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. In contrast, the big late morning USDA reports spurred a moderately bullish CBOT reaction, with the reports’ cut to U.S. corn production apparently spurring the modest bullish response. March corn futures rose 2.0 cents to $4.0225/bushel late Monday morning, while July gained 2.5 to $4.17.
The soy complex reacted 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 unanimously lower after the late-morning reports, with traders reportedly selling actively in response to an upward revision to the forecast global been carryout. March soybean futures plunged 30.25 cents to $10.22/bushel as the lunch hour loomed Monday, while March soyoil tumbled 0.62 to 33.06 cents/pound, and March meal dropped $7.3 to $341.8/ton.
The USDA reports kept the 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 largely offset by the drop in U.S. feed usage and rise in ending stocks. March CBOT wheat sagged 4.0 cents to $5.5975/bushel around midsession Monday, while March KC wheat slumped 6.5 cent to $5.94/bushel, and March MWE wheat dipped 2.75 to $6.005.
Beef strength seemed to spark Monday’s early cattle bounce. Pessimism about beef demand apparently undercut cattle and futures late last week. However, beef prices proved surprisingly strong last Friday afternoon, which in turn seemed to cause today’s early rebound. Prices later set back once again. February live cattle futures lost 0.47 cents to 160.12 cents/pound just before lunchtime Monday, while the April contract skidded 0.07 cents to 159.35. January feeder cattle futures jumped 1.07 cents to 223.50 cents/pound, and March feeders leapt 1.27 cents to 213.82.
The hog situation seems quite weak at this point. Although hog and pork prices seem 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, since that suggested supplies are already surging versus year-ago rates. February hog futures plunged 2.37 cents to 76.65 cents/pound in late Monday morning action, while June hogs dove 1.82 cents to 87.37.