The grain and oilseed markets are lower to start the week, after also ending Friday a bit lower.  The 6 to 10 day forecast is mostly favorable with some pockets of dryness in the eastern Corn Belt.  The trade is expecting today’s corn crop rating to be steady at 70% good to excellent.  Greece’s main stock exchange, the Athex Exchange, closed 20% lower Monday, after reopening nearly 5 weeks after it closed for trading. U.S. Dollar index is higher by 1% to 97.43 and the Dow closed lower 56 points on Friday.  September corn futures fell 5.75 cents to $3.6525/bushel early Monday morning, while December dropped 6.25 cents to $3.75. 

The soy complex was lower in overnight trading.  The trade expectation is that beans will hold steady at 62% good to excellent in today’s crop progress report.  A week from this Wednesday, the USDA will release the anticipated August 12 WASDE in which  production numbers will be key for the trade.  Yield estimates from various advisory firms will come out thisweek ahead of the WASDE.  The resurvey  results for soybean acreage in Arkansas, Missouri, and Kansas, are also due out in August.  August soybeans lost 3.25 cents to $9.775/bushel early Monday, while August soyoil lost 0.47 cents to 29.51 cents/pound and August meal lost $2.1 to $352.5/ton.  

Wheat futures traded trading lower in overnight session.  Above average winter wheat harvest rate and the good condition of the spring wheat crop are signaling what is expected to be a substantial wheat crop despite some of the rain problems the last few months.  This expectation of solid supply coupled with a less-than-desirable wheat export program may put a ceiling on the upside potential for wheat.  The trade will continue to monitor conditions in the EU as well as in Canada.  September CBOT wheat futures gained 1.75 cents to $4.9925/bushel Friday, while Sep KC wheat closed unchanged at $4.9225/bushel, and September MWE fell 3.25 cents $5.235.  

Live cattle futures traded mixed Friday with the nearby up a bit and the deferred months a little lower.  Prices held within a narrow range as the trade continues to monitor signs that demand is picking up.  Beef cutouts weakened Friday after steeply declining in recent weeks with choice down .09 to 233.25 cent/pound and select down .03 to 229.29.  Live cattle futures may trend higher this week as the trade expects beef demand to pick up soon as grocers get ready for Labor Day.  August cattle gained .32 cents to 145.22 cents/pound at the close Friday, while December futures fell .22 cents to 147.90.  Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures lost .02 cents to 211.22 cents/pound, while November feeders dropped .22 to 205.12.

Hog futures slipped lower Friday after testing the 80 cent level earlier this week, trading as high as 81.37 on Wednesday.  Nearby hogs traded 4 cents above the 100-day moving average of 74.24.  The August contract has risen steadily in recent weeks after bottoming on July 13 at 73.95 cents/pound.  One factor behind recent rises in hog futures may be attributed to lower pig weight not uncommonly associated with hot summer weather suppressing hog appetites.  Traders await the demand surge that is typical for the first week of August, ahead of Labor day buying. August hog futures closed 0.35 cents lower at 79.67 cents/pound Friday, while December stayed neutral at 61.95. 

The cotton market is lower early Monday morning, dipping into the 63 cent range, presumably on short coverings ahead of the crop weather report out today as well the fund positioning ahead of the Aug 12 WASDE.  ICE futures stayed in a narrow trading range last week as has been so customary for the commodity.   Plagued by global supply problems and structural inefficiencies, it remains to be seen whether the cotton can development fundaments that are more conducive to robust pricing mechanisms.  December cotton futures lost .56 cents to 63.65 cents/pound early Monday, while May lost 0.43 cents to 64.02.