Crop markets began the week in a mixed manner

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Corn futures rose marginally Sunday night. Little fresh news concerning the corn market emerged over the weekend. Thus, it wasn’t terribly surprising to see CBOT futures large unchanged to mix in early-week action. The ongoing currency/equity market crisis in several developing countries may hold bearish implications. March corn inched up 0.25 to $4.2975/bushel early Monday morning, while May added 0.25 to $4.3625.

Talk of a buyer shift seems to be undercutting the soybean complex. Brazilian farmers have reportedly begun what’s expected to be another record harvest, so shippers are reportedly turning their attention to cheaper beans than are now being sold out of the U.S. Their currency crisis is effectively lowering the price of their soy products on the global market. Meanwhile, fresh weakness in the Asian palm oil market is exerting fresh pressure upon soyoil values. March soybeans gained 1.0 cent to $12.8575/bushel in early Monday trading, while March soyoil dipped 0.17 cents to 37.37 cents/pound, and March soymeal edged $1.1 higher to $426.8/ton.

Weather and trade news are again supporting wheat prices. The ongoing plunge in U.S. temperatures has raised fresh fears about freeze damage to winter wheat plants. Bulls were probably encouraged by the latest export news, as well. Saudi Arabia made a massive early-week purchase, with the wheat expected to come from around the world. March CBOT wheat futures rallied 3.75 cents to $5.69/bushel in pre-dawn trading Monday, while March KCBT wheat futures advanced 3.5 cents to $6.3075, and March MWE futures crept up 0.5 to $6.135.

Profit-taking hit the cattle pit last Friday. Spiking cash and wholesale prices sent cattle futures soaring in mid-January. However, beef prices turned downward Thursday afternoon, thereby potentially presaging a late-January decline. That very likely prompted the big futures setback as bullish traders took profits before the weekend. February cattle futures dropped 0.53 cents to end the week at 143.40 cents/pound, while the April contract sank 0.50 cents to 140.10. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle futures tumbled 1.00 cent to 168.87 cents/pound, and May lost 0.62 to 170.20.

Renewed cash and wholesale strength boosted hogs before the weekend. The hog and pork markets recently slumped as the cash and wholesale markets failed to live up to bullish expectations. However, late-week reports proved much more supportive, thereby seeming to presage big improvements at both levels. That likely powered the rebound posted Friday. February hogs jumped 0.80 cents to 86.37 cents/pound at their Friday close, while June advanced 0.25 to 102.35.

Rising stocks and financial concerns depressed cotton over the weekend. Ongoing financial market concerns in several developing countries, especially Brazil and Indonesia are very likely worrying cotton traders at this point, especially after U.S. equities dove late last week. The latest ICE stocks report didn’t help, since it indicated that certificated stocks have risen over 50% in the past week. March cotton dropped 0.78 cents to 86.43 cents/pound just after dawn (EST) Monday, while July cotton fell 0.91 cents to 86.50.


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