Crop markets are starting the week rather poorly

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Weather forecasts are depressing grain prices to start the week. A wide planting window this week seems likely to enable corn farmers to complete seedings in short order. Moreover, moisture conditions seem quite favorable as well. Thus, it’s not terribly surprising to see yellow grain prices decline. July corn dipped 5.25 cents to $4.7825/bushel Sunday night, while December slid 4.25 cents to $4.7675.

The soy complex traded in mixed fashion Sunday night. The nearby July bean contract appeared to decline in concert with grain prices to start the week, as did soyoil futures in following Asian palm values lower. However, deferred bean and meal futures rose moderately, which may reflect ideas that active grain plantings mean farmers won’t plant beans as aggressively as previously thought. July soybeans skidded 0.75 cent to $14.6425/bushel early Monday morning, while July soyoil sank 0.12 cents to 40.63 cents/pound, but July soymeal rose $0.7 to $480.9/ton.

Weather news is also weighing on the wheat markets. The Black Sea situation seems less tense at this point, thereby causing U.S. traders to refocus upon bearish global wheat fundamentals. Prospects for favorable short-term weather across the Great Plains aren’t helping the bullish cause either. July CBOT wheat futures sagged 3.5 cents to $6.7075/bushel in early Monday action, while July KCBT wheat futures fell 5.5 cents to $7.6225, and July MWE futures dropped 6.25 to $7.33.

Cattle traders may have been balancing positions ahead of Friday’s COF report. Cattle futures rose Friday despite Thursday’s $2-$3/cwt cash decline. Bulls probably pointed to concurrent wholesale firmness and discounts already built into CME futures, but traders may have simply been evening-up positions ahead of the afternoon’s monthly Cattle on Feed report. The late data were construed as neutral for today’s opening. June cattle advanced 0.50 cents to 137.90 cents/pound Friday afternoon, while December rose 0.55 to 144.77. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle ran up 0.90 cents to 193.32 cents/pound, and October surged 1.05 cents to 194.37.

Pork slippage probably weighed on the nearby hog contracts Friday. Premiums built into June-August futures show CME bulls are still anticipating a sizeable seasonal advance during late spring and summer. However, the cash and wholesale markets struggled in late week action, with Friday’s early pork weakness apparently weighing on nearby futures. June hogs settled 0.50 cents lower at 118.92 cents/pound Friday, and December skidded 0.10 cents to 93.77.

Cotton futures were narrowly mixed Sunday night. Last Friday’s announcement that China’s April cotton imports had fallen 47.9% below year-ago levels seemed to trigger fresh selling in ICE futures. The fact that nearby July closed below the 90-cent level held negative technical implications. However, the market saw little follow-through Sunday night, thereby suggesting other factors are in play. July cotton was trading 0.05 cents lower at 89.77 cents/pound shortly after sunrise Monday, while December cotton slumped 0.08 to 82.26.

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