Russian/Ukraine news sent crop markets higher Sunday night

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Russia’s invasion of Crimea sent grains and soy sharply higher Sunday night. Russia invaded the Crimean region of Ukraine over the weekend and seems to have the whole country in its sights. The potential implications of that news, including grain trade disruptions and/or embargoes sent the grain and soy markets soaring Sunday night. May corn jumped 12.0 cents to $4.755/bushel in Sunday night action, while December ran up 7.25 to $4.7875.

The soybean complex also reacted strongly to the Russian/Ukraine situation. Although soybeans aren’t all that big of a crop in the Black Sea region, Russia and Ukraine certainly grow much more than in the past. Traders are likely considering substitution effects as well, since a disruption of wheat exports from that area could spur soy usage. May soybeans soared 14.75 cents to $14.2875/bushel early Monday morning, while May soyoil leapt 0.48 cents to 42.27 cents/pound, and May soymeal climbed $3.5 to $461.2/ton.

The wheat markets led the way higher in overnight trading. The possibility that a conflict between Russia and Ukraine will greatly disrupt Black Sea exports and/or cause the U.N. or the Western Powers to boycott Russian wheat sent futures dramatically higher Sunday night. The situation, and the wheat markets, seem likely to prove very volatile over the short run. May CBOT wheat futures rocketed 28.75 cents to $6.31/bushel as Monday dawned over Chicago, while May KCBT wheat futures spiked 27.5 cents to $7.015, and May MWE futures vaulted 24.75 to $6.81.

Surging beef prices appeared to encourage cattle market bulls last Friday. Cattle futures seemed to lose their upward momentum after country markets traded at record highs last Wednesday. Traders may have thought that marked a market top. However, wholesale beef prices surged again Friday, which apparently persuaded bulls that the market can go even higher. April cattle futures climbed 0.52 to 144.97 cents/pound at Friday’s settlement, while August rose 0.02 to 132.62. Meanwhile, surging feed costs depressed March feeder cattle 0.12 cents to 171.70 cents/pound, and May lost 0.27 to 173.70.

Bulls remained in control of the hog pit last week. Ongoing cash and wholesale pork gains spurred hog futures sharply higher again last Friday. Bullish expectations built upon robust demand and seasonally tightening supplies are rather obviously firing bullish imaginations. April hogs rocketed up 3.00 cents to 106.85 cents/pound Friday afternoon, while June spiked 2.30 to 112.22.

Cotton futures also seemed to react to the Russia/Ukraine news. The Black Sea region isn’t generally known as a major player in the global cotton market. However, the possibility of agricultural trade disruptions resulting from Russia’s invasion of Crimea seemed to boost fiber prices over the weekend as well. May cotton rallied 0.81 cents to 87.95 cents/pound just after sunrise (EST) Monday, while December cotton rose 0.08 cents to 77.90.

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