Crop markets began the week in mixed fashion

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Corn is starting this week rather poorly. The final result of the private crop tour taken last week was quite large (14.093 billion bushels), which is reinforcing ideas that the August USDA estimate was too low. South Africa also boosted its estimate of its corn stocks about 3.0 million tonnes over the weekend. September corn slid 2.75 cents at $3.6275/bushel Sunday night, while December lost 3.0 to $3.685.

The soy complex traded mixed in Sunday action. Talk of demand strength and old crop tightness once again supported expiring September beans and meal. However, anticipation of a massive fall crop is once again weighing on new crop prices. On the other hand, Asian palm oil prices bounced over the weekend, which gave oil values a boost. September soybean futures climbed 7.75 cents to $11.7375/bushel early Monday morning, while November futures sank 6.5 cents to $10.355. September soyoil surged 0.42 cents to 32.78 cents/pound, and September soymeal gained $2.4 to $435.7/ton.

Persistent Black Sea tensions seem to be supporting wheat. Although global wheat fundamentals look quite bearish, the golden grain markets are building upon last week’s late gains. Prices are probably reacting to the persistently high tensions between Russia and Ukraine, since that situation could greatly affect Black Sea wheat supplies. September CBOT wheat skidded 0.25 cent to $5.5175/bushel in early Monday trading, while September KC wheat rose 1.25 cents to $6.3475/bushel, and September MWE wheat stalled at $6.2675.

Cattle futures posted a big surge last Friday. Another bout of cash and wholesale weakness sent cattle futures to fresh short-term lows at midweek, but the market closed very strongly Friday. That very likely reflected talk of improving packer bids and higher cash trading after the close. That bodes well for today’s opening. October live cattle futures soared 1.45 cents to 147.00 cents/pound in late Friday trading, while December futures vaulted 1.25 to 149.85. Meanwhile, September feeder futures ran up 1.47 cents to 210.90 and November futures climbed 0.42 to 207.77.

Hog futures ended last week widely mixed. CME hog futures posted a big rebound Thursday, which bulls hoped would mark the start of a sizeable late-summer advance. And while midday pork quotes rose, nearby CME futures reversed to the downside after failing to top their 10-day moving averages. Deferred futures posted vigorous gains. October hogs ended Friday having fallen 0.75 cents to 92.87 cents/pound, while December dipped 0.40 to 87.15.

Traders probably suspect hot weather is hurting cotton development. Cotton futures finished last week quite firmly despite a general lack of news and looming chart resistance at slightly higher levels. Indeed, they rose farther in Sunday night activity, thereby seeming to reflect the ongoing heat wave over the central U.S.; that may be lowering harvest prospects. December cotton rallied 0.22 cents to 66.40 cents/pound shortly after sunrise Monday, while March futures lifted 0.23 cents to 66.80.

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