Talk of strong demand reportedly supported corn Sunday night. Expect slow trading and limited price action over the next two weeks as many in the financial industry celebrate the holidays. Conversely, news events might spur choppy trading as low trading volume tries to accommodate orders. Wire service sources cited strong demand and possible spillover from the wheat pit for limiting corn losses Sunday night. The market seems likely to test moving average support before Christmas. March corn futures slipped 0.5 cent to $4.10/bushel early Monday morning, while July skidded 0.75 to $4.2525.
The soy complex started the weak on a decidedly mixed note. Strong Brazilian production prospects and a private forecast for increased U.S. soy acreage next year seem to be weighing on soybean prices to start the holiday season. Nearby futures are in danger of falling below moving average support. Strong demand appears to be supporting nearby meal futures, while soyoil was boosted by spillover from rising palm oil gains in Asia. January soybean futures slid 2.5 cents to $10.28/bushel in early Monday trading, while January soyoil rose 0.12 to 32.09 cents/pound, and January meal inched up $0.4 to $363.9/ton.
Russian news is again supporting the wheat markets. 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. However, weekend news that the Putin regime is now considering export tariffs on wheat shipments is supporting prices once again. March CBOT wheat also bounced from its 10-day moving average, so the rebound may have some staying power. March CBOT wheat advanced 8.0 cents to $6.4025/bushel Sunday night, while March KC wheat gained 7.75 cents to $6.7375/bushel and March MWE wheat rebounded 4.75 to $6.53.
Cattle futures sustained Thursday’s dramatic reversal on Friday. The recent breakdown in fed and feeder cattle prices seemed to run its course Thursday, with cattle and yearling prices rebounding drastically from early lows. Those gains continued Friday, thereby likely reflecting ideas that the breakdown was overdone and that the market was oversold. However, Friday’s late beef quotes were weak, which may weigh on today’s opening. February live cattle jumped 1.57 cents to 160.10 cents/pound as CME trading ended Friday, while April futures surged 1.47 cents to 159.67. January feeder cattle futures leapt 3.07 cents to 220.15 cents/pound and March feeders spiked 4.20 cents to 217.95.
Seasonal weakness seemed to weigh on hogs before the weekend. Hog futures rebounded in concert with cattle and feeders Thursday, but proved a good bit weaker Friday. One has to suspect that traders worried about sustained seasonal weakness through the holidays, especially if the ham market suffers its usual late-year breakdown. Friday’s late pork quotes declined modestly, while cash quotes bounced. That could power a strong opening today. February hog futures settled up 0.02 cents at 81.90 cents/pound Friday, while June hogs stumbled 0.45 cents to 90.42.
Cotton futures are rallying to start the week. Ongoing equity market gains suggest the global economic outlook and apparel demand look favorable, which in turn seems to 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 are also trying to force the market above major moving average resistance, which in the light trading conditions might exaggerate the follow-through. March cotton futures rallied 0.35 cents to 61.24 cents/pound just after dawn Monday, while the July contract climbed 0.31 to 62.45.