Fine planting weather depressed corn futures again Monday. The grain industry expects today’s USDA Crop Progress report to indicate a major surge in corn plantings last week and thinks that will continue through this week as well. Not only does the quick planting rate imply relatively high yields if summer conditions are ‘normal,’ farmers typically plant more corn in such circumstances. Persistent futures losses reflect those ideas. July corn futures settled 1.75 cents lower at $3.6125/bushel Monday, while December lost 2.5 to $3.7775.
Soybean oil seemed to lead the soy complex higher. 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 Monday bounce, especially with traders now thinking accelerated corn planting will reduce the acreage planted to beans this spring. But soyoil appeared to lead the surge, thereby marking a reaction to rumors that Chinese officials are ramping up their buying. July soybean futures climbed 11.5 cents to $9.7625/bushel at Monday’s CBOT close, while July soyoil leapt 1.05 cents to 32.63 cents/pound, and July meal edged up $1.1 to $313.0/ton.
Wheat futures declined in concert with corn. The persistent dryness now being experienced across the central U.S. may not be conducive to a large U.S. winter wheat crop, but the wheat markets started the week on a down beat. Wire service sources cite huge global supplies and forecasts for large U.S. and Black Sea harvests during the weeks and months ahead. July CBOT wheat futures slipped 1.25 cents to $4.7275/bushel in late Monday trading, while July KC wheat dipped 2.25 cents to $4.9825/bushel, and July MWE wheat sagged 4.25 to $5.3025.
Spot market strength apparently boosted cattle futures. Although last Friday’s surprising rebound in country cash values did little to boost CME prices, the Chicago market rallied belatedly today. That probably reflected the cash advance, as well as early reports of resurgent wholesale prices. Indeed, early-May beef gains could be substantial, thereby making discounted CME futures look underpriced. June live cattle futures ended Monday having jumped 1.55 cents to 150.72 cents/pound, while August cattle surged 1.30 to 149.12. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle futures vaulted 1.52 cents to 215.15 cents/pound, and August feeders soared 2.25 to 217.32.
Cash gains likely supported CME hogs Monday. As expected, hog futures opened weakly this morning, but turned higher almost immediately. That probably reflected indications of tightening market-ready hog supplies and talk of country strength. Conversely, midsession pork quotes proved surprisingly poor, thereby limiting gains. June hog futures closed 0.57 cents higher at 81.82 cents/pound Monday, while December rallied 0.55 to 69.85.