Traders may be looking toward Tuesday’s WASDE report. The crop markets traded steady higher Sunday evening, with news sources citing the weekend Chinese interest rate cut for boosting beans and last week’s low tour result as supportive of wheat. However, grain futures turned lower in early morning action despite a general lack of news. We suspect traders were again squaring positions ahead of today’s USDA Crop Progress and Tuesday’s WASDE reports. July corn futures slipped 0.5 cent to $3.625/bushel early Monday morning, while December stalled at $3.7825.   
    
Hopes for Chinese demand are spurring soy gains. The soybean and product markets seem very well supplied, with the rapid corn planting pace suggesting U.S. bean plantings will also occur on or ahead of schedule. However, weekend news that Chinese banking officials had cut that country’s interest rates engendered hopes of fresh Asian economic growth and renewed soy demand. July soybean futures rallied 3.0 cents to $9.7925/bushel Sunday night, while July soyoil climbed 0.24 cents to 33.20 cents/pound, and July meal rose $0.3 to $313.7/ton.   
    
Wheat futures also slipped overnight. Last week’s Kansas wheat tour yielded disappointing prospects for the forthcoming winter wheat crop, thereby spurring gains last week and again Sunday night. However, bulls couldn’t sustain the gains overnight, with prices moving slightly lower across the board. As in the corn pit, we suspect position squaring ahead of the looming USDA reports. July CBOT wheat futures skidded 1.5 cents  to $4.80/bushel shortly after sunrise Monday, while July KC wheat dipped 2.25 cents to $5.0625/bushel, and July MWE wheat sagged 2.75 to $5.3825.   
    
Fresh cash optimism reportedly boosted cattle futures Friday. CME cattle struggled through midweek, with the usual lack of cash news seeming to limit CME action to range trading. However, late-week beef gains apparently increased the chances that beef packers would pay up for cattle before the weekend. Futures surged in response. Friday afternoon cattle and beef gains suggest a strong Monday opening. June live cattle  futures soared 2.12 cents to 151.50 cents/pound at Friday’s CME close, while August cattle leapt 1.55 to 149.82. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures vaulted 0.82 cents to 217.62 cents/pound, and November  feeders rose 0.17 to 215.10.    
    
Hog futures followed cattle higher Friday afternoon. The cash hog and wholesale pork markets have rallied strongly lately, but Friday morning reports were much less supportive of CME futures. Those quotes, as well as pivotal chart resistance around 84.00 cents limited early gains. However, surging cattle futures and trader suspicions that afternoon spot reports would be much stronger seemingly spurred Friday’s bullish breakout. CME hogs also seem likely to rally on today’s opening. June hog futures jumped 1.33 cents to 88.82 cents/pound in late Friday trading, while December moved up 0.22 to 70.52.    

Cotton futures took a surprising tumble Sunday night. As usual, little fresh cotton news emerged over the weekend, with Friday’s trader commitment data and Chinese interest rate cut seeming rather bullish. However, cotton futures fell sharply, the reason for which was not obvious, especially after Friday’s late bounce. Ultimately, the looming USDA reports and May futures expiration may have spurred selling. July
cotton dove 1.00 cent to 65.16 in early Monday action, while December futures fell 1.03 to 64.91.