Corn futures firmed at the close Monday, ahead of the crop progress report. U.S. stock futures indexes were .38% higher Monday afternoon after the Dow fell by 290 points last Friday. Chinese stocks closed higher Monday with the Shanghai Composite up 1.9. Chinese August DDG imports were up 26% y/y at 793,526 tonnes, but down from the July record of 1.1 million tonnes. Imports of corn and barley in August also ease from record. Corn export inspections came in at 735,535 tonnes, compared to the estimate of 700,000-850,000. December corn futures gained 7.25 cents to $3.845/bushel Monday, while March closed 7.5 cents lower to $3.96.                                  

Soybean futures were high Monday after sinking last week on a poor export outlook. The Chinese will reportedly buy several million tonnes of U.S. soybeans this week as President Xi Jinping visits Iowa. As harvest gets underway, yield expectations to become more clear. Harvest pressure will likely ensue during this seasonally low-price time of year. So far, the eastern Cornbelt has disappointed while the western Corn Belt yields have been surprisingly good.  Soybean export inspections were 502,846, compared to the 350,000-500,000 tonne estimate. November futures were 6 cents higher at $8.725/bushel at the close Monday, while October soyoil gained .45 cents to 26.50 cents/pound and October meal moved higher $0.7 to $308.9/ton.

The wheat complex was lower overnight as the macro markets are weighing commodities to start the week. STATS Canada will issue their all-wheat stocks report Thursday with trade estimates falling to 6.5 million tonnes, down 37% from a year ago. The trade awaits the release of export inspections data released mid-morning Monday as well the September WASDE due out a week from this Friday. September CBOT wheat futures lost 3 cents to $4.74/bushel early Monday, while Sep KC wheat fell 1.25 cents to $4.565/bushel, and September MWE dropped 0.5 cents to $4.90.

Live cattle were higher Monday, but record high cattle weights, declining demand, and falling cash values have recently plagued the cattle trade. The October contract closed nearly 4% lower last week and were up .7% Monday. Cattle and calves on feed inventory was up 3% over a year ago according to the report last Friday afternoon. Feedlot placements were 5% lower than 2014, the lowest for August on record, since the series began in 1996. August marketings were also the lowest since the series, down 6%. Box beef values were sharply lower with choice down 4.20 to 226.30 and select down 2.44 to 219.26. October cattle were .90 cents/pound higher at 137.00 Monday, while December cattle gained 1.22 cents to 139.75. October feeder cattle lifted 1.72 cents to 187.67 cents/pound at the close Monday, while January feeders moved .97 higher to 179.25.  

Lean hogs were higher Monday ahead of this Friday’s Hogs & Pigs report due out at 2:00 p.m. CDT. Hog slaughter to start the week was at 424,000 head, compared to 430,000 last week and 407,000 this time last year . The lean hog index was higher by .31% as cash values are now trading at a slight discount to the October futures contract. Cash hogs were .63 higher to 66.94. The average pork packer margin was higher Monday, compare to last Friday, but down from a week ago. Packer needs vary as some processors carried over inventory from last week while others are buying supplies through the rest of this week. October hog futures gained 0.65 cents to 71.62 cents/pound Monday at the close, while Dec hogs were 0.87 higher to 64.97. 

Cotton futures began the week higher Monday despite Chinese stocks closing lower, perhaps on month-end positioning. The tighter than expected balance sheet for cotton and the drop in the condition rating have given cotton bulls something to talk about as of late but world market problems are now the driver. While the global scene for cotton is largely still plagued by oversupply, the recent bullish data appears to be giving way to world economic and currency struggles, particularly related to Chinese demand fears. December cotton futures lost .13 cents to 63.13 cents/pound Friday, while Mar rose 0.17 cents to 62.85.