Ag markets look set for a mixed start to this week's trading

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Corn futures rose modestly Sunday night. Although short-term weather forecasts are pointing to fine harvest weather this week, talk of the possibility of frost in the northern Corn Belt next weekend seemed to boost the market somewhat to start the week. December corn rose 2.5 cents to $4.565/bushel early Monday morning, and May added 2.5 cents to $4.77.

The soy complex declined in early Monday action. There was little news concerning soybeans over the weekend, although talk of activity by a large South firm might have affecting the markets. The reason for the early-week soy weakness was not obvious, but we’re inclined to blame ideas that this week’s good weather will aid development of the laggardly soybean crop. November soybeans slid 4.5 cents to $13.1525/bushel around dawn Monday, while October soyoil slipped 0.17 cents to 41.34 cents/pound, but October soymeal lifted $0.9 to $420.8/ton.

Talk of robust export demand seemed to support wheat to start this week. Fresh wheat news was also rather sparse to begin this week, so traders apparently resumed their recent pattern of buying in anticipating of vigorous export demand. They will probably balance their positions today ahead of the Small Grains and quarterly Grain Stocks reports from the USDA. December CBOT wheat inched up 0.25 cent to $6.8325/bushel in early Monday action, while December KCBT wheat gained 2.25 cents to $7.34, and December MGE futures edged 1.0 cent higher to $7.325.

Cattle futures rallied significantly last Friday. Bullish CME traders apparently expected steady-firm cash trading as well as a bullish Hogs & Pigs report later in the day, which would easily explain the Chicago gains. Although the hog report proved bearish, cash prices jumped, which bodes well for today’s CME opening. October cattle futures gained 0.55 cents to 128.25 cents/pound at Friday’s close, while December rallied 0.50 cents to 132.07. Meanwhile, October feeder cattle dipped 0.12 cents to 164.12 cents/pound, and January sagged 0.20 to 163.85.

Hogs futures are likely to dive upon today’s opening. Hog traders were almost surely looking forward to a bullish result from the quarterly USDA Hogs & Pigs report last Friday. The actual results were bearish for the balance of 2013 and supportive of 2014 futures. We expect nearby futures to drop sharply when CME trading commences. October hog futures lifted 0.12 cents to 92.92 cents/pound as the week’s trading wound down, while December climbed 0.40 cents to 88.12.

Chinese news probably boosted cotton futures again this overnight. Cotton market bulls are banking upon strong Chinese buying for that country’s stockpiling program during the coming days and weeks. Thus, prices seemed to react quite well to news that they began their buying last week and will probably remain active through the fall harvest. December cotton advanced 0.50 cents to 87.13 cents/pound soon after sunrise Monday, while March ran up 0.52 at 86.86.



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