Short covering seemed to boost the corn market Monday. Little substantive news concerning corn has emerged lately, but that didn’t prevent the yellow grain market from posting an impressive Monday 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 5.5 cents to $3.9125/bushel in late Monday trading, while July added 5.25 to $4.0675.
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 of soybeans to China being followed by the weekly Export Inspections report; that stated last week’s total well above forecasts. CBOT futures posted a belated rally. March soybean futures climbed 5.0 cents to $9.785/bushel at their Monday close, and March soyoil rebounded 0.19 cents to 32.01 cents/pound, while March meal inched up $0.2 to $329.6/ton.
The wheat markets ended Monday mostly higher. Actual news of an Egyptian U.S.-only wheat tender did not emerge over the weekend, which seemed to weigh on futures. However, the Export Inspections data looked supportive, with the winter wheat contracts leading the way higher. One has to suspect traders were evening up positions ahead of Tuesday’s WASDE report. March CBOT wheat ended Monday having gained 2.75 cents to $5.2975/bushel, while March KC wheat bounced 1.75 to $5.635/bushel, but March MWE wheat slumped 1.0 to $5.76.
Cash strength continued supporting cattle futures. Wholesale news seemed rather bearish for the short-term cattle outlook again today, but the cash strength exhibited late last week clearly spurred fresh optimism. Ultimately, that firmness made the discounts already built into nearby futures look excessive, so traders apparently played again today. April live cattle futures closed 2.62 cents higher at 153.65 cents/pound Friday afternoon, while August cattle jumped 1.65 cents to 144.77 cents/pound. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle futures spiked 4.17 cents to 203.62 cents/pound and May feeders soared 3.55 to 203.22.
Hogs performed poorly once again. 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. Cash and wholesale quotes remained weak Friday, but traders aren’t confident about a rebound at this point. Noon pork prices rose, which may have limited CME losses somewhat. April hog futures plunged 2.52 cents to 66.75 cents/pound at their Monday settlement, while June hogs dove 1.47 to 79.57.