Talk of U.S. wheat exports to China and frost damage to the domestic winter wheat crop seemed to send the grain and soy complexes higher early Monday morning. However, the USDA Export Inspections report stated the weekly corn figure at just 10.1 million bushels, whereas a result in the 14-18 million was expected. That probably pushed futures downward later in the morning. May corn had risen 2.25 cents to $6.3125/bushel by late Monday morning, while December dipped 4.5 cents to $5.305.
The apparent confirmation of rumored U.S. wheat sales to China last week and talk of frost damage to the U.S. winter wheat crop also boosted soybean futures Monday morning. The legume market may also be gathering support from talk of excessive rainfall over Argentine fields as they try to harvest their bean crop. Palm oil strength may have spilled over into the soy complex as well. May soybeans dropped 10.75 cents to $13.725/bushel around mid-session Monday, while May soyoil leapt 0.56 cents to 49.39 cents/pound, and May meal edged $0.8 higher to $392.6/ton.
Wheat futures rallied after a Chinese think tank stated Sunday evening that the Asian giant had bought 12-14 cargoes of U.S. wheat last week. Talk that the late-March storms had damaged the winter wheat crop and predictions of a potential frost across the U.S. Winter Wheat Belt later this week seemingly encouraged buying as well. The Export Inspections report also appeared supportive. May CBOT wheat futures jumped 13.25 cents to $7.1225/bushel by late Monday morning, while May KCBT wheat gained 18.75 cents to $7.4475 and May MGE futures added 13.0 cents to $8.005.
Cattle futures rose moderately Monday morning, possibly in anticipation of seasonal cash and wholesale strength, since cattle and beef production remain seasonally low and grilling season demand usually accelerates around this time. Feeder futures posted impressive gains despite the general grain/soybean strength. June cattle rose 0.42 cents to 121.92 cents/pound just before lunchtime Monday, while December gained 0.32 cents to 128.37. May feeder cattle futures climbed 0.80 cents to 145.10 cents/pound, and August added 0.55 cents to 151.75.
Hog futures were apparently recovering from their big Friday breakdown Monday. Traders seemingly paid more attention to sizeable early-morning gains in the Iowa-Southern Minnesota area than to continued slippage in the Eastern Corn Belt. They may also be hoping for seasonal strength in the days and weeks just ahead. The lightly traded May hog contract slipped 0.05 cents to 86.85 cents/pound in late Monday morning action, while June bounced 0.65 cents to 90.35.