Wheat futures were the story in the ag markets Monday

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Corn followed wheat higher Monday. Although forthcoming Corn Belt weather looks likely to spur corn planting and improve the potential of the fall harvest, spillover wheat strength boosted yellow grain prices to start the week. Today’s Export Inspections data also implied robust demand, thereby spurring purchases as well. July corn rallied 8.5 cents to $5.08/bushel Monday afternoon, while December moved up 6.0 cents to $5.00.

Private forecasts for Brazilian production seemingly undercut the soy complex. Accelerating corn plantings may also mean the U.S. soy crop will be planted in timely fashion, which might produce a comparatively large harvest next fall, but beans also gathered early support from surging wheat prices. However, late-morning survey results concerning Brazil’s current crop on Friday's WASDE report seemed to depress nearby soy quotes. July soybeans fell 7.5 cents to $14.6325/bushel as Monday’s pit session ended, while July soyoil dropped 0.34 cents to 41.17 cents/pound, and July soymeal skidded $1.7 to $478.7/ton.

Weather and war possibilities again boosted the wheat markets. The southern Plains remain very dry and have now turned hot, which bodes ill for plants and winter wheat production 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 leapt 13.0 cents to $7.29/bushel in late Monday action, while July KCBT wheat futures jumped 10.25 cents to $8.32, and July MWE futures soared 14.25 to $7.8925.

CME traders are uncertain about short-term prospects. Although cash cattle prices ended last week rather poorly, the summer CME contracts remain rather heavily discounted below spot values. Wire service sources cited those differences as playing a role in today’s early Chicago strength, but mixed wholesale prices confused the issue. June cattle sank 0.52 cents to 137.52 cents/pound at Monday’s settlement, while December slumped 0.25 cents at 143.92. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle slid 0.52 cents to 189.80 cents/pound, and October lost 0.65 cents to 190.67.

Anticipation of seasonal strength may have supported summer hogs. The CME lean hog index has moved consistently lower lately, thereby dragging the expiring May contract downward. However, traders rather obviously believe the market will turn decidedly higher during late spring and summer, so it wasn’t terribly surprising to see those contracts rally Monday. June hog futures edged up 0.12 cents to 122.35 cents/pound in late Monday trading, while December advanced 0.52 to 95.00.

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