Farmer selling reportedly sank corn futures Monday. The corn market started the week on a firm note and continued rising in response to news of a 136,000-tonne U.S. sale to Japan. However, the weekly Export Inspections report was much less favorable and seemed to drag the market lower. Wire service reports cited active farmer selling for the late bearish follow-through. March corn futures slumped 4.75 cents to $3.9025/bushel at Monday’s close, while July dipped 4.75 to $4.0525.
Soy exports remain quite strong. In addition to the early-morning announcement of 130,000 tonnes of beans sold to Spain, the weekly USDA Export Inspections report stated the bean figure well above industry forecasts. Beans and meal responded well to those reports, but the oil market declined in concert with energy market losses. January soybean futures rallied 7.75 cents to $10.4375/bushel in late Monday trading, while January soyoil slid 0.23 cents to 31.85 cents/pound, and January meal gained $3.7 to $370.1/ton.
The wheat markets followed beans higher. Little fresh news concerning wheat emerged over the weekend, with the main item being talk of improved Black Sea weather forecasts and less danger to wheat in that region. The Export Inspections report wasn’t very encouraging either. Nevertheless, golden grain prices followed bean and meal futures higher, with wire service reports also citing technical buying. March CBOT wheat closed up 4.0 cents to $5.98/bushel Monday afternoon, while March KC wheat stalled at $6.3925/bushel and March MWE wheat slipped 1.0 to $6.22.
Beef losses continued weighing on cattle futures Monday. Tumbling beef quotes undercut cash and futures prices for fed cattle last week. CME traders clearly worried about more of the same today, despite stable midday wholesale quotes. Wire service reports cited active long-liquidation by trading funds. February live cattle plunged 3.00 cents to 161.87 cents/pound at their Monday settlement, while April dove 2.60 to 161.70. January and March feeder cattle futures plummeted the 3.0-cent daily limit to 231.87 and 228.22 cents/pound, respectively.
Cattle losses likely weighed on CME hogs as well. The spot markets for hogs and pork followed last week’s mixed quotes with more of the same at noon today. Indeed, pork prices could be construed as firming. And yet, lean hog futures closed unanimously lower. That very likely reflected selling spilling over from the diving cattle and feeder pits. February hog futures ended Monday having stumbled 0.50 cents to 85.12 cents/pound, while June hogs sank 0.45 cents to 92.35.
Equity losses may have depressed cotton futures. Once again, little cotton news emerged over the weekend. Technical buying seemed to push the nearby March contract above the pivotal 60-cent level in early trading, but the rise couldn’t be sustained. One has to suspect the negative economic implications of sizeable stock market losses spurred late fiber market selling. March cotton futures sank 0.33 cents to 59.31 cents/pound as Monday’s ICE session ended, while the July contract sagged 0.47 to 60.76.