Corn slipped Monday despite news of a Mexican sale. Corn futures began the week firmly, but backed away from early gains as Monday passed. Yellow grain prices climbed in response to news of a 132,600-tonne sale to Mexico, but the result of the USDA’s weekly Export Inspections result was rather disappointing. Prices ended the day slightly lower. March corn closed 0.25 cent lower at $3.6975/bushel Monday, while July slipped 0.50 to $3.855.
The soy complex traded mixed all day. Soybean oil futures apparently followed crude oil higher Sunday night and pulled beans upward in the process. The weekly Export Inspections report also indicated a much larger soybean figure than anticipated, which provided added support. However, the meal market proved surprisingly weak and seemingly pulled beans lower as the day passed. March soybean futures ended Monday having skidded 1.5 cents to $9.595/bushel, while March soyoil climbed 0.41 cents to 30.41 cents/pound, whereas March meal lost $2.0 to $327.9/ton.
Precipitation may have depressed wheat futures. Talk of rainfall over the U.S. southern Plains and a fresh snow blanket for northern areas is reportedly weighed the wheat markets this morning. The moisture was badly needed and certainly could improve spring growth prospects. The latter consideration may be the reason Minneapolis prices followed the winter wheat markets lower. The Export Inspections data were mediocre. March CBOT wheat fell 10.0 cents to $4.9275/bushel as Monday’s pit session ended, while March KC wheat slumped 5.75 to $5.345/bushel, and March MWE wheat slid 2.75 to $5.54.
Cattle bulls suffered a belated Monday decline. Chicago cattle posted a surprisingly firm opening this morning despite the generally bearish implications of last Friday’s biannual Cattle inventory report. The report is long-term in nature, so it usually doesn’t affect markets, but the sheer size of the herd increase reported Friday seemingly took a big toll on cattle and feeder futures as the day passed. April live cattle futures plunged 2.67 cents to 149.60 cents/pound in late Monday action, while August cattle dove 2.43 cents to 141.62 cents/pound. March and May feeder cattle futures plummeted the expanded 4.50-cent daily limit to 200.70 and 201.62 cents/pound, respectively.
Talk of cash weakness seemingly undercut hog futures. Last Friday’s CME hog losses apparently reflected the cash declines reported by the USDA later that day, since today’s Chicago opening proved relatively firm. However, midmorning reports of fresh cash market weakness seemed to drag futures lower once again. Big cattle losses probably exaggerated the drop. April hog futures tumbled 1.32 cents to 70.92 cents/pound as CME pit trading concluded Monday, while June hogs dropped 0.97 cents to 83.12.
Cotton futures challenged major technical resistance Monday. Early equity index and energy sector strength, along with U.S. dollar slippage seemingly encouraged cotton bulls Monday. Indeed, the nearby March rallied strongly around midsession and ended the day just under the pivotal level of 60 cents/pound. Old crop fundamentals are not supportive, but the industry is anticipating greatly reduced production this year. March cotton futures rallied 0.53 cents to 59.89 cents/pound at their Monday settlement, while the July contract edged up 0.12 to 60.97.