Ag commodities get lift from outside markets

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The corn market jumped over 10 cents Monday in following the lead of global commodity markets. Traders were increasingly optimistic that there will be an agreement in Washington to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff at the beginning of 2013. Without an agreement, economists worry about a new recession in 2013. Middle East tensions boosted buying interest in crude oil with gains of over $2 per barrel. Following the EPA ruling on the ethanol mandate on Friday, this was more bullish news for demand. Trade sources cited technical buying interest associated with the December contract trading back to the 20-day moving average as another bullish factor. At the close, December was up 11 ½ at $7.38 ¾; March up 11 ½ at $7.42 ½.

Soybean markets rebounded on Monday, but gains came up short of recovering all of the losses on Friday. At the close, January was up 11 1/2 cents at $13.84 3/4. New-crop November gained 14 1/4 cents to close at $12.76 3/4. December soybean oil gained 84 points. December meal was unchanged, although other months gained $1 to $3 per ton. Commodity markets globally are higher on optimism that there will be an agreement in Washington to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff at the beginning of 2013. Middle East tensions boosted buying interest in crude oil, and that supported soyoil. Argentina sees risks for more planting delays. At the close, January beans were up 11 ½ at $13.94 ¾; March up 14 at $13.82.

Not even a very positive environment for commodity investment in the outside markets Monday could keep wheat from giving back most of its early gains to close only steady to slightly higher Monday. Weekly export shipments were within the range of pre-report expectations, but at the low end. A strong day for corn failed to have any coat-tail tug on wheat. Even a CFTC report Friday showing Trading Funds in a short-covering mode for a 3rd straight week failed to sustain early gains. At the close, CBOT December was 4 higher at $8.57 ¾; KCBT December unchanged at $8.92 ¾; MGE December up ¼ at $9.21 ¼.

Live cattle futures ended higher on Friday after drifting lower early in the session. Cash trade was underway Friday with prices steady with a week ago at $125-$126. The Cattle on Feed report showed a 12.5% decline in placements, a 2.8% increase in placements with November 1 cattle on feed down 5.3%. The estimates were near trade expectations, but reinforce the outlook for tightening beef supplies going forward. December cattle closed 55 cents higher at 126.15.

Lean hog futures closed higher. Futures bounced back from early losses. IA/MN cash hogs were 34 cents higher to $74.68. Eastern Corn Belt cash hogs, though, were $1.43 lower at $72.85. Pork prices were under pressure this week. On Friday the cutout was down another 93 cents to 82.23. Weakness in the pork market has been a check on futures, but the longer-term uptrend remains intact. December CME lean hogs settled 25 cents higher at $80.32.

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