Corn futures continued struggling against short-term resistance. Corn futures surged in response to very good export news last Friday, but failed at short-term moving-average resistance. Futures initially reacted rather well to the strong result on the weekly USDA Export Inspections report this morning, but bulls couldn’t sustain gains. Traders apparently worry about a follow-through to the downside. March corn settled 2.75 cents lower at $3.84/bushel Monday afternoon, while July lost 2.75 to $4.00.
The Export Inspections report boosted soybeans and meal. Brazil is set to harvest another record soybean crop, which will very likely be supplemented by large Argentine supplies. However, the USDA’s Export Inspections report indicated very strong movement last week, thereby powering a bounce in bean and meal futures. Weekend palm oil losses clearly weighed on soyoil quotes. March soybean futures gained 10.75 cents to $9.835/bushel in late Monday trading, while March soyoil dropped 0.52 to 31.08 cents/pound, and March meal ran up $7.4 to $338.9/ton.
The wheat markets turned lower Monday. The global wheat markets seem likely to remain very well supplied during the coming months, which is giving prices a persistent undertone. Worries about the Russia-Ukraine situation have recently supported quotes, but traders seemed to lift those long hedges this morning. The Export Inspections report proved rather poor. When combined with talk of improved southern Plains moisture conditions, those factors depressed wheat values. March CBOT wheat sank 9.5 cents to $5.205/bushel as the lunch hour loomed Monday, while March KC wheat dropped 9.5 cents to $5.545/bushel, and March MWE wheat sank 7.0 to $5.69.
Cattle futures came back from early lows. Although last Friday’s monthly Cattle on Feed report looked modestly bullish, cattle futures dove on today’s opening. That probably reflected Friday’s big wholesale losses and industry worries about more of the same during the days ahead. However, futures staged an impressive bounce from the early lows, which reportedly reflected widespread short-covering. February live cattle futures closed down 0.52 cents at 149.82 cents/pound Monday, while April cattle fell 0.80 cents to 148.00. January feeder cattle futures plunged 2.05 cents to 211.65, and March feeders dove 1.85 to 199.97.
CME hogs posted a sharp Monday rebound. The cash hog and pork markets posted modest losses last Friday, but those looked quite minimal when compared to huge futures losses posted late last week. Traders may also think last week’s huge kill cleaned up the supply of animals available in the short run, thereby sparking today’s bounce. Midsession pork strength likely encouraged bulls as well. February hog futures ended Monday having jumped 1.52 cents to 70.82 cents/pound, while June hogs leapt 2.07 cents to 82.20.
Today’s cotton rally was impressive. No news pertinent to cotton prices emerged over the weekend, so it would have been easy to anticipate a follow-through to last Friday’s slide, particularly with equity index futures declining and the U.S. dollar rising Sunday night. The dollar did weaken this morning, but that hardly explained the early fiber advance. Wire service sources cited active short-covering for the impressive advance. March cotton futures surged 1.32 cents to 58.62 cents/pound shortly at Monday’s ICE close, while the July contract climbed 1.19 to 60.30.