News of strong demand supported corn futures Monday. Slow trading and limited price action may prevail during the next two weeks as many in the financial industry celebrate the holidays. Conversely, news events might spur choppy action if/when large orders swamp low volume trading. Early news of a sizeable corn sale and the strong Export Inspections result rather clearly boosted the corn market today. March corn futures settled up 1.25 cents at $4.1175/bushel Monday, while July added 0.75 to $4.2675.
The soy complex turned generally higher. Strong Brazilian production prospects and a private forecast for increased U.S. soy acreage next year seemingly depressed the soy complex Sunday night. However, the Export Inspections report, which stated bean sales well above expectations, appeared to spur renewed bean and meal buying interest. The soyoil market later shrugged off weakness spilling over from the energy sector. January soybean futures advanced 7.75 cents to $10.3825/bushel in late Monday trading, while January soyoil rose 0.07 to 32.04 cents/pound, and January meal ran up $4.9 to $368.4/ton.
Wheat bulls couldn’t sustain another Russia-driven surge. Last Friday’s big futures breakdown in response to news that Russian government action was limiting wheat exports seemingly marked an end to the recent rally. Bulls bought aggressively to start the week in reaction to talk that the Putin regime is considering export tariffs on wheat shipments. Ultimately, futures again failed in the face of supportive news, which might be the death knell for the bullish move. March CBOT wheat fell 6.5 cents to $6.2575/bushel at Monday’s close, while March KC wheat dove 8.25 cents to $6.5775/bushel and March MWE wheat lost 3.25 to $6.45.
Cattle futures set back from Monday’s early highs. Technical and pragmatic factors seemed to power big early gains in cattle futures, since the latest news, particularly last Friday’s Cattle on Feed report, was not very supportive. Futures set back from early highs, but bears could generate little follow-through to the downside. February live cattle ended Monday having risen 0.72 cents to 160.82 cents/pound, while April futures climbed 0.55 cents to 160.22. January feeder cattle futures improved 0.35 cents to 220.50 cents/pound and March feeders jumped 1.00 cent to 218.97.
Seasonal weakness seemed to weigh on hogs once again. Although last Friday’s late spot quotes seemed supportive of CME swine futures, the Chicago market proved surprisingly weak in early trading. That probably reflected industry talk of cash weakness and likely ham losses now that grocers have completed their holiday buying. February hog futures plunged 1.65 cents to 80.25 cents/pound at their Monday settlement, while June hogs tumbled 1.35 cents to 89.07.
Cotton futures rallied to start the week. Ongoing equity market gains suggest the global economic outlook and apparel demand look favorable, which may bode well for cotton demand. Conversely, a private forecaster predicted a sizeable cut in U.S. acreage and, by default, U.S. production next year. Bulls pushed the market above major moving average resistance in early trading, with light volume likely exaggerating the follow-through. March cotton futures surged 1.15 cents to 62.04 cents/pound at ICE trading ended Monday, while the July contract lifted 0.96 to 63.10.