Ag markets were mixed early Monday morning

Talk that slowing rainfall would allow U.S. corn plantings to get off the ground in the near future reportedly sank the market Sunday night. That seemed to overrule supportive developments such as news that the Chinese government will continue its stockpiling program through May and word that a large South Korean company had opened a tender for 70,000 tonnes. July corn fell 15.75 cents to $6.455/bushel early Monday morning, while December dropped 17.0 cents to $5.365.

Evidence of persistent tightness in the soybean market here and in China seemed to limit losses in the soybean complex early Monday morning. The fact that expiring May soybean and meal futures rose significantly in the face of the general grain/soy decline highlighted that fact. Soybean oil prices also rose, although the reasons for that strength were not obvious (especially with Asian palm oil prices falling to fresh lows overnight). July soybean futures slipped 1.75 cents to $13.855/bushel in weekend trading, while July soyoil gained 0.18 cents to 49.45 cents/pound, and July soybean meal dipped $0.6 to $405.9/ton.

Wheat futures apparently suffered follow-through losses in the wake of the surprisingly large result of the Wheat Quality Council tour of Kansas winter wheat fields taken last week. Spillover selling from the corn decline probably depressed prices as well. July CBOT wheat futures dove 10.5 cents to $7.105/bushel in early Monday morning trading, while July KCBT wheat lost 10.0 cents to $7.68 and July MGE futures lost 5.5 cents to $8.135.

Cattle futures reportedly set back last Friday morning as bulls took profits on recent gains, then accelerated downward in reaction to talk that wholesale prices have lost their upward momentum. Many traders may also think the ongoing surge will end in the near future, with cash and wholesale prices declining sharply soon thereafter. That could change quickly if beef prices resume their surge early this week. June cattle plunged 1.82 cents to end last week at 121.82 cents/pound, while December lost 1.57 cents to 126.90. August feeder cattle futures

CME lean hog futures were steady to weak Friday morning, with most contracts declining rather significantly. Mixed cash quotes probably played a role in the general weakness, but disappointment with the monthly export data published around midmorning seemed to exert considerable pressure as well. As in the cattle and beef complex, early cash and wholesale developments could greatly affect the direction taken by hog futures during the days just ahead. June hog futures settled 0.65 cents lower at 92.17 cents/pound last Friday afternoon, while December futures inched 0.25 cents higher to 78.90.