Ag market proved generally mixed Monday

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Corn was supported by slow planting prospects Monday. Although some farmers may have been able to rush some corn planting late last week, the advent of wet, chilly weather over the Corn Belt over the weekend reportedly encouraged buying. Little corn is likely to get planted during the next two weeks, which suggests diminished harvest potential next fall. May corn inched up 0.75 cent to $5.0775/bushel as Monday’s pit session ended, while December added 0.75 cent to $5.07.

Monday’s events supported soy complex divergence. The potential for planting problems weighed on deferred soy prices, since delayed corn plantings can cause acreage shifts into beans during late spring. Meanwhile, the weekly Export Inspections report showed a surprisingly larger result, thereby suggesting export demand remains quite robust. May soybeans climbed 10.25 cents to $15.0825/bushel Monday afternoon, while May soyoil dropped 0.30 cents to 42.62 cents/pound, and May soymeal advanced $6.3 to $496.9/ton.

Weather forecasts apparently moved the wheat markets. Today’s Export Inspections report seemed supportive of nearby wheat futures, but CBOT wheat ended the day quite mixed. The fact that large portions of the Corn Belt are being blessed with rain may explain the relative Chicago weakness, whereas persistent southern Plains dryness may have supported Kansas City. May CBOT wheat futures closed unchanged at $7.0025/bushel Monday, while May KCBT wheat futures ran up 7.5 cents to $7.8325 and May MWE futures gained 2.75 to $7.5025.

The COF report boosted cattle futures. Last Friday’s monthly USDA Cattle on Feed report was viewed as supportive because March placements proved surprisingly small and pulled COF as of April 1 down nearly 1% from last year. Traders may also have thought the discounts already built into summer futures are too large. June cattle futures crept up 0.05 cents to 136.82 cents/pound late Monday afternoon, while December surged 0.80 cents to 142.57. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle leapt 1.10 cents to 181.10 cents/pound, and August soared 1.72 cents to 186.35.

Surging pork prices sparked Monday’s hog bounce. Lower cash and wholesales pork prices have recently undercut the futures market. CME prices moved still lower in early trading, but bounced substantially later the day. The rebound was very likely triggered by midsession pork reports indicating big wholesale gains. June hog futures closed just 0.30 cents lower at 124.22 cents/pound in late Monday action, while December rallied 0.17 to 91.45.

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