Short covering may be boosting the corn market. Little substantive news concerning corn has emerged lately, but that didn’t prevent the yellow grain market from posting an impressive Monday morning rise. Technical support around the March contract’s 20-day moving average and short covering ahead of tomorrow’s monthly WASDE report seemingly powered the advance. The weekly Export Inspections report appeared rather weak. March corn rallied 5.0 cents to $3.9075/bushel in late Monday morning trading, while July added 4.5 to $4.06.
The soy complex traded higher in response to supportive news. A lack of weekend news kept soybean and product prices rather mixed Sunday night. However, bulls got good news this morning, with a daily-system announcement of 120,000 tonnes to China being followed by the weekly Export Inspections report, which stated last week’s total well above forecasts. Nevertheless, CBOT futures posted a belated rally. March soybean futures moved up 2.5 cents to $9.76/bushel around midsession Monday, but March soyoil bounced 0.09 cents to 31.91 cents/pound, while March meal stalled at $329.4/ton.
The wheat markets moved mostly lower to start the week. Although ideas that Egypt will use a big U.S. credit line to hold a U.S.-only wheat tender supported prices last week, that news has not been forthcoming. And while the Export Inspections data looked supportive, only the nearby March CBOT contract rose this morning. One has to suspect traders think Tuesday’s WASDE report will be bearish for the golden grain markets. March CBOT wheat inched up 1.0 cent to $5.28/bushel as the lunch hour loomed Monday, while March KC wheat sank 1.0 to $5.6075/bushel, and March MWE wheat slumped 5.0 to $5.72.
Cash strength continues supporting cattle futures. Wholesale news seemed rather bearish for the short-term cattle outlook last week, but the cash strength exhibited late in the week clearly spurred fresh optimism last Friday. Ultimately, that firmness made the discount already built into nearby futures look excessive, so traders are apparently playing bullish catch-up at this point. April live cattle futures leapt 2.95 cents to 153.97 cents/pound late Friday morning, while August cattle jumped 1.85 cents to 144.97 cents/pound. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle futures spiked 4.50 cents to 203.95 cents/pound and May feeders soared 4.20 to 203.87.
Hogs may be benefiting from surging cattle futures. CME traders seemed to anticipate a reversal in spot hog and pork markets last Friday, since the Chicago market rebounded strongly from multi-year lows. But the cash and wholesale quotes remained weak Friday and this week’s early calls seem mixed at best. Thus, it wasn’t terribly surprising to see futures decline in early-week action. April hog futures tumbled 2.57 cents to 66.70 cents/pound shortly before lunchtime Monday, while June hogs dove 1.42 to 79.62.