Ukraine-Russia situation clearly supporting the crop markets
Several factors are boosting corn futures to start the week. A big South Korean company tendered to buy 193,000 tonnes of corn Sunday night. When combined with the Russia-Ukraine situation and snow over the northern Corn Belt (thereby implying continued planting delays), it was hardly surprising to see corn prices rise. The weekly Export Inspections report was also bullish. May corn climbed 7.5 cents to $5.06/bushel around midsession Monday, while December added 6.0 to $5.0525.
The Ukrainian news is probably supporting beans as well. Although neither Russia nor Ukraine is significant player in the global soy markets, the wheat and corn gains resulting from that controversy are apparently spilling over into the soy complex as well. Soy oil prices haven’t reacted significantly to that fact that Ukraine is also a major sunflower oil producer. Conversely, the Export Inspections data was rather poor. May soybeans gained 5.0 cents to $14.68/bushel late Monday morning, while May soyoil edged up 0.01 cents to 42.11 cents/pound, and May soymeal rose $3.3 to 476.1/ton.
Russia’s threatened take-over of Ukraine is sending wheat prices higher. It now looks as if Russia is planning to take over the whole Ukraine after having swallowed Crimea last month. The possibility of disruptions to the winter wheat harvest, spring wheat plantings growth and exports in that region is rather obviously boosting prices. The Export Inspections report probably encouraged bulls as well. May CBOT wheat futures soared 23.5 cents to $6.8375/bushel just before lunchtime Monday, while May KCBT wheat futures leapt 28.25 cents to $7.4775, while May MWE futures jumped 21.75 cents to $7.235.
Cattle traders seem confused at this point. Although wholesale prices plunged last week, feedlot operators forced beef packers to pay steady-firm prices for their fed cattle. That result, along with the large discounts already built into CME futures is seemingly limiting Chicago movement to start the week. June cattle futures inched up 0.12 cents to 135.90 cents/pound by late Monday morning, while December stalled at 140.17. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle rose 0.07 cents to 180.15 cents/pound, and August crept up 0.07 to 182.55.
Talk of reduced supplies is probably boosting hog futures. Hog kills posted the past two weeks fell only modestly below diminished year-ago levels, but the shortfalls are likely to increase substantially during the second half of April. That prospect is rather clearly spurring CME buying to start the week. June hog futures rallied 1.42 cents to 122.65 cents/pound Monday morning, while December ran up 0.35 to 89.80.
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