Most ag markets declined again Monday

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Talk that drying conditions will spark a surge in U.S. corn plantings reportedly sank the market Monday morning. That weakness was then exaggerated by a disappointing result on the weekly USDA Export Inspections report; that came in at just 6.506 million bushels (mib) around midmorning, whereas traders were reportedly looking for a result between 10 and 13 million. July corn fell 24.75 cents to $6.365/bushel at its Monday close, while December dropped 15.25 cents to $5.3825.

Evidence of persistent tightness in the soybean market here and in China seemed to limit losses in the soybean complex Monday morning. The fact that the latest USDA Export Inspections report stated the weekly total at 11.6 mib, thereby matching industry expectations, probably offered support as well. However, the soy complex apparently could not resist the general weakness depressing the Chicago markets and sank later in the day. July soybean futures lost 18.0 cents to $13.6925/bushel as the as trading ended Monday, while July soyoil dipped 0.51 cents to 48.76 cents/pound, and July soybean meal slid $5.3 to $401.2/ton.

Wheat futures suffered follow-through losses Monday morning in the wake of the surprisingly large result of the Wheat Quality Council tour result published late last week. Traders were probably disappointed by the USDA Export Inspections report as well, since the stated 16.639 mib result fell well short of forecasts in the 23-27 mib range. The potential for accelerating spring wheat plantings also seemed to weigh upon prices. July CBOT wheat futures dove 18.25 cents to $7.0275/bushel as its settled Monday afternoon, while July KCBT wheat plunged 21.25 cents to $7.5675 and July MGE futures lost 13.5 cents to $8.0575.

Cattle futures rallied Monday morning in response to late-Friday news that choice cutout values had surged to a record high at the end of the week. However, the midday wholesale report indicated that cutout values had reversed from that point, thereby suggesting the recent rally had run its course. June cattle closed 0.52 cents lower at 121.30 cents/pound Monday, while December slid 0.95 cents to 125.95. August feeder cattle futures ended unchanged at 147.45 cents/pound as corn and cattle influences offset. November dipped 0.22 cents to 151.90.

CME lean hog futures were mixed early Monday morning, but moved decisively lower after midsession. The surprising drop in midday beef values was followed by news of modest pork losses as well. That suggests recent optimism about the wholesale outlook was overdone. June hog futures settled 0.85 cents lower, at 91.32 cents/pound Monday afternoon, while December futures skidded 1.30 cents to 77.60.

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