Planting talk seemed to undercut corn futures Monday. Surging equity markets, news of Chinese economic stimulus and the USDA Export Inspections result all appeared supportive of corn futures. However, prices declined rather significantly modestly Monday, which seemingly reflected a reaction to ideas that plantings surged in the southern Corn Belt last week. May corn futures closed down 1.75 cents at $3.78/bushel Monday, while December sagged 2.0 to $4.0125.
Export hopes boosted the soy complex. China’s central bank lowered the reserve requirements for domestic banks over the weekend in hopes of stimulating its economy. If successful, that might boost the country’s already huge demand for soybeans and products. Also, reports of excessive Argentine rainfall and a potential resumption of first-quarter Brazilian trucker strikes sparked bullish soy interest. May soybean futures surged 8.75 cents to $9.775/bushel in late Monday action, while May soyoil rose 0.07 cents to 31.59 cents/pound, and May meal climbed $3.5 to $318.5/ton.
The wheat markets turned higher as Monday passed. The effects of today’s concurrent stock and currency market gains may have offset in their influence over the wheat markets. Actually, the weekly Export Inspections report probably spurred buying, but wire service sources cited technical buying and short-covering for powering the late advance. May CBOT wheat futures advanced 4.25 cents to $4.9875/bushel at their Monday settlement, while May KC wheat moved up 3.25 cents to $5.125/bushel, and May MWE wheat rallied 6.25 to $5.39.
Cattle futures followed through upon Friday’s breakdown. Last Friday’s concerted drop in cash and futures prices for fed cattle resumed today, especially after the most-active June contract gapped below major chart support associated with its 40-day moving average. Conversely, around the neckline of a seeming head-and-shoulders bottom may have limited losses. June cattle futures plunged 3.12 cents to 145.87 cents/pound as the CME pit session ended Monday, while August cattle dove 2.45 to 144.22. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle futures plummeted 3.37 cents to 205.15 and August crashed 3.72 to 206.47 cents/pound.
CME hogs firmed after opening weakly. Last Friday’s cash hog slippage and the huge weekly slaughter total seemed to spur selling just after today’s Chicago opening. Selling may also have spilled over from the cattle pit. However, futures traded more firmly through the balance of the session, with persistent wholesale strength likely limiting losses. June hog futures ended Monday having decline 0.75 cents to 75.52 cents/pound, while December dipped 0.40 to 67.47.