Weather news appears to be depressing the crop markets. Although news that March Chinese imports of U.S. corn fell sharply from last year probably weighed on CBOT prices, the weather was reportedly a bigger factor. Talk that improving Midwest weather will be very conducive to late-April corn plantings spurred widespread selling. May corn fell 7.25 cents to $4.875/bushel Monday morning, while December lost 7.75 to $4.89.
Weather forecasts were also bearish for the soy complex. Traders are wary of the long side amidst growing talk of looming Chinese defaults on previously purchased beans and products. However, as in the corn pit, predictions for favorable U.S. planting weather and the likely increase in harvest size appeared to spur strong CBOT selling as well. May soybeans plunged 25.0 cents to $14.89/bushel late Monday morning, while May soyoil dropped 0.56 cents to 42.85 cents/pound, and May soymeal tumbled $6.8 to $481.5/ton.
Improving U.S. weather are also weighing on the wheat markets. Ideas that forthcoming southern Plains weather will bring substantial moisture to drought stricken wheat fields sent those markets sharply lower Monday. Conditions also look favorable for spring wheat plantings in the northern Plains. May CBOT wheat futures plummeted 24.5 cents to $6.6675/bushel around midsession Monday, while May KCBT wheat futures crashed 25.5 cents to $7.325, and May MWE futures dove 23.0 to $7.0975.
Bearish cash expectations are apparently undercutting cattle futures. Although beef prices rose rather sharply Monday morning, CME cattle traders very likely view that strength as being temporary. That pessimism stems from seasonally increasing feedlot supplies and anticipation of diminished late-month beef demand from grocers. June cattle futures slid 0.35 cents to 134.02 cents/pound shortly before lunchtime Monday, while December dropped 0.55 to 139.12. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle slumped 0.60 cents to 177.45 cents/pound, and August sagged 0.52 to 180.87.
Concerns about continued cash losses seemingly spurred hog selling. Although the cash hog and wholesale pork markets are showing intermittent signs of strength, the larger trend is clearly pointing toward lower levels. Given the fact that the spring and summer contracts began the week at premiums to spot values, the early losses weren’t terribly surprising. June hog futures dove 2.00 cents to 122.82 cents/pound late Tuesday morning, while December tanked by 0.77 to 87.97.