The grain markets were neutral-higher early Monday as the trade positions ahead of the Grain Stocks report out Wednesday. The 6 to 10 day weather outlook is cooler with rain expected in parts of the Corn Belt. Markets expectations for crop progress are 20-22% complete for corn, compared to 10% last week and the 23% average. The average trade estimate for Sep 1 corn stocks is 1.907 billion bushels, compared to 1.232 billion bushels reported last year by the USDA. Stock futures are down .6% stocks in Asia closed higher Monday. Last Friday is was reported that China’s weekly state corn sales fell to the lowest so far this year. December corn futures advanced 0.75 cents at $3.8975/bushel early Monday morning, while March added 1 cents to $4.0125. 

Soybean futures were lower to start the week after surging late last week in optimism spurred in part by purchases from China and a bounce in the stock market. The trade expectation for soybean harvest progress is that the crop will be reported at 20-22% complete, compared to 7% last week and the 17% average. The average trade estimate for Sep 1 grain stocks is .205 billion bushels, compared to .092 billion bushels reported by the USDA for Sep 1, 2014. Some rain in the 6 to 10 day NOAA outlook might delay harvest in some areas. November soybeans dropped 4 cents to $8.8525/bushel early Monday morning, while October soyoil was 0.06 cents higher to 27.78 cents/pound and October meal lost $0.3 to $308.40/ton. 

The wheat complex was lower overnight as the macro markets are weighing commodities to start the week. STATS Canada will issue their all-wheat stocks report Thursday with trade estimates falling to 6.5 million tonnes, down 37% from a year ago. The trade awaits the release of export inspections data released mid-morning Monday as well the September WASDE due out a week from this Friday. September CBOT wheat futures lost 3 cents to $4.74/bushel early Monday, while Sep KC wheat fell 1.25 cents to $4.565/bushel, and September MWE dropped 0.5 cents to $4.90.

Live cattle futures posted a dramatic reversal Friday, which more than likely reflected the big equity market advance, as well as a rebound from technically oversold conditions. Traders may also suspect that the recent cash market breakdown has run its course, despite the fact that country markets suffered another big drop Thursday. Thursday’s wide range and comparatively firm close may also have spurring a bout of bearish profit-taking and bullish bargain hunting. October and December cattle futures ended Friday having soared the 3.00-cent daily limit to 133.70 cents and 137.00 cents/pound, respectively. October and January feeder cattle respectively spiked their 4.50-cent limits to 184.60 cents and 181.60 cents/pound.  

After having performed surprisingly well amidst recent financial and commodity market breakdowns, CME lean hog futures traded mostly lower Friday. That may simply have marked widespread position squaring ahead of this afternoon’s (2:00 PM CDT) quarterly USDA Hogs & Pigs report. Also, one has to suspect the modest gains posted by the CME index in recent days have proven much smaller than Chicago bulls were hoping for. October hog futures settled up 0.22 cents at 71.87 cents/pound Friday afternoon, while December hogs slumped 0.05 to 65.77.  

Cotton futures began the week higher Monday despite Chinese stocks closing lower, perhaps on month-end positioning. The tighter than expected balance sheet for cotton and the drop in the condition rating have given cotton bulls something to talk about as of late but world market problems are now the driver. While the global scene for cotton is largely still plagued by oversupply, the recent bullish data appears to be giving way to world economic and currency struggles, particularly related to Chinese demand fears. December cotton futures lost .13 cents to 63.13 cents/pound Friday, while Mar rose 0.17 cents to 62.85.