The Export Inspections data encouraged corn bulls. Corn followed wheat and soybeans higher Sunday night, with stock market leadership and dollar losses also boosting sentiment. The weekly USDA Export Inspections report also encouraged bulls, since the result at 994,660 tonnes topped estimates. Technical resistance may have limited gains. May corn futures rallied 5.25 cents to $3.9025/bushel late Monday morning, while December corn rose 4.75 to $4.14.

The soy complex led the crop markets higher Monday morning. A sizeable increase in equity index futures and another drop in the value of the U.S. dollar apparently spurred soy buyers to start this week. On the other hand, little actual soybean news emerged over the weekend and the Export Inspections data weren’t particularly bullish. And yet, futures continued higher this morning, making us suspect the energy sector rebound boosted oil, and through it, soybean futures. May soybean futures advanced 12.75 cents to $9.865/bushel just before lunchtime Monday, while May soyoil ran up 0.60 cents to 31.28 cents/pound, and May meal added $3.7 to $327.7/ton.

Wheat set back from early highs. Persistent forecasts for limited rainfall and growing dryness in the U.S. southern Plains and in the Black Sea region reportedly powered wheat prices higher Sunday night. Today’s financial market moves very likely encouraged wheat bulls as well. Nevertheless, futures set back from their early morning highs despite last Friday’s apparent bullish breakout. The export data was unremarkable, which makes one wonder if traders were disappointed by long-range forecasts calling for plentiful southern Plains rainfall this spring. May CBOT wheat climbed 4.5 cents to $5.345/bushel around midsession Monday, while May KC wheat lifted 4.75 cents to $5.7475/bushel, and May MWE wheat moved up 4.25 to $5.9375.

Cash strength boosted cattle futures on today’s opening. Cash cattle prices more than fulfilled last week’s trader suspicions of spot market firmness, thereby spurring a strong opening at the CME this morning. Beef cutouts tumbled Friday, which may have limited the bullish follow-through, since grocers usually slow their wholesale buying late in most months. April cattle futures leapt 1.75 cents to 160.10 cents/pound in late Monday morning action, while August cattle advanced 1.17 cents to 149.27 cents/pound. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle futures leapt 2.17 cents to 218.27 cents/pound, and August feeders soared 2.15 to 218.22.

Hog futures were trading mixed around midsession. Although the cash hog and wholesale pork markets remained weak through last week, anticipation of seasonal strength apparently supported the nearby contracts on today’s opening. However, the current downtrend seemed to limit gains and weight on the premium-priced summer contracts. April hog futures rose 0.45 cents to 58.90 cents/pound as the lunch hour loomed Monday, while June hogs slipped 0.12 to 73.72.

Chinese news is encouraging cotton bulls. The overnight rise in equity index futures and the dollar index decline likely exaggerated the cotton market response to the latest Chinese news. A survey done by Chinese officials reportedly indicated the country’s cotton plantings will drop 20% this year, which certainly suggests China will need to import more cotton in late 2015 and early 2016. The early strength also seemed to spark a bullish technical follow-through to last Wednesday’s big surge. May cotton jumped 1.25 cents to 64.07 cents/pound shortly after noon (EDT) Monday, while December futures climbed 0.54 to 64.60.