Corn futures closed higher. The gains were led by May and July futures amid concern over tightening old-crop supplies as indicated in Friday’s USDA Grain stocks report while December futures gathered support from sharply new-crop soybean values. Weekly corn export inspections were solid at 31 million bushels. Outside markets were also supportive with crude oil up over $2 higher per barrel. May corn settled 11 cents higher at $6.55. The December contract settled 4 ¾ cents higher at $5.45.
Soybean futures settled higher on Monday. Soybean prices resumed the rally from Friday and closed sharply higher today. November futures once again led gains as the market gauges that the forecast for 73.9 million planted acres won’t be enough to meet demand. Instead, higher prices are required to attract more acres to soybeans or to ration demand. USDA also announced today that China has purchased another 120,000 tonnes of old-crop soybeans. May futures closed 18 cents higher at $14.21 and November was up 27 1/4 cents at $13.85 1/4.
Wheat futures closed mixed on Monday. Markets are still higher from USDA’s bullish reports on Friday. Spring wheat acreage came in well below expectations, which accounts for today’s additional gains at the MGE. However, even though there’s a potential frost threat to some soft red winter wheat areas early next week, CBOT and KCBT futures both closed lower Monday. That reflects a view that Friday’s big gains for CBOT and KCBT futures were mostly on the coat-tails of the big jump in MGE futures. Further, there are improved weather forecasts for the southern Plains and Midwest states this week. CBOT May closed 3 3/4 cents lower at $6.57 and KCBT May closed 7 1/2 cents lower at $6.90; while MGE May wheat closed 11 3/4 cents higher at $8.49 1/4.
Cattle futures were sharply lower. The early strength in the cattle market is based largely on short covering in the futures after the steep decline the past several sessions. Futures are deeply oversold and due for a bounce. Futures discount to the cash market was also supportive. Weakness in the beef prices continues to limit cattle futures ability to bounce back. June cattle futures were 40 cents higher at $116.80 and August 57 cents higher at $120.25.
Lean hog futures closed with solid gains on Monday. The rally was fueled by short covering and hopes that hog prices are near a bottom. Typically hog prices rise through April and May as hog supplies decline seasonally. The pork cutout posted a modest gain on Friday, but processing margins are still very poor. Traders disregarded Friday’s Hogs and Pigs report which was a little bearish for summer prices. The April contract closed at $84.73, up $1.30. June closed up $1.78 at $92.18.