News of strong demand is supporting corn futures. Expect slow trading and limited price action over the next two weeks as many in the financial industry celebrate the holidays. Conversely, news events might spur choppy trading as low trading volume tries to accommodate orders. This morning’s news of a sizeable corn sale and the strong Export Inspections result are rather clearly boosting the corn market. March corn futures gained 0.75 cents to $4.1125/bushel late Monday morning, while July added 0.25 to $4.2225.

The soy complex traded in mixed fashion Monday morning. Strong Brazilian production prospects and a private forecast for increased U.S. soy acreage next year seemingly depressed the soy complex Sunday night. However, the Export Inspections report, which stated bean sales well above expectations, appeared to spur renewed bean and meal buying interest. Meanwhile, dropping crude oil quotes once again weighed on the soyoil market. January soybean futures advanced 6.75 cents to $10.3725/bushel just before lunchtime Monday, while January soyoil slipped 0.02 to 31.94 cents/pound, and January meal ran up $5.1 to $368.6/ton.

Russian news is confusing the wheat markets. Last Friday’s big futures breakdown in response to news that Russian government action was limiting wheat exports seemingly marked an end to the recent rally. However, weekend news that the Putin regime is now considering export tariffs on wheat shipments is supporting prices. Traders are confused about potential charges on previously signed but unfilled contracts. March CBOT wheat slid 2.5 cents to $6.2975/bushel around midsession Monday, while March KC wheat skidded 1.0 cents to $6.65/bushel and March MWE wheat rebounded 4.25 to $6.525.

Cattle futures have set back from early highs. Technical and pragmatic factors seemed to power big early gains in cattle futures, since the latest news, particularly last Friday’s Cattle on Feed report, has not been very supportive. However, futures have reversed from elevated early-morning highs, thereby suggesting bears are set to dominate once more. February live cattle rose 0.35 cents to 160.45 cents/pound in late Monday morning action, while April futures edged up 0.12 cents to 159.80. January feeder cattle futures improved 0.42 cents to 220.57 cents/pound and March feeders gained 0.42 cents to 218.40.

Seasonal weakness seems to be weighing on hogs once again. Although last Friday’s late spot quotes seemed supportive of CME swine futures, the Chicago market proved surprisingly weak in early trading. That may reflect traders expectations for continue ham weakness and a negative spillover effect on hog values. February hog futures fell 0.95 cents to 80.95 cents/pound as the lunch hour loomed Monday, while June hogs tumbled 1.00 cent to 89.42.

Cotton futures are rallying to start the week. Ongoing equity market gains suggest the global economic outlook and apparel demand look favorable, which may bode well for cotton demand. Conversely, a private forecaster predicted a sizeable cut in U.S. acreage and, by default, U.S. production next year. Bulls pushed the market above major moving average resistance in early trading, with light volume likely exaggerating the follow-through. March cotton futures surged 1.05 cents to 61.94 cents/pound shortly before noon (EST) Monday, while the July contract lifted 0.84 to 62.98.