The corn market reversed early-Monday weakness. Corn futures had declined prior to the release of this morning’s USDA reports, with bullish traders seeming to lighten their holdings. The weekly Export Inspections report was neutral. The big late-morning USDA reports spurred a moderately bullish CBOT reaction, with the Crop Production report’s cut to the U.S. corn crop apparently spurring the modest bullish response. March corn futures settled up 1.75 cents to $4.02/bushel Monday, while July gained 2.25 to $4.1675.
The soy complex reacted quite poorly to the USDA data. The soy complex traded in decidedly mixed fashion prior to today’s major USDA reports, with bean traders seemingly ignoring the bullish result of the Export Inspections report and soyoil following crude lower. Meal firmed. They all moved sharply lower after the late-morning reports, with traders reportedly selling actively in response to an upward revision to the forecast global bean carryout. March soybean futures plummeted 36.25 cents to $10.16/bushel in late Monday trading, while March soyoil plunged 1.08 cents to 32.62 cents/pound, and March meal tumbled $7.9 to $341.2/ton.
The USDA reports maintained pressure on the wheat markets. Little wheat news emerged over the weekend, so grain traders seemed to reduce their bullish exposure prior to the release of the big USDA data releases. The reports seemed net bearish for the wheat outlook, with the low winter wheat seedings result being more than offset by the drop in U.S. feed usage and rise in ending stocks. March CBOT wheat slumped 8.25 cents to $5.555/bushel at its Monday close, while March KC wheat fell 10.0 cent to $5.905/bushel, and March MWE wheat lost 8.0 to $5.9525.
Beef strength seemed to boost cattle futures Monday. Pessimism about beef demand apparently undercut cattle and futures late last week. However, beef prices proved surprisingly strong last Friday afternoon, which in turn sparked today’s early rebound. Prices later set back once again, with the nearby contracts ending slightly lower. February live cattle futures skidded 0.15 cents to 160.45 cents/pound at their Monday settlement, while the April contract slipped 0.07 cents to 159.35. January feeder cattle futures jumped 0.97 cents to 223.40 cents/pound, and March feeders vaulted 0.75 cents to 213.30.
The hog situation seemed quite weak. Although hog and pork prices are likely to post a seasonal rally into mid-February, the markets continue struggling. The fact that last week’s hog kill topped the comparable year-ago figure by 3.5% probably spurred selling, as did sizeable midsession pork losses. February hog futures ended Monday having plunged 2.37 cents to 76.65 cents/pound, while June hogs dove 1.70 cents to 87.50.