Corn futures traded strongly higher on Monday. Fund buying was triggered by planting delay concerns and spillover support from Wheat. USDA will release a new Crop Progress report this afternoon and traders are looking for corn planting progress to be around 13% compared to the five-year average of 22% complete. Weather forecasts call for more wet weather in the southern and eastern Corn Belt this week. May closed 25 1/4 cents higher at $7.62 1/2 and December was 16 cents higher at $6.81 1/2.
Soybean futures closed mostly higher on Monday. Old-crop soybeans were supported by strong gains in corn and wheat. However, gains were limited by concern about slowing export demand as China cancels purchases and as global demand shifts to the newly harvested crop in South America. New-crop contracts were steady to mixed on ideas that corn planting delays could lead to increased soybean acreage this spring. May ended 9 cents higher at $13.89 1/2 and November was unchanged at $13.82 1/2.
Wheat futures were sharply higher on Monday. Weather concerns supported futures trade. Continued dry weather in the southern Plains is expected to lead to poor yields and heavy abandonment. In the northern Plains, wet and cool weather is slowing spring wheat planting progress and could prevent some area from being seeded. USDA will issue a new Crop Progress report this afternoon. CBOT May closed 26 1/2 cents higher at $8.26, KCBT May was 28 1/4 cents higher at $9.60 3/4 and MGE May ended 29 1/4 cents higher at $9.80 3/4.
Cattle futures closed sharply lower on Monday. The market was pressured by profit-taking and fund selling. Losses were extended on reports of cash trade developing at $117 in Texas, down $2 from last week. In the Cattle on Feed report last week, the marketings number was bullish as it was larger than expected. But that was overshadowed by the bearish placements numbers. March placements in the 800+ category were up nearly 22% from last year. June closed $2.43 lower at $112.80 and August was $2.23 lower at $114.45.
Lean hog futures traded lower on Monday. Fund selling and spillover pressure from cattle weighed on futures. There is concern that high pork prices will limit expected seasonal improvement in demand. Futures were lowered despite mostly steady to higher cash bids. Tight supplies of market ready hogs are forcing most packers to raise bids early in the week. June closed $1.53 lower at $98.53 and July was $1.08 lower at $99.25.