The crop markets are starting the week on a strong note. Although the latest weather forecasts have improved precipitation on tap, the predictions seem somewhat less favorable than the market was anticipating last week. That news, along with the weekend rescue of a big Portuguese bank and strong stock market response appeared to trigger ag market buying Sunday night. September corn bounced 2.75 cents to $3.5525/bushel early Monday morning, while December gained 2.5 cents to $3.6475.
Soybeans are leading the crop markets higher. As is often the case in concerted crop moves, soybean futures led the way higher overnight. Actually, the fact that forthcoming weather forecasts are key to the size of the fall soybean crops provides good reason for the bean and meal leadership. Again, the forecast showers don’t seem as widespread as many anticipated last week, although conditions remain nearly ideal. September soybean futures rebounded 14.25 cents to $10.8775/bushel Sunday night, while November futures rallied 14.5 cents to $10.73. September soyoil rose 0.10 cents to 35.64 cents/pound and September soymeal added $5.5 to $361.3/ton.
Talk of international problems apparently boosted the wheat markets. Current U.S. wheat conditions are quote favorable, but those of several other countries, particularly France, Germany and Canada are suffering from excessive moisture. Given the fact that the glutted global situation has been weighing on the U.S. market for months, it isn’t all that surprising that domestic prices are firming. September CBOT wheat surged 9.75 cents to $5.44/bushel soon after dawn Monday, and September KC wheat climbed 6.5 cents to $6.3925/bushel, while September MWE wheat moved up 5.0 to $6.21.
Cattle futures bounced from midmorning lows last Friday. As seemed likely after Thursday’s CME breakdown, country cattle producers began taking packer bids near the lower end of the previous week’s price range that morning. Futures fell sharply in response, but bounced from the lows since the cash losses weren’t all that large. October live cattle dove 1.32 cents to 156.00 cents/pound in late Friday action, while December dove plunged 1.67 cents to 156.42. Meanwhile, September feeder futures plummeted 1.30 cents to 219.90 cents/pound, and November feeders crashed 1.77 cents to 218.20.
Hog futures ended last week in mixed fashion. Hog futures have recently suffered badly from bearish seasonal expectations. Friday’s midsession cash and wholesale quotes seemed particularly negative and concurrent cattle losses seemingly spilled over into the hog pit as well. However, futures firmed later in the day, with only the most-active October contract ending the day lower. October hog futures closed down 0.35 cents to 102.82 cents/pound Friday afternoon, while December added 0.22 cents to 94.40.
Cotton futures continued their Friday rebound over the weekend. Strong production forecasts and demand weakness implied by recent equity index weakness had depressed cotton futures. However, fiber prices found support last Friday as stocks bounced from early lows. Today’s early stock strength, as well as that exhibited by the other crop markets, seem to be encouraging cotton bulls as well. December cotton jumped 0.99 cents to 64.26 cents/pound shortly after sunrise Monday, while March futures ran up 0.89 cents to 64.80.