Nearby ag futures moved mostly lower Monday

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Corn futures declined as Monday passed. Talk of another round of rainfall and some snow over the Great Plains this week appeared to support corn futures in early Monday trading. The weekly Export Inspections report also seemed supportive. However, few traders appear eager to sponsor the long side ahead of Friday’s much-anticipated USDA crop reports, since most expect a record crop total. December corn futures closed 1.0 cent lower at $4.2625/bushel Monday, while May lost 1.0 to $4.475.

The Export Inspections report seemed supportive for the soy complex. Soybean futures fluctuated at modestly higher levels in early Monday trading, then firmed in response to the weekly Export Inspections report; that stated last week’s total at a very high level. However, Asian palm oil weakness apparently depressed soyoil values. The fact that traders are also looking for a big production figure on Friday’s crop reports may also have limited rally potential. January soybean futures rallied 5.0 cents to $12.565/bushel in late Monday trading, while December soyoil tumbled 0.34 cents to 41.25 cents/pound, and December soymeal added $2.0 to $396.9/ton.

The inspections report likely disappointed wheat traders. After trading firmly Sunday night, wheat futures turned decidedly lower in Monday action. The weekly Export Inspections report almost surely sparked active selling. In contrast to a huge total the week prior and more moderate expectations, the actual figure was stunningly small (7.1 million bushels vs forecasts in the 17-21 mib range). December CBOT wheat futures fell 5.0 cents to $6.6275/bushel at their Monday settlement, while December KCBT wheat futures slid 4.25 cents to $7.2925, and December MWE futures declined 6.25 to $7.1925.

Cattle traders seemed confused about short-term prospects. Rising beef prices regularly boost the cattle market early in most months, since grocers tend to be active wholesale buyers during the first half of the month. However, with Thanksgiving arriving as late as possible this year, early-December beef sales (for which grocers are probably buying), may be stifled. That may explain Monday’s very modest CME cattle gains. December cattle settled up 0.02 cents to 132.10 cents/pound Monday afternoon, while April lifted 0.45 to 133.90. January feeder cattle rose 0.37 cents to 163.85 cents/pound, while March feeders added 0.35 to 164.17.

Hog futures may have reflected the latest PEDV rumors. Although recent supply reductions probably can’t be attributed to the spring-summer PEDV outbreak, the potential for persistent reductions in hog marketings through next spring are almost surely affecting trader thinking about the outlook. December hog futures dipped 0.02 cents to 88.32 cents/pound in late Monday action, , while April bounced 0.57 cents to 93.45 cents/pound.

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