoon, which appeared to weigh upon cattle futures Friday. That night’s CME rebound in response to news of a $2.00 rise in country prices proved surprisingly temporary, with the Chicago market slumping into Friday’s close. Grain losses boosted feeder futures. April cattle futures tumbled 0.42 cents to 144.00 cents/pound at their week-ending settlement, while August slid 0.25 cents to 133.50. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle bounced 1.40 cents to 175.02 cents/pound, and August gained 0.27 to 177.90.

Hog futures turned mixed again last Friday. The country hog and pork markets continued exhibiting astonishing strength Thursday, which spurred sizeable overnight gains. However, bulls again proved unable to sustain gains across the complex, with the mid-year contracts moving decidedly lower later in the day. April hogs advanced 0.87 cents to 125.67 cents/pound at Friday’s close, while June fell 0.47 to 130.32.

Spillover strength may be boosting cotton futures once again. The cotton market seemed to benefit substantially from persistent equity market strength and resulting optimism about the demand outlook last week. That appeared to be the case again last night. Gains by the other crop markets may also have triggered cotton buying. May cotton moved up 0.25 cents to 93.56 cents/pound just after sunrise (EDT) Monday, while December cotton skidded 0.05 to 80.20.

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