Corn turned lower despite supportive Monday news. Both the delayed USDA Export Sales and the regular Export Inspections reports were released this morning, with the moderate result on the latter seeming to outweigh a huge figure on the former. One has to wonder if bullish traders were evening up positions prior to the end of the calendar year Wednesday. March corn futures closed down 2.0 cents to $4.1275/bushel Monday, while July lost 1.75 to $4.28.
Export Inspections also appeared to undercut soy complex bulls. The belated Export Sales report looked very supportive of the soybean and meal markets, but the USDA Export Inspections data was disappointing. The latter result seemingly spurred active selling in bean and meal markets, whereas the prospect of flood-reduced Malaysian palm oil production again boosted soyoil quotes. January soybean futures slumped 5.75 to $10.4175/bushel in late Monday trading, while January soyoil surged 0.33 to 32.79 cents/pound, and January meal stumbled $2.3 to $377.4/ton.
The wheat markets posted a strong close Monday. News that Iran had bought 200,000 tonnes of wheat from the U.S., Canada and Australia over the weekend seemed to confirm Russia’s absence from the international markets and boosted U.S. futures accordingly. The weekly export reports yielded generally mediocre to disappointing results, thereby pushing wheat prices into lower territory by midsession. However, the Iranian news seemingly regained its dominance later in the day. March CBOT wheat rallied 4.75 cents to $6.155/bushel at their Monday settlement, while March KC wheat rose 3.25 to $6.475/bushel and March MWE wheat ran up 5.75 to $6.3725.
Cattle futures surged Monday. Last week’s late cash and wholesale strength supported cattle futures quite well at that time. But those gains also seemed to persuade traders that the recent breakdown had run its course and that cash quotes could continue last week’s rebound. Bears exiting short positions before year-end may have exaggerated the bullish resurgence. February live cattle jumped 2.52 cents to 165.00 cents/pound late Monday afternoon, while April futures leapt 2.70 cents to 164.17. January feeder cattle futures spiked 3.72 cents to 217.45 cents/pound and March feeders soared 3.77 cents to 215.67.
Bullish demand ideas may have supported CME hogs. Cash hog and wholesale pork prices have recently proven generally weak, as implied by the preliminary CME index quote for last Friday, which fell below its late-2013 nadir. That may have persuaded traders that the recent breakdown was overdone, especially if the drop reignites the powerful demand that powered prices to stunning highs last spring and summer. February hog futures ended Monday having rose 0.25 cents to 81.80 cents/pound, while June hogs climbed 0.75 cents to 91.52.