Corn futures are narrowly mixed in early Monday trading. The grain markets followed soybeans higher Friday. Little fresh news concerning corn has emerged lately. Traders talk of strong export demand, but the large U.S. crop and fine South American prospects are obstacles. U.S. dollar strength may also limit upside potential. Thus, last night’s lack of direction wasn’t terribly surprising. March corn futures edged up 0.5 cent to $3.955/bushel Sunday night, while July gained 0.75 to $4.1075.
Soy traders may be looking forward to the WASDE report. Although strong export news powered the soy complex higher last week, they’re starting this week on a down note. As with the corn market, current U.S. supplies and S.A. prospects look quite large, whereas usage also seems very rapid. Wire service sources suggest traders are already squaring positions ahead of Wednesday’s USDA Supply/Demand (WASDE) report. January soybean futures slumped 3.75 cents to $10.3225/bushel early Monday morning, while January soyoil sagged 0.10 cents to 31.98 cents/pound, and January meal dipped $1.2 to $365.2/ton.
Improved Black Sea forecasts may be undercutting wheat. Traders ended last week thinking frigid weather might take another bite of Black Sea wheat production prospects, but the latest forecasts point to milder conditions. That news, along with huge global supplies and current U.S. dollar strength, apparently undercut golden grain prices in early-morning action. March CBOT wheat slid 3.5 cents to $5.905/bushel shortly before dawn Monday, while March KC wheat sank 4.75 cents to $6.345/bushel and March MWE wheat lost 3.75 cents to $6.1925.
Cash losses extended last week’s CME cattle decline. Tumbling beef quotes apparently weighed heavily upon live cattle futures last week, since traders worried that the weakness would undercut the cash markets. That’s exactly what happened, so futures remained under downward pressure through Friday’s session. They seem likely to poorly today as well. February live cattle dove 2.10 cents to 164.82 cents/pound at their Friday settlement, while April plunged 2.15 to 164.30. January feeder cattle futures fell 1.07 cents to 234.87 cents/pound and March feeders dropped 0.82 to 231.22.
CME hogs posted sizeable Friday losses as well. Despite the fact that pork values rallied significantly Thursday afternoon, Chicago traders seemed to worry more about concurrent cash losses. The fact that most cash and wholesale quotes were higher at midsession seemingly did little to encourage them either. Selling may have spilled over from the cattle markets. Mixed Friday afternoon spot quotes also suggest confused action upon today’s opening. February hog futures tumbled 1.00 cent to 85.62 cents/pound in late Friday trading, while June hogs sank 1.70 cents to 92.80.
Cotton rose slightly over the weekend. Once again, little cotton news emerged over the weekend, but traders pushed prices modestly higher Sunday night. India will reportedly ease export restrictions on its yarn, which might lead to greater usage, but the simple fact that most-active March futures held above their 10-day moving average at Friday’s close might be the main reason for the rise. March cotton futures gained 0.38 cents to 60.02 cents/pound in early Monday trading, while the July contract rallied 0.40 to 61.63.