Fine planting weather is again depressing corn futures. The industry expects today’s USDA Crop Progress report to indicate a major surge in corn plantings last week and expects that to 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 slid 1.75 cents to $3.6125/bushel just before lunchtime Monday, while December lost 2.0 to $3.7825.
Soybean oil seems to be leading 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 modest Sunday night bounce, especially with traders now thinking accelerated corn planting will reduce the acreage planted to beans this spring. But big soyoil gains seem to be leading the surge. The reason for the soyoil jump became apparent by late morning, when wire service sources pointed to Chinese buying. July soybean futures climbed 10.25 cents to $9.75/bushel around midsession Monday, while July soyoil leapt 0.94 cents to 32.52 cents/pound, and July meal edged up $0.9 to $312.8/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 are starting 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 dipped 1.75 cents to $4.7225/bushel late Monday morning, while July KC wheat slipped 2.25 cents to $4.9825/bushel, and July MWE wheat sagged 3.75 to $5.3075.
Spot market strength is apparently boosting cattle futures. Although last Friday’s surprising rebound in country cash values did little to boost CME prices, the Chicago market is rallying this morning. That probably reflects 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 jumped 1.45 cents to 150.62 cents/pound as the lunch hour loomed Monday, while August cattle vaulted 1.12 to 148.95. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle futures surged 1.35 cents to 214.97 cents/pound, and August feeders soared 1.95 to 217.02.
Cash gains are boosting CME hogs as well. As expected, hog futures opened weakly this morning, but turned higher almost immediately. That probably reflects indications of tightening market-ready hog supplies and talk of country strength. Conversely, midsession pork quotes proved surprisingly poor, thereby likely limiting gains at midsession. June hog futures advanced 0.80 cents to 82.05 cents/pound in late Monday morning trading, while December rallied 0.40 to 69.70.