Ag markets moved mostly higher Monday

Weather concerns dominated the crop markets Monday. Anticipated weekend rains over the Corn Belt were very light or nonexistent. Moreover, a high pressure ridge seems set to boost heat and dryness in late August and early September. Talk of potential for an early frost next month may have encouraged bullish corn traders as well. Futures rallied despite a disappointing result on the Export Inspections report. September corn soared 19.5 cents to $4.9325/bushel at Monday's close, while December jumped 22.0 cents to $4.855.

The soy complex also rocketed upward Monday. Soybeans routinely set and fill pods most actively during August, so the crop is most vulnerable to heat and drought during late summer. That essentially explains the big gains posted in response to forecasts for summery conditions later this week and all of the next. The Export Inspections report proved supportive as well. September soybeans leapt 38.75 cents to $13.22/bushel in late Monday trading, and November beans spiked 44.0 to $13.0325. September soyoil climbed 0.64 cents to 43.45 cents/pound, while September soymeal bounded $11.5 higher to $420.3/ton.

Wheat resumed its recent pattern of tracking corn and soy moves Monday. The wheat markets are probably less dependent upon short-term weather forecasts than are corn and soybeans, but diminished harvests might ease pressure upon wheat prices this fall. Moreover, the weekly Export Inspections report was also quite bullish. September CBOT wheat closed up 10.5 cents to $6.415/bushel Monday afternoon, while September KCBT wheat rose 5.0 cents to $7.0325, and September MGE futures gained 8.0 cents to $7.4525.

Cattle futures moved mostly higher Monday. CME traders were apparently anticipating a moderate cash market advance last Friday. That would explain today's slippage by expiring August futures and modest gains by deferred futures in reaction to that news. A moderate midsession rise in choice beef cutout probably offered support as well. October cattle futures edged up 0.15 cents to 128.07 cents/pound as pit trading wound down Monday, while December added 0.40 cents to 130.45. Feeder cattle futures sank as corn soared, with September advancing 0.27 cents to 157.95 cents/pound, and November falling 0.17 cents higher to 160.47.

Lean hog futures were mixed in late Monday action. Last week's late cash weakness seemingly caused traders to downplay the wholesale strength seen Friday afternoon and again Monday morning, with nearby futures declining before lunch. Still, conditions still suggest spot values may not fall as much as implied by nearby futures. October hog futures settled 0.25 cents lower at 86.47 cents/pound Monday afternoon, while December was unchanged at 83.45.


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