Crop markets seem to be taking back Friday’s losses. Last Friday’s Employment report looked quite favorable, with the prospect of rising prospect of rising U.S. interest rates boosting the dollar and depressing stocks. Both of those reactions are seen as negative to commodity demand, so the crop markets sank in response. However, they came back Sunday night, possibly in reaction to ideas that strong economic growth will accelerate consumer demand. May corn futures rebounded 4.75 cents to $3.9075/bushel early Monday morning, while December added 4.25 to $4.15.
The soy complex also firmed in early Monday trading. As with the grains, there wasn’t a great deal of soy news over the weekend, with most reports centering upon the number of grain ships awaiting loading off of Brazilian ports. Ultimately, beans and products flowing out of South American are old news at this point, so it isn’t surprising to see their prices edging upward along with corn and wheat, particularly with the monthly WASDE report looming. May soybean futures rallied 6.0 cent to $9.91/bushel in pre-dawn Monday action, while May soyoil gained 0.09 cents to 31.37 cents/pound, and May meal edged up $1.2 to $328.9/ton.
The wheat markets bounced strongly to start the week. Although U.S. wheat prices turned sharply lower in response to last Friday’s financial market action, they ended the week on a mixed note. Indeed, some reportedly argue that recent losses have made U.S. grain more competitive on the global markets. Traders may also be evening up positions ahead of tomorrow’s important USDA Supply/Demand (WASDE) report. May CBOT wheat climbed 10.0 cents to $4.925/bushel Sunday night, while May KC wheat ran up 9.5 cents to $5.3175/bushel, and May MWE wheat rose 7.75 to $5.6425.
Talk of cash strength boosted cattle futures Friday. Late Thursday news of steady Nebraska cattle trading probably supported CME futures Friday morning. Moreover, one has to suspect rising packer bids or expectations of the same powered the afternoon surge. Indeed, post-session news of active trading at $162/cwt (up $3-$4 from last week) suggest a big follow-through surge on today’s opening, despite Friday’s beef slippage. April cattle futures closed 1.37 cents higher at 154.65 cents/pound Friday, while August cattle rallied 0.78 cents to 144.92 cents/pound. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle futures soared 3.20 cents to 208.57 cents/pound, and August feeders leapt 2.20 to 209.12.
CME hogs struggled last week. After rallying strongly in response to the West Coast port settlement, the cash hog markets apparently ran out of upward momentum last week, due largely to concurrent pork weakness. Traders likely expect pork demand to surge in the weeks ahead, but short-term prospects seem less than promising. Friday’s mixed spot market action seemingly makes for a mixed opening today. April hog futures ended Friday having declined 0.70 cents to 66.12 cents/pound, while June hogs stumbled 0.35 to 80.05.
Cotton futures are starting the week in weak fashion. ICE cotton values proved generally weak last week, with the decline culminating in modest losses caused by financial market action. Late Friday news that speculators had increased their bullish positions also seemed less than helpful, since it suggested they might be over-committed to the long side. On the other hand, the strong of recent losses may lead to short-covering ahead of tomorrow’s WASDE report. May cotton slipped 0.02 cents to 62.95 cents/pound shortly after dawn Monday, while December futures sagged 0.16 to 64.41.