Traders were likely anticipating the Crop Progress report Monday. The grain markets couldn’t sustain weekend gains this 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 seemed willing to push prices far in either direction ahead of Tuesday’s monthly WASDE report either. July corn futures settled 2.5 cents lower at $3.605/bushel Monday, while December sagged 2.75 to $3.755.
Soyoil diverged from Monday’s general weakness. 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. Bulls couldn’t sustain the bean advance, with favorable planting/growing conditions and meal weakness seeming to weigh on prices, especially with the WASDE report looming Tuesday. July soybean futures sank 2.25 cents to $9.74/bushel in late Monday trading, while July soyoil climbed 0.23 cents to 33.19 cents/pound, and July meal slumped $3.2 to $310.2/ton.
Wheat futures also traded mostly lower. The low yield prospects indicated on last week’s Kansas wheat tour boosted prices over the weekend, but prices also turned lower this morning. Talk of favorable rainfall over the southern Plains and northern spring wheat Plains areas apparently weighed on futures quotes. The Kansas City market did firm at the close. July CBOT wheat futures ended Monday having skidded 0.5 cent to $4.81/bushel, while July KC wheat edged up 0.25 cent to $5.0875/bushel, and July MWE wheat slid 4.25 to $5.3675.
Cattle futures reversed despite supportive spot news. As expected, last week’s beef gains and the late-week cash market advance sparked a strong opening in CME cattle futures this morning. However, Chicago priced failed at higher levels and turned sharply lower late in the CME pit session. Bearish seasonal expectations and technical considerations almost surely caused the drop. June live cattle futures tumbled 1.25 cents to 150.25 cents/pound at their Monday settlement, while August cattle dropped 1.02 to 148.80. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures slipped 0.20 cents to 217.42 cents/pound, and November feeders declined 0.45 to 214.6.
Hog futures continued their recent struggles. Recent hog and pork gains have seemingly persuaded bears that the market is overbought. Today’s early action exemplified this phenomenon, since CME futures turned lower despite supportive cash and wholesale data. The bearish reversal suffered by cattle futures likely exaggerated the selling. June hog futures ended Monday having sagged 0.55 cents to 84.27 cents/pound, while December declined 0.50 to 70.02.