Last week’s late corn decline continues. Corn futures recently rallied strongly despite the record U.S. crop, with talk of robust underlying demand seeming to spur buying. However, traders started taking profits late last week, due in part to the disappointing weekly USDA Export Sales report. A lack of supportive weekend news seemed to extend the slide. December corn futures slumped 3.5 cents at $3.7825/bushel Sunday night, while May lost 3.5 to $3.9925.
The soy complex is struggling at technical support to start the week. As with corn, little fresh soy news emerged over the weekend, so traders seemed to continue last week’s late selling. Profit-taking and cash slippage seemed to mark late-week trading. Nearby beans are now struggling to stay above their 20-day moving averages. January soybean futures skidded 1.25 cents to $10.2125/bushel in predawn Monday trading, while December soyoil sagged 0.09 cent to 32.11 cents/pound, and December meal sank $3.2 to $376.7/ton.
Wheat traders are worried about frost damage. Midwest temperatures are reaching arctic levels to start this week. Young wheat plants across the central U.S. seem to face considerable danger from winter frost damage. Those fears, as well as the volatile Black Sea situation, appear to be supporting the wheat markets. December CBOT wheat dipped 2.0 cents to $5.585/bushel early Monday morning, while December KC wheat edged up 0.5 cent to $6.06/bushel, and December MWE wheat added 0.5 to $5.8975.
Cattle traders seemingly expected firming cash prices last Friday. Current cattle fundamentals and seasonal factors look bullish. Moreover, prices might spike if the central and southern Plains are hit by cold, snowy winter weather. CME futures started slowly, but ended Friday moderately higher, probably in anticipation of a modest cash advance later in the day. Today’s opening seems likely to quite strong. December live cattle futures rallied 0.55 cents at 170.20 cents/pound in late Friday action, while April futures skidded 0.05 to 169.25. Meanwhile, January feeder cattle futures soared 1.90 cents to 236.12 cents/pound, and March feeders leapt 1.77 to 234.60.
Talk of frigid weather and improved demand boosted CME hogs last week. Frigid weather over the northern Plains could slow hog and pork production during the days and weeks ahead, but wire service sources also cited industry hopes for renewed pork demand at current price levels. That may be premature, but futures clearly acted well at the end of the week. Cattle may pull hogs higher on today’s opening. December hog futures ended the week having jumped 1.40 cents to 92.67 cents/pound Friday, while April hogs surged 1.00 to 93.85.
Cotton futures are also starting the week rather poorly. Although the 2015 cotton contracts reacted well to Friday’s export data, the expiring December future barely closed higher. Bulls are probably fighting a major wave of technical selling after the nearby contracts fell below the pivotal 60-cent level last week. Sunday night grain/soy slippage, weakness in equity index futures and the firm dollar appear to be extending the slide to start the week. December cotton futures fell 0.45 cents to 59.35 cents/pound shortly after sunrise Monday, while March futures dropped 0.39 cents to 59.24.