Commodity markets were mixed to start the week

Corn futures dipped to start the week. There wasn't a great deal of substantive news concerning corn over the weekend. Still, talk that northern areas of the Corn Belt had escaped significant frost damage while most areas received some rainfall seemed to depress prices somewhat Monday morning. December corn slipped 2.75 cents to $4.4825/bushel in early Monday trading, and May lost 2.75 cents to $4.6925.

The soy complex proved rather mixed Monday morning. As with corn, little real news about the soybean outlook emerged over the weekend. Soybean meal futures rose slightly in initial trading, which may have reflected ideas that last Friday's breakdown was overdone. Talk that excessive palm oil supplies will swamp the global vegetable oil market in early 2014 seemingly dragged soy oil and beans downward as well. November soybeans edged 02.5 cent lower to $13.15/bushel in early Monday action, while October soyoil slid 0.18 cents to 41.91 cents/pound, and October soymeal added $1.9 to $415.3/ton.

Wheat futures rose in early-week trading. Chinese officials stated over the weekend that the spring weather than ruined a large portion of its winter wheat crop will very likely cause it to boost its 2013/14 wheat imports substantially. Although this wasn't exactly unexpected, it confirmed bullish ideas held by many traders. December CBOT wheat rose 0.25 cent to $6.465/bushel early Monday morning, while December KCBT wheat inched up 0.25 cent to $6.93, and December MGE futures gained 2.25 cents to $7.02.

Cattle futures ended last week on a strong note. That may have reflected cautious optimism about the likely outcome of the week's cash trading, as well as short-covering ahead of the afternoon USDA Cattle on Feed report. The report proved moderately bullish, which in turn prompted modest country gains across the Great Plains. Futures will probably resume their advance when trading starts around mid-morning. October cattle futures edged up 0.02 cents to 125.95 cents/pound last Friday afternoon, as did December to 129.75. Meanwhile, October feeder cattle rallied 0.85 cents to 160.22 cents/pound on grain and soy weakness, and January added 0.42 cents to 160.40.

Hog futures also took it on the chin as last week ended. Recent weakness in wholesale pork values had apparently tended to cap rally attempts in hog futures despite rising cash values. However, Friday morning reports implied country market weakness as well, thereby seeming to spark active selling in Chicago. Late-Friday pork reports indicated significant gains, which may boost the swine market somewhat. October hog futures fell 1.10 cents to 90.05 cents/pound as trading wound down Friday, while December tumbled 1.22 cent to 86.07.

Cotton futures were also mixed Monday morning. As with corn and soybeans, little real cotton news emerged over the weekend. Thus, it wasn't terribly surprising to see white fiber values prove unable to reversed decisively to start this week. Concurrent losses in the gold market may also have encouraged selling. December cotton added 0.01 cent to 84.53 cents/pound soon after sunrise Monday, while March slumped 0.23 to 84.18.


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