Export news seems to be affecting the crop markets. Corn futures began the week firmly, but backed away from early gains as Monday morning passed. Yellow grain prices climbed in response to news of a 132,600-tonne sale to Mexico. However, the result of the USDA’s weekly Export Inspections result was rather disappointing, thereby seeming to limit gains. March corn rallied gained 1.0 cent to $3.71/bushel late Monday morning, while July rose 0.75 to $3.8675.
The Export Inspections report supported the soy complex. Soybean oil futures apparently followed crude oil higher Sunday night and pulled beans higher in the process. The weekly Export Inspections report also indicated a much larger soybean figure than anticipated, which provided additional support. Conversely, the morning crude reversal appeared to weigh on oil and beans. The meal market acted as if traders were sleepwalking through early-week action. March soybean futures slipped 1.0 cent to $9.60/bushel around midsession Monday, while March soyoil climbed 0.30 cents to 30.30 cents/pound, whereas March meal sagged $1.9 to $328.0/ton.
Snowfall may be depressing wheat futures. Talk of rainfall over the U.S. southern Plains and a fresh snow blanket for northern areas is reportedly weighing on the wheat markets this morning. The moisture was badly needed and certainly could improve spring growth prospects. The latter consideration may be the reason Minneapolis prices were following the winter wheat markets lower. The Export Inspections data were mediocre. March CBOT wheat fell 8.0 cents to $4.9475/bushel as the lunch hour loomed Monday, while March KC wheat slumped 6.75 to $5.335/bushel, and March MWE wheat slid 3.5 to $5.5325.
Cattle futures turned lower Monday morning. Chicago cattle posted a surprisingly firm opening this morning despite the generally bearish implications of last Friday’s biannual Cattle inventory report. The fact that its implications are longer term may have limited the report’s impact. The belated downward move posted later in the morning suggests insiders are seeing weakness in wholesale prices. April live cattle futures dropped 0.50 cents to 151.77 cents/pound in late Monday morning action, while August cattle dove 0.95 cents to 143.10 cents/pound. March feeder cattle futures plunged 1.50 cents to 203.70, and May feeders tumbled 1.62 cents to 204.50.
Talk of cash weakness seemingly undercut hog futures. Last Friday’s CME hog losses apparently reflected the cash declines reported later that day by the USDA, since today’s Chicago opening proved relatively firm. However, midmorning reports of fresh cash market weakness seemed to drag futures lower once again. April hog futures sank 0.52 cents to 70.72 cents/pound as lunchtime approached Monday, while June hogs skidded 0.32 cents to 83.77.