Corn futures traded solidly lower on Monday. The market was pressured by USDA’s baseline corn acreage projections for the 2011 corn crop, which showed corn acreage at 92 million, up 3.8 million from last year. Strength in the dollar index and light profit-taking from the rally to new highs last week also pressured futures trade. March closed 10 3/4 cents lower at $6.95 3/4 and December was 10 3/4 cents lower at $6.07 1/2.
Soybean futures closed lower on Monday. Futures were pulled lower by weakness in corn, USDA’s baseline acreage projection for soybeans in 2011 at 78.0 million acres, up 600,000 from last year and strength in the dollar. Futures were mixed during the session with some early support from NOPA crush for January being estimated at 144.6 million bushels, which was slightly above trade expectations. March was 13 1/4 cents lower at $14.02 3/4 and November closed 14 cents lower at $13.65 1/2.
Wheat futures traded higher on Monday. Fresh export demand, concern about the HRW wheat crop and drought in China’s wheat growing regions supported the market. Warm temperatures in the Plains are melting the protective snowcover, leaving the crop vulnerable to a cold-snap. USDA announced wheat sales to Iraq and Tunisia over the weekend. CBOT March was 5 cents higher at $8.72, KCBT March closed 4 cents higher at $9.77 while MGE March was 4 3/4 cents lower at $10.13.
Cattle futures closed strongly higher on Monday. Better than expected cash trade late last week and ideas of strong export demand for beef were supportive factors. Late on Friday, cash trade developed in Texas at $107, steady with the previous week. Boxed beef prices were lower last week, but were higher at midday Monday. February closed $1.43 higher at $109.20 and April was $1.18 higher at $113.88.
Lean hog futures were mostly higher on Monday. February futures expired at noon, making the April contract the front month. Ideas of strong pork export demand helped push most contracts higher despite further weakness in the cash market to start the week. USDA estimated pork exports in 2010 at up 3% from the previous year. April close3d 8 cents higher at $92.45 and June was 63 cents higher at $102.08.