Traders are likely anticipating the Crop Progress report. The grain markets couldn’t sustain weekend gains Monday morning, with wire service reports citing favorable growing weather and anticipation of a strong result on the weekly USDA Crop Progress report for the early decline. Neither bulls nor bears seem willing to push prices far in either direction ahead of Tuesday’s monthly WASDE report. July corn futures slid 2.5 cents to $3.605/bushel late Monday morning, while December sagged 2.5 to $3.7575.

Hopes for Chinese demand are supporting soybeans and oil. Weekend news that Chinese banking officials had cut that country’s interest rates engendered hopes of fresh Asian economic growth and renewed soy demand Sunday night. Soyoil prices also seemed to garner support from news of a big drop in Malaysian palm exports last month. Conversely, favorable planting/growing conditions may be weighing on beans, with meal once again seeming to lag. July soybean futures inched up 0.25 cent to $9.765/bushel just before lunchtime Monday, while July soyoil climbed 0.35 cents to 33.31 cents/pound, and July meal slumped $2.6 to $310.8/ton.

Wheat futures also slipped overnight. Last week’s Kansas wheat tour yielded disappointing prospects for the forthcoming winter wheat crop, thereby spurring gains last week and again Sunday night. However, bulls couldn’t sustain the gains overnight, with prices moving slightly lower across the board. As in the corn pit, we suspect position squaring ahead of the looming USDA reports. July CBOT wheat futures skidded 1.5 cents to $4.80/bushel shortly after sunrise Monday, while July KC wheat dipped 2.25 cents to $5.0625/bushel, and July MWE wheat sagged 2.75 to $5.3825.

Fresh cash optimism reportedly boosted cattle futures Friday. CME cattle struggled through midweek, with the usual lack of cash news seeming to limit CME action to range trading. However, late-week beef gains apparently increased the chances that beef packers would pay up for cattle before the weekend. Futures surged in response. Friday afternoon cattle and beef gains suggest a strong Monday opening. June live cattle futures soared 2.12 cents to 151.50 cents/pound at Friday’s CME close, while August cattle leapt 1.55 to 149.82. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures vaulted 0.82 cents to 217.62 cents/pound, and November feeders rose 0.17 to 215.10.

Hog futures followed cattle higher Friday afternoon. The cash hog and wholesale pork markets have rallied strongly lately, but Friday morning reports were much less supportive of CME futures. Those quotes, as well as pivotal chart resistance around 84.00 cents limited early gains. However, surging cattle futures and trader suspicions that afternoon spot reports would be much stronger seemingly spurred Friday’s bullish breakout. CME hogs also seem likely to rally on today’s opening. June hog futures jumped 1.33 cents to 88.82 cents/pound in late Friday trading, while December moved up 0.22 to 70.52.