Strong wheat gains highlighted Sunday night ag market action

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Corn is following wheat higher to start the week. Although forthcoming Corn Belt looks likely to spur corn planting and improve the potential of the fall harvest, yellow grain prices rose significantly Sunday night. That reportedly reflected strength spilling over from the wheat markets, where anticipation of soaring temperatures sent prices upward. July corn gained 2.5 cents to $5.02/bushel early Monday morning, while December edged up 2.0 cents to $4.96.

The soy complex benefited from spillover strength. Little fresh news concerning soybeans emerged over the weekend, which left the legume market open to influence from the wheat and corn markets. Ultimately, accelerated corn plantings during the days ahead implies the soy crop could be planted in timely fashion, which might well mean a comparatively large crop next fall. However, wheat gains also appeared to support the soy complex. July soybeans slipped 0.25 cent to $14.705/bushel as Monday dawned over Chicago, while July soyoil stalled at 41.51 cents/pound, and July soymeal added $1.1 to $481.5/ton.

Weather and war possibilities again boosted the wheat markets Sunday night. The southern Plains remain very dry and have now turned hot, which bodes ill for plants in that region. Moreover, the Black Sea situation is clearly deteriorating, thereby lowering productive potential for the region and boosting spring wheat prices. July CBOT wheat futures advanced 11.75 cents to $7.2775/bushel in early Monday action, while July KCBT wheat futures surged 9.5 cents to $8.3125, and July MWE futures jumped 12.0 to $7.87.

News of flat southern Plains prices undercut cattle futures last Friday. Light Nebraska trading at higher prices sparked Thursday’s big CME cattle surge. However, more-active trading at flat prices in Kansas and the Panhandle apparently discouraged traders Friday, with the Chicago market giving back a substantial portion of the previous rise. June cattle fell 1.20 cents to 138.05 cents/pound as the week’s trading ended Friday, while December slid 0.17 cents at 144.17. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle slipped 0.15 cents to 190.32 cents/pound, but October gained 0.35 cents to 191.32.

Anticipation of seasonal strength may have limited Friday’s hog losses. Pork weakness tended to undercut CME hogs last week, although modest cash slippage may have limited the damage. Nearby futures bounced from early lows, but proved unable to sustain those gains into the weekend. June hog futures closed 0.57 cents lower at 122.22 cents/pound Friday afternoon, while December advanced 1.07 to 94.47.

Cotton futures rebounded in concert with the other crop markets. The cotton market proved much less vulnerable to selling than did its Midwest counterparts Thursday, but it did spend the past two days consolidating Tuesday’s big surge. Bulls are likely looking for a follow-through to that gain, especially with Texas growing conditions looking so poor at this juncture. July cotton advanced 0.64 cents to 94.84 cents/pound soon after sunrise (EDT) Friday, while December cotton lifted 0.44 to 83.82.

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