Inspections data disappointed grain traders. Corn futures continued last week’s late slide Sunday night, then dropped further when the weekly Export Inspections report was released. The result at 401,116 tonnes fell well short of industry expectations, thereby suggesting recent price strength has depressed demand. December corn futures slumped 5.0 cents at $3.7675/bushel late Monday morning, while May lost 5.0 to $3.9775.
The soy complex proved unable to sustain its response to good inspections data. Bean and product futures started the week at lower levels, but rebounded in reaction to the massive total posted on the weekly USDA Export Inspections report. However, bulls couldn’t sustain the upward momentum, thereby implying considerable underlying weakness. January soybean futures slipped 1.75 cents to $10.2075/bushel in late Monday morning trading, while December soyoil crept up 0.01 cent to 32.21 cents/pound, and December meal sank $3.7 to $376.2/ton.
Wheat inspections were also poor. Although talk of frost damage to U.S. wheat continued supporting wheat futures to start the week, the USDA Export Sales report proved bearish. It showed last week’s total fell well short of week-ago levels and diminished industry expectations. December CBOT wheat fell 8.5 cents to $5.52/bushel around midsession Monday, while December KC wheat dropped 7.25 cents to $5.9825/bushel, and December MWE wheat slid 5.75 to $5.835.
Cattle futures couldn’t sustain early gains. As expected, news that beef packers had paid up to $171/cwt (cents/pound) for country cattle last Friday afternoon sparked strong buying on today’s opening. However, bulls could sustain only a portion of that strength, thereby suggesting the rise had been anticipated and/ or traders are now worried about a cash setback. December live cattle futures gained 0.60 cents at 170.80 cents/pound just before lunchtime Monday, while April futures inched up 0.07 to 169.32. Meanwhile, January feeder cattle futures jumped 1.00 cent to 237.12 cents/pound, and March feeders climbed 0.72 to 235.32.
Talk of frigid weather and diminished supplies may be supporting nearby hogs. Arctic weather over the northern Plains could slow hog and pork production. Indeed, last week’s comparatively low slaughter total may have reflected the shift. Hopes for improved short demand may also be spurring some buying. December hog futures rallied 0.57 cents to 93.25 cents/pound late Monday morning, while April hogs dipped 0.42 to 93.42.