Corn futures posted a firm Monday close. Forecasts for benign harvest weather and a disappointing result on the weekly USDA Export Inspections report weighed on corn futures to start the week. However, CBOT prices staged a late comeback, which probably reflected the slow harvest pace to this point, short-covering and to technical support around current levels. December corn futures settled 0.25 cent higher at $3.4825/bushel Monday afternoon, while May inched up 0.5 to $3.705.

Beans and meal rebounded from early lows. The dryer weather experienced over the weekend and the prospect of much more of the same during the days ahead clearly depressed the soy complex to start the week. However, the Export Inspections report stated the soybean figure well above the predicted range, which brought beans and meal back from their early lows. Oil remained under pressure. November soybean futures ended Monday having fallen 7.5 cents to $9.4425 bushel, while December soyoil tumbled 0.32 cents to 31.70 cents/pound, and December soymeal sank $1.1 to $329.4.

Wheat proved surprisingly weak Monday. Depressed corn and bean prices seemingly weighed on wheat futures this morning. However, the golden grain markets couldn’t perform as well later in the day, which was rather surprising given recent firmness. Actually, one has to wonder if the recent rally has left wheat futures vulnerable to a short-term setback. December CBOT wheat dipped 2.5 cents to $5.135/bushel at its Monday close, while December KC wheat skidded 0.75 cents to $6.01/bushel, and December MWE wheat slid 3.75 to $5.6675.

Talk of strong packer demand boosted the cattle sector Monday. Although traders probably think persistent beef weakness will tend to depress cattle prices, CME futures leapt upward today. Wire service sources argued that beef packers paid up for cattle last week and are still looking for animals this week, thereby sparking the Chicago buying. December live cattle futures spiked 2.97 cents at 168.02 cents/pound at their Monday settlement, while April futures soared 2.72 to 164.77. Meanwhile, November feeder cattle futures leapt 2.67 cents to 236.82 cents/pound and January feeders vaulted 2.95 cents to 231.07.

General weakness is weighing on hog futures. Cash hog and pork prices suffered persistent losses Monday, and the CME index for last Friday dove. Traders apparently gave up on ideas that discounts in nearby futures were overdone and sold the market as bearish news kept coming. December hog futures fell 1.42 cents to 89.15 cents/pound in late Monday trading, while April hogs dropped 0.52 to 86.97.

Chinese news seemingly dragged cotton prices downward. Weekend news of a sizeable cutback in September Chinese cotton imports seemed to depress December cotton futures. The deferred contracts proved relatively stable, which may have reflected technical buying around their short-term moving averages. December cotton futures dropped 0. 71 cents to 62.29 cents/pound at Monday’s ICE closing, while March futures edged down 0.03 cents to 61.70.