Corn continued its decline over the weekend. Recent reports have implied corn demand remains good, traders worry that the ongoing ‘bird flu’ outbreak, particularly in Minnesota will curtail domestic feed usage. Conversely, Midwest forecasts point to a sustained dry spell, which could allow spring corn plantings to vault ahead, which in turn would increase autumn yield prospects. Both factors are weighing on prices. May corn futures slid 1.25 cents to $3.6325/bushel Sunday night, while December lost 1.75 to $3.865.   
    
The soy complex is suffering from factors similar to those depressing corn. Accelerated corn plantings suggest U.S. farmers will be able to quickly switch to soybeans when the former are completed, which, again, holds positive connotations for the fall harvest. Traders are also worried about soymeal demand amidst the bird flu outbreak. The seemingly quick demise of the Brazilian truckers strike undercut sentiment as well. May soybean futures skidded 0.25 cent to $9.695/bushel early Monday morning, while May soyoil inched 0.01 cents lower to 31.66 cents/pound, and May meal lost $0.8 to $313.7/ton.   
    
The wheat markets also proved mixed Sunday night. Dry short-term weather forecasts also suggest spring plantings will build upon last week’s big surge, thereby seeming to improve production prospects. Conversely, early-May dryness might diminish the productive potential of the HRW crop in the southern Plains. That probably explains the modest gains posted by the Kansas City market to start the week. May CBOT wheat futures slipped 1.5 cent to $4.845/bushel soon after dawn Monday, while May KC wheat rose 0.5 cent to $5.0275/bushel, and May MWE wheat dipped 2.75 to $5.3225.   
    
Thursday’s surprising cash firmness apparently boosted cattle. Cash and futures prices for fed cattle looked set to take a fresh tumble Thursday morning. However, CME bears proved unable to trigger the expected drop,
which in turn appeared to trigger torrid short-covering, a big futures advance and firming prices in the central Plains. Friday’s action seemingly represents a bullish follow-through. Conversely, the afternoon USDA Cattle on Feed report looked rather bearish for today’s opening. June cattle futures vaulted 2.17 cents to 151.20 cents/pound as Friday’s CME session ended, while August cattle jumped 1.87 to 149.72. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle futures soared 2.82 cents to 214.07 cents/pound, and August feeders leapt 2.72 to 215.67. 149.72. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle futures soared 2.82 cents to 214.07 cents/pound, and August feeders leapt 2.72 to 215.67.     
    
Pork slippage probably limited CME hog gains. The wholesale strength indicated on Thursday’s late pork reports fell short of the extreme gains stated at noon that day, which likely weighed upon prices early Friday morning. Still, the improving hog/pork situation supported prices through the close. Conversely, pork quotes were flat, thereby triggering a setback from morning highs and possibly presaging a flat opening today.
June hog futures closed up 1.12 cents to 79.45 cents/pound Friday, while December rose 0.25 to 68.90.    
    
Cotton continued last week’s late surge. Last Thursday’s weekly Export Sales report seemed rather bullish for cotton, but the outsized advance posted that day probably had other bullish factors working for it as well. The lack of other news strongly suggest technical factors encouraged bulls, but the main driver of the follow-through is most likely the lack of supply deliverable against the expiring May contract. It has clearly led the way higher. May cotton climbed 0.59 cents to 67.09 cents/pound in early Monday trading, while December futures gained 0.31 to 65.93.