Technical selling seemed to hit the corn market Monday. U.S. dollar strength seemed to weigh on corn futures Sunday night, but the greenback set back this morning. That fact, along with a strong result on the weekly Export Inspections report, seemed supportive of yellow grain prices. Nevertheless, futures turned decidedly lower, which may have reflected nearby futures’ recent failure at their 40-day moving averages. March corn futures fell 6.5 cents to $3.7875/bushel in late Monday trading, while July sank 6.0 to $3.945.
Prices in the soy complex were mostly lower. Underlying demand for soybeans and meal seemingly remains quite vigorous. Talk that a Brazilian trucker strike is preventing beans from flowing freely to ports may also have offered support today. However, the soyoil situation remains bearish, especially with the crude oil market threatening to resume its January breakdown. Beans and meal stabilized at the close. March soybean futures ended Monday unchanged at $9.9925/bushel, while March soyoil dropped 0.34 cents to 31.14 cents/pound, and March meal edged up $0.8 to $348.3/ton.
The wheat markets ended on a mixed note. Wheat futures have recently found support from potential weather problems in the U.S. southern Plains and the Black Sea region. Today’s USDA Export Inspections report also seemed rather bullish, since the 501,548-tonne total easily topped expectations. Moreover, Egyptian officials again announced a tender for U.S. wheat today. Still, the glutted global situation remains a major obstacle to sustained strength, as apparently indicated by today’s general slippage. March CBOT wheat slid 4.5 cents to $5.0575/bushel at its Monday settlement, while March KC wheat skidded 2.0 to $5.3125/bushel, and March MWE wheat rose 1.0 to $5.6775.
Cattle prices reacted rather weekly to weekend port news. Concerns about demand seemed to undercut the CME cattle market last week, with late-week cash slippage also spurring selling. The monthly Cattle on Feed report looked somewhat bearish for deferred futures as well. News of the West Coast labor settlement sparked an early bounce, but bulls proved unable to prevent significant losses as the day passed. April cattle futures dove 1.42 cents to 147.10 cents/pound at Monday’s CME close, while August cattle plunged 1.67 cents to 139.12 cents/pound. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle futures tumbled 1.10 cents to 198.07 cents/pound and May feeders lost 1.20 to 196.62.
Hog futures surged on the weekend port settlement. The spot markets for hogs and pork stabilized last week, thereby seeming to set the stage for a bullish response to weekend news that the West Coast port labor situation had been resolved. Futures rallied strongly on today’s opening, but gave back a sizeable portion of those gains as the bearish environment weighed upon traders. April hog futures closed up 0.92 cents to 68.32 cents/pound Monday, while June hogs climbed 0.67 to 82.40.