Fine planting weather is again depressing corn futures. Last week’s dry Midwest weather almost surely enabled U.S. corn planting to accelerate. Moreover, current forecasts imply much more of the same. Not only does the quick planting rate imply relatively high yields if summer conditions are ‘normal,’ farmers have typically planted more corn in similar years. Thus, ongoing futures losses aren’t surprising. July corn futures slid 1.25 cents to $3.6175/bushel Sunday night, while December lost 1.5 to $3.7875.
The soy complex turned generally lower Friday afternoon. Soybean and meal futures probably began this week at relatively oversold levels after having fallen substantially late last week. That probably set the stage for their modest Sunday night bounce, especially with traders now thinking accelerated corn planting will reduce the acreage planted to beans this spring. Soyoil bounced strongly from support despite a slight rise in crude oil prices this morning. July soybean futures rallied 7.0 cents to $9.7175/bushel, while July soyoil surged 0.58 cents to 32.16 cents/pound, and July meal edged up $0.6 to $312.5/ton.
Wheat futures also declined Sunday night. Although the persistent dryness now being experienced may not be all that conducive to the U.S. winter wheat crop, the wheat markets posted modest losses to start this week’s trading. Wire service sources cited huge global supplies and forecasts for large harvests in the central U.S. and Black Sea regions. July CBOT wheat futures dropped 5.5 cents to $4.685/bushel early Monday morning, while July KC wheat sank 5.25 cents to $4.9525/bushel, and July MWE wheat sagged 2.5 to $5.32.
Cash strength helped cattle futures stabilize last Friday. Anticipation of a significant cash market decline this week sparked midweek losses in live cattle futures. However, wire service reports indicated a $1-$2/cwt rise in country prices Friday morning. That almost surely caused Chicago prices to firm. However, the fact that futures did not rise more substantially suggested underlying weakness when CME future resume trading this morning. June live cattle futures stumbled 0.52 cents lower to 149.17 cents/pound at Friday’s CME settlement, while August cattle slid 0.27 to 147.82. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle futures rebounded 0.65 cents to 213.62 cents/pound, and August feeders rose 0.37 to 215.07.
Bullish hog traders probably took profits. Cash hog and wholesale pork markets apparently continued their recent surge Friday, but futures continued struggling after being undercut by the mid-week cattle breakdown. Given the size of the premiums already built into nearby futures, pre-weekend profit-taking was understandable. A technical setback may also be due. We tend to expect a steady-weak Monday morning opening. June hog futures dipped 0.17 cents to 81.25 cents/pound in late Friday trading, while December rallied 0.65 to 69.30.
Cotton is starting the week on a mixed note. As is so often the case, the cotton market lacked for news over the weekend. Last Friday’s equity strength and Sunday night gains in index futures suggest firm short-term demand, which in turn seemed to boost old crop July overnight. Conversely, talk of accelerated U.S. plantings probably weighed on the deferred contracts. July cotton rose 0.06 cents to 66.67 cents/pound in early Monday action, while December futures were unchanged at 66.45.