Corn seemed to follow soybeans & wheat lower Monday. The corn market slipped in Sunday night action, which probably reflected the fact that it ended last week just below its intermediate-term moving averages. This morning’s USDA Export Inspections report stated last week’s result at 1.28 million tonnes, which easily topped forecasts, but that apparently did little to boost the market. The poor soybean result seemingly weighed on the whole crop complex. May corn futures closed down 5.25 cents to $3.88/bushel Monday, while December slid 4.25 to $4.1325.
The soybeans led the soy complex lower. Brazilian officials cracked down on striking truckers blocking most highways over the weekend, which spurred Sunday night buying in the soy complex. Soyoil also followed palm oil quotes higher. Conversely, the Export Inspections data were quite disappointing as were today’s country quotes, both of which undercut CBOT prices. May soybean futures dove 18.0 cents to $10.1375/bushel at their Monday settlement, while May soyoil sank 0.12 cents to 32.83 cents/pound, and May meal dropped $8.9 to $333.5/ton.
Technical selling seemed to cap the Sunday-night wheat rally. The wheat markets ended last week firmly in response to concerns about the damage arctic temperatures could do to winter wheat in the western Plains and Black Sea region. Futures continued rising over the weekend, but bulls couldn’t sustain the advance. The Export Inspections report seemed somewhat supportive. However, the most-active wheat contracts failed at short-term moving average resistance and fell sharply. May CBOT wheat tumbled 13.0 cents to $5.00/bushel in late Monday action, while May KC wheat fell 13.75 cents to $5.2575/bushel, and May MWE wheat sank 11.25 to $5.5525.
Cash strength apparently powered Monday’s strong CME cattle gains. Beef prices surged last week, which certainly suggested looming cash strength. That apparently proved to be the case Friday afternoon, when western Plains animals reportedly traded around $159.00/cwt (cents/pound); that was essentially steady with the week prior. That news, along with possible seasonal optimism, seemed to spur today’s torrid opening. April cattle futures leapt 1.75 cents to 153.45 cents/pound at Monday’s CME close, while August cattle jumped 1.62 cents to 143.67 cents/pound. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle futures soared 1.80 cents to 202.12 cents/pound, and August feeders vaulted 1.52 to 202.70.
Hog traders seemed cautiously optimistic. The cash hog markets rallied strongly last week, whereas pork cutouts only bounced on Friday after big early-week losses. One suspects the surprisingly pork weakness made traders cautious about banking on persistently large cash market gains as the spring grilling season looms. April hog futures settled 0.20 cents higher at 67.67 cents/pound Monday, while June hogs rose 0.17 to 83.05.