Corn futures traded lower on Monday. After reaching 30-month highs on Friday, light profit-taking and technical selling weighed on futures. Weakness in crude oil futures also weighed on the market. New-crop futures closed near unchanged as commodities will continue to fight for acreage this spring. March was 2 cents lower at $6.55 1/4 while December ended unchanged at $5.87 1/4.
Soybean futures closed lower on Monday. Profit-taking and rainfall in Argentina that was beneficial for the soybean crop pressured soybean trade. Weakness in crude oil and concern about slowing demand from China during the Lunar New Year holiday were also bearish factors. The market was unable to hold early session gains that were drive by China’s announcement last week of 11.5 million tonnes of soybean purchases from the U.S. for 2010/11 and 2011/12 marketing years. March ended 7 3/4 cents lower at $14.04 1/2 and November was 11 1/2 cents lower at $13.36 3/4.
Wheat futures were higher on Monday. Improved export demand for U.S. wheat and concern about global wheat production were supportive factors. The flooding in Australia and dry conditions in the U.S. Plains have been in the market for some time, but now there is concern about drought in China’s wheat growing regions. CBOT March closed 10 3/4 cents higher at $8.35 1/4, KCBT March ended 8 cents higher at $9.08 and MGE March was 13 cents higher at $9.50 1/4.
Cattle futures closed strongly lower on Monday. The market was pressured by the Cattle on Feed report released last Friday. The report showed December placements up 16% and on feed number up 5% versus last year. Both numbers were slightly above pre-report trade estimates. The market fell despite strong export demand and rising beef prices. Choice cutouts were up 10 cents at midday and are at the highest levels since July 2008. February ended $1.18 lower at $106.78 and April was $1.00 lower at $111.68.
Lean hog futures traded mixed on Monday. The February contract was supported by firm cash markets and strong export demand. Tightening supplies of market ready hogs are expected to offer the cash market some support. But futures were mixed with some pressure from profit-taking and spillover weakness from the cattle pit. February closed 33 cents higher at $80.65 while April ended 33 cents lower at $86.25.