Monday’s export data boosted corn. Corn followed wheat and soybeans higher today, with stock market gains and dollar losses also boosting prices. The weekly USDA Export Inspections report encouraged bulls, since the result at 994,660 tonnes topped estimates. Technical resistance may have limited gains. May corn futures rose 5.25 cents to $3.9025/bushel at Monday’s close, while December corn added 5.0 to $4.1425.
The soy complex led the crop markets higher. A equity index rally and another drop in the value of the U.S. dollar apparently sparked soy buying Sunday night. Little actual soybean news emerged over the weekend and the Export Inspections data came as expected. And yet, futures remained firm today, making us suspect the energy sector rebound boosted oil, and through it, soybean futures. May soybean futures ended Monday having advanced 9.75 cents to $9.835/bushel, while May soyoil ran up 0.47 cents to 31.15 cents/pound, and May meal gained $3.3 to $327.3/ton.
Wheat set back from early highs. Persistent forecasts for limited rainfall and growing dryness in the U.S. southern Plains and in the Black Sea region spurred Sunday night wheat gains. Today’s financial market moves very likely spurred wheat buying as well. But futures set back from early highs despite last Friday’s apparent bullish breakout. The export data was unremarkable. Traders may have reacted to long-range forecasts calling for plentiful southern Plains rainfall this spring. May CBOT wheat climbed 4.0 cents to $5.34/bushel in late Monday trading, while May KC wheat lifted 5.0 cents to $5.745/bushel, and May MWE wheat inched up 0.5 to $5.90.
Cash strength boosted cattle futures Monday. Cash cattle prices more than fulfilled last week’s trader suspicions of spot market firmness, thereby spurring a strong opening at the CME today. Beef cutouts tumbled Friday, which may have limited early gains, but nearby futures closed strongly. April cattle futures spiked the 3.00-cent daily limit to 161.35 cents/pound at Monday’s CME close, while August cattle leapt 2.12 cents to 150.22 cents/pound. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle futures vaulted 2.97 cents to 219.17 cents/pound, and August feeders soared 3.60 to 219.67.
Hog futures trading through much of the day. Although the cash hog and wholesale pork markets remained weak through last week, anticipation of seasonal strength apparently supported the nearby contracts today. Midday wholesale quotes rose, which probably encouraged buying of the nearby contracts, but summer futures struggled. April hog futures closed 0.80 cents higher at 59.25 cents/pound Monday, while June hogs dipped 0.22 to 73.62.
Chinese news encouraged cotton bulls. Monday’s equity index rally and concurrent dollar decline likely exaggerated the cotton market response to weekend Chinese news. A survey done by Chinese officials reportedly indicated the country’s cotton plantings will drop 20% this year, which certainly suggests China will need to import more cotton in late 2015 and early 2016. The early strength also seemed to spark a bullish technical follow-through to last Wednesday’s big surge. May cotton jumped 1.23 cents to 64.05 cents/pound as ICE trading ended Monday, while December futures surged 0.49 to 64.55.