Crop markets were mostly lower to start the week

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Corn futures slid to start the week. Little news concerning the crop markets emerged over the weekend, so traders were left to focus upon recent trends. Thus, corn futures declined slightly as the market felt the weight of the ongoing U.S. harvest, which is generally expected to set a new record. December corn futures slipped 1.75 cents to $4.3825 early Monday morning, while May futures declined 1.75 cents to $4.59.

Soybeans proved surprisingly weak in Sunday night trading. The lack of soybean news also caused traders to think about recent talk of an unexpectedly good U.S. harvest, especially with some industry exports reportedly thinking the harvest is about 80% complete. Concerns about the impact large rains might have upon the Indonesian palm harvest boosted soyoil prices, but that seemed to do little to limit bean losses. November soybean futures tumbled 5.5 cents to $12.945/bushel in early Monday action, while December soyoil climbed 0.32 cents to 41.05 cents/pound, and December soymeal slumped $2.6 to $420.9/ton.

Talk of improved conditions undercut wheat futures in early trading. There was little fresh news concerning the wheat markets, but traders interpreted the latest weather reports as being favorable for U.S. and Argentine crops. The early drop below chart support may spark additional selling today. December CBOT wheat futures slid 3.5 cents to $6.8725/bushel around in pre-dawn trading Monday, while December KCBT wheat futures skidded 2.0 cents to $7.57 whereas December MWE futures inched up 0.25 cent to $7.4525.

Cattle futures took a surprising tumble last Friday afternoon. Cash and wholesale strength seen earlier in the week encouraged bulls at the CME last Friday morning. However, midday beef losses seemingly sparked late selling, with only the December live cattle contract posting a higher week-ending close. The big setback may bode ill for today’s action. December cattle settled up 0.10 cents at 132.97 cents/pound Friday, while April declined 0.47 to 134.45. November feeder cattle slumped 0.30 cents to 166.65 cents/pound and January feeders lost 0.65 to 166.05.

Renewed talk of spreading PEDV infections seemingly boosted hog futures again Friday. Although the hog and pork complex could face major seasonal weakness through late 2013, the recent increase in the number of new porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) cases reportedly powered the late-week futures advance. This could presage surprisingly small hog supplies this winter. December hog futures jumped 0.82 cents to 90.42 cents/pound Friday afternoon, while April climbed 0.87 cents to 93.80 cents/pound.

Cotton futures rallied modestly in early Monday activity. A few news items concerning Chinese imports and Indian crop conditions emerged Sunday night, which seemed to encourage ICE market traders somewhat. Nearby December futures dipped, whereas the 2014 contracts rose slightly. December cotton futures advanced 0.28 cents to 79.36 cents/pound just after dawn Monday, while March cotton gained 0.41 cents to 80.81.

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