Corn futures continue to slide on Monday

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Corn futures continued sliding in the wake of the March 28 Grain Stocks report Monday. News that Goldman Sachs had sharply lowered its second-quarter price forecast apparently sent prices to fresh lows around mid-morning. The weekly Export Inspections report seemed supportive, but ultimately did little to limit losses. May corn had plummeted 50.25 cents to $6.45/bushel at its Monday settlement, whereas December slipped just 1.25 cents to $5.3725.

The breakdown in nearby soybean futures persisted Monday, but the decline seemed much more subdued than those in the grain pits. The fact that Goldman Sachs lowered its second-quarter soy forecast by ‘just’ 50 cents/bushel may have accounted for the difference. News that March bean exports from Brazil fell short of the year-ago total also held negative implications. The modest nature of old crop losses may bode well for short-term prospects, but the drop to fresh 11-week lows might presage a larger decline. May soybeans fell 12.75 cents to $13.9075/bushel as Monday trading wound down, while May soyoil dipped 0.05 cents to 50.06 cents/pound, and May meal lost $5.1 to $399.5/ton.

The negative impact of the March 28 Grain Stocks and Prospective Plantings reports was still being felt by the wheat markets Monday. Having Goldman Sachs lower its spring price forecast did not help the situation either. In addition, wire service sources cited wet forecasts for the Southern Plains as playing a role in the slide, since the increased precipitation could improve production prospects this summer. May CBOT wheat futures dove 22.25 cents to $6.64/bushel in Monday afternoon trading, while May KCBT wheat sank 17.0 cents to $7.0975, and May MGE futures slid 14.5 cents to $7.6575.

After surging on cash market strength and bullish spring hopes last Friday, cattle futures proved unable to sustain their upward momentum Monday. Traders apparently became more cautious in their optimism about the short-term outlook over the weekend, especially after the wholesale market persistently disappointed during much of February and March. April cattle closed 0.15 cents lower at 128.75 cents/pound, while August skidded 0.40 cents to 124.80. Meanwhile, feeder cattle futures kept rising in response to declining grain and soy prices. April futures jumped 2.12 cents to 145.52 cents/pound, and August also soared 2.12 cents to 154.37.

As expected, CME lean hog futures opened substantially lower in reaction to the Thursday (3/28) USDA Hogs & Pigs report. However, the bearish response was surprisingly limited. The mid-morning rebound from early lows suggests traders were more focused upon the possibility of a seasonal rally in cash and wholesale values than in the results of the report. They probably have some justification for thinking the recent decline had set the stage for a sizeable seasonal advance. April hogs rose 0.70 cents to 81.30 cents/pound at their Monday settlement, while June gained 0.50 cents to 91.57.



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