Corn turned lower despite supportive news. Both the delayed USDA Export Sales and the regular Export Inspections reports were released this morning, with the moderate result on the latter seeming to outweigh a huge figure on the former. One has to wonder if bullish traders are evening up positions prior to the end of the calendar year Wednesday. March corn futures slumped 2.75 cents to $4.12/bushel late Monday morning, while July lost 2.75 to $4.27.
Export Inspections also appeared to undercut soy complex bulls. The belated Export Inspections report looked very supportive of the soybean and meal markets, but the USDA Export Inspections data was disappointing. The latter result seemingly spurred active selling in bean and meal markets, whereas the prospect of flood-reduced Malaysian palm oil production is again boosting soyoil quotes. January soybean futures stalled at $10.475/bushel around midsession Monday, while January soyoil surged 0.49 to 32.95 cents/pound, and January meal stumbled $3.1 to $376.6/ton.
The wheat markets turned mixed Monday morning. News that Iran had bought 200,000 tonnes of wheat from the U.S., Canada and Australia over the weekend seemed to confirm Russia’s absence from the international markets and boosted U.S. futures accordingly. However, the weekly export reports yielded generally mediocre to disappointing results, thereby pushing wheat prices at the various exchanges to steady to mostly lower levels. We should probably look for position squaring in the wheat pits before Wednesday’s close. March CBOT wheat rose 0.75 cents to $6.115/bushel just before lunchtime Monday, while March KC wheat gained 2.25 to $6.465/bushel and March MWE wheat edged up 1.5 to $6.33.
Cattle futures surged on their Monday morning opening. Last week’s late cash and wholesale strength supported cattle futures quite well at that time. But those gains also seemed to persuade traders that the recent breakdown had run its course and that cash quotes could continue last week’s rebound. Bears may be exiting positions before year-end as well. February live cattle leapt 2.90 cents to 165.37 cents/pound late Monday morning, while April futures jumped 2.50 cents to 163.97. January feeder cattle futures spiked 3.82 cents to 217.55 cents/pound and March feeders soared 3.82 cents to 215.72.
Bullish demand ideas may be supporting CME hogs. Cash hog and wholesale pork prices have recently proven generally weak, as implied by the preliminary CME index quote for last Friday, which fell below its late-2013 nadir. That may have persuaded traders that the recent breakdown was overdone, especially if the drop reignites the powerful demand that powered prices to stunning highs last spring and summer. February hog futures rallied 0.27 cents to 81.85 cents/pound as the lunch hour loomed Monday, while June hogs advanced 0.70 cents to 91.47.