Reduced Black Sea tensions seemed to undercut corn and the other crop markets Monday. Yellow grain futures bounced from early lows on news of a sizeable sale to Mexico and a good result on the weekly Export Inspections report. However, sellers came back in rather aggressively and pushed prices back down as the close loomed. May corn fell 7.0 cents to $4.79/bushel Monday afternoon, while December lost 5.25 to $4.82.
The soy complex rebounded on good export news. Soybeans also rebounded from Sunday night lows, but the size of the bounce was more impressive that than in corn prices. The USDA announcement of a sizeable bean sale when many have been expecting cancellations probably powered the rally. In addition, the Export Inspections data matched the upper end of industry forecasts. Asian palm weakness and diminished concerns about sunflower oil seemingly undercut soyoil. May soybeans rose 3.25 cents to $13.9175/bushel Monday, while May soyoil tumbled 0.40 cents to 41.89 cents/pound, and May soymeal added $2.6 at $446.6/ton.
Wheat futures closed weakly Monday afternoon. The wheat markets finished last week strongly, which probably reflected industry concerns about the Black Sea situation and potential problems with exports from that region. The apparent reduction of tensions seen Sunday night apparently sparked an early-week decline from last week’s highs; bulls proved unable to sustain a midsession bounce. May CBOT wheat futures dove 12.75 cents to $6.745/bushel at their Monday settlement, while May KCBT wheat futures dropped 8.0 cents to $7.435 and May MWE futures sank 9.75 to $7.2425.
Cattle futures were mixed Monday. Last week’s late rise in country cattle prices gave the Chicago market a substantial boost on Friday. However, traders are uncertain about this week’s likely outcome, especially if recent wholesale weakness signaled more of the same. Beef quotes were mixed at noon, which largely explains the ambivalent futures close. April cattle futures settled 0.22 cents lower at 145.02 cents/pound Monday afternoon, while August slipped 0.05 cents to 135.42. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle advanced 0.75 cents to 177.97 cents/pound, and August rallied 0.50 to 179.90.
Hog futures surged again to start the week. Spiking cash and wholesale gains sent hog futures soaring last week, but CME prices seemed to lose upward momentum as the weekend loomed. However, Friday afternoon reports proved quite strong, which sparked a strong start to this week’s trading. April hogs leapt 2.40 cents to 121.70 cents/pound at their Monday close, while June soared 2.92 to 130.77.