The crop markets resumed their late-week rally Sunday night. Talk of persistent dryness in the winter wheat regions of the U.S. and Russia powered wheat futures higher to start this week’s trading, with corn and soybeans also advancing. Concurrent strength in stock index futures and continued U.S. dollar slippage probably played a role in boosting the latter markets. May corn futures rallied 4.25 cents to $3.8925/bushel early Monday morning, while December corn rose 4.0 to $4.1325.
The soy complex is also rallying to start the week. Sizeable increases in equity index futures and another drop in the value of the U.S. dollar are again encouraging CBOT bulls this morning. Persistently strong meal demand is apparently supporting both that market and bean futures, while overnight palm oil gains are boosting soyoil. Dry winter wheat weather is boosting the golden grain markets and reminding traders that the 2015 crops aren’t even planted, much less made. May soybean futures advanced 5.75 cents to $9.795/bushel Sunday night, while May soyoil ran up 0.27 cents to 30.95 cents/pound, and May meal added $1.9 to $325.9/ton.
Weather forecasts continue powering wheat market gains. Persistent forecasts for limited rainfall land growing dryness in the U.S. southern Plains and in the Black Sea region reportedly powered wheat prices higher last night. Today’s financial market moves very likely encouraged wheat bulls as well, especially after nearby futures broke out above resistance associated with their 40 and 50-day moving averages Friday. May CBOT wheat climbed 7.25 cents to $5.3725/bushel in early Monday action, while May KC wheat lifted 5.75 cents to $5.7525/bushel, and May MWE wheat moved up 5.5 to $5.95.
Cattle futures firmed before Friday’s COF report. The cattle market appeared to stage a mid-week bullish breakout, with anticipation of fresh cash strength being the likely cause. Mixed Friday morning action suggested bulls weren’t getting their way, but the market staged a late rally before the close and the afternoon release of the monthly USDA Cattle on Feed report. That seemed supportive, but late-day cash gains will probably spark fresh gains on today’s CME opening. April cattle futures closed 0.35 cents higher at 158.35 cents/pound Friday, while August cattle advanced 0.57 cents to 148.10 cents/pound. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle futures edged up 0.17 cents to 216.20 cents/pound, whereas August feeders sank 0.42 to 216.07.
Hog futures posted a mixed Friday close. Although the cash hog and wholesale pork markets remained weak Thursday, anticipation of seasonal strength apparently spurred opening CME gains Friday. However, midsession reports of wholesale weakness apparently undercut upward momentum, with only the nearby April contract ending the day higher. Afternoon reports were unanimously weak, which probably bodes ill for today’s opening. April hog futures edged up 0.32 cents to 58.45 cents/pound in late Friday trading, while June hogs slumped 0.67 to 73.85.
Chinese news encouraged cotton bulls Sunday night. Although the overnight rise in equity index futures and dollar index decline likely boosted the fiber market to start the week, news out of China may have been the real cause of today’s early gains. A survey done by Chinese officials reportedly indicated the country’s cotton plantings will drop 20% this year, which certainly suggests China will need to import more cotton in late 2015 and early 2016. May cotton rose 0.34 cents to 63.16 cents/pound shortly after sunrise Monday, while December futures slid 0.07 to 63.99.