Grain markets generally mixed Monday morning

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Corn futures continued sliding in the wake of the Grain Stocks report Monday morning. Prices had seemingly stabilized in the wake of large losses last Thursday and again Sunday night, but news that a large commercial firm had lowered its price forecasts apparently sent prices to fresh lows around mid-morning Monday. The weekly Export Inspections report was delayed. May corn had plummeted 45.0 cents to $6.5025/bushel late Monday morning, while December dropped 8.0 cents to $5.305.

The breakdown in soybean futures persisted Monday morning, but the ongoing decline in the legume market seemed much more subdued than those in the grain pits. This was rather puzzling since the same firm that lowered its grain price forecasts did so for soybeans as well. Traders may believe that bearishness associated with the huge South American harvest has already depressed the soy complex significantly. May soybeans dipped 11.75 cents to $13.93/bushel just before lunchtime Monday, while May soyoil was unchanged at 50.11 cents/pound, and May meal lost $6.1 to $398.5/ton.

The negative impact of the March 28 Grain Stocks and Prospective Plantings reports was still being felt by the wheat markets Monday morning. Having a major financial firm lower its price forecasts did not help the situation either. In addition, wire service sources cited wet forecasts for the Southern Plains as playing a role in the slide. May CBOT wheat futures dove 18.0 cents to $6.6975/bushel in late Monday morning trading, while May KCBT wheat sank 11.75 cents to $7.15, and May MGE futures slid 9.25 cents to $7.71.

After surging on cash market strength and bullish spring hopes last Friday, cattle futures proved unable to sustain their upward momentum Monday morning. We suspect traders became more cautious in their optimism about the short-term outlook over the weekend, especially after the wholesale market persistently disappointed during much of February and March. April cattle slipped 0.30 cents to 128.60 cents/pound around midsession Monday, while August skidded 0.50 cents to 124.70. Meanwhile, feeder cattle futures kept rising in response to declining grain and soy prices. April futures jumped 1.90 cents to 145.30 cents/pound, and

As expected, CME lean hog futures opened substantially lower in reaction to the Thursday (3/28) USDA Hogs & Pigs report. However, the bearish response was surprisingly limited. The mid-morning rebound from early lows suggests traders are more focused upon the possibility of a seasonal rally in cash and wholesale values than in results of the report. They probably have some justification for thinking the recent decline had set the stage for a sizeable seasonal advance. April hogs rose 0.25 cents to 80.85 cents/pound in late Monday morning trading, while June tumbled 0.30 cents to 90.77.

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