Ag markets proved quite mixed Monday

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Weather forecasts weighed upon corn futures Monday. The latest weather models suggest relatively benign conditions over the Corn Belt during late July, which could prove very helpful to pollination and boost harvest prospects later in the year. Conversely, the results of the weekly Export Inspections report easily exceeded forecasts, which may have limited losses. September corn futures declined 9.25 cents to $5.3625/bushel by late Monday afternoon, while December slid 5.75 cents to $5.035.

Old crop concerns dominated soybean futures Monday. The products diverged sharply. While the expiration of the July contract apparently undercut Corn Belt bids, the August bean and meal contracts looked cheap in comparison. That strength apparently caused traders to forget the negative implications of the latest weather forecasts for new crop prices. Oil futures continued suffering from weakness spilling over from the Asian vegetable oil markets and their position on the wrong side of the crush spread. August soybean futures jumped 26.0 cents to $14.5375/bushel as trading would down Monday, while August soyoil fell 0.38 cents to 45.84 cents/pound and August soymeal gained $8.6 to $451.5/ton.

Wheat futures followed corn lower in Monday trading. The fruits of the ongoing winter wheat harvest may have depressed the Chicago and Kansas City markets, but improving weather forecasts also appeared to encourage bears. That seems particularly apt for Minneapolis prices, since conditions appear quite favorable for spring wheat. The Export Inspections result was no surprise. September CBOT wheat dove 11.5 cents to $6.695/bushel at the Monday close, while September KCBT wheat dropped 7.5 cents to $7.01 and September MGE futures sank 11.5 cents to $7.55.

The firm result of cash cattle trading last week reportedly sparked CME buying Monday. Cattle traders have been anticipating a seasonal second-half rally for some time, so the suggestion of renewed strength apparently prompted the bullish response. However, wholesale prices traditionally prove weak during the second half of many months, which may make forthcoming beef reports quite important. August cattle closed 0.60 cents higher at 122.45 cents/pound Monday, while December climbed 0.50 cents to 128.82. August feeder futures leapt 2.52 cents to 152.65 cents/pound as corn prices fell, and November soared 2.35 cents to 158.07.

Hog futures rallied in concert with cattle Monday morning. Although seasonal prospects still seem rather grim, the cash cattle firmness, as well as late-Friday reports of cash hog gains, probably sparked renewed CME buying. However, the large drop indicated on the midsession pork report apparently caused bulls to give back a large portion of the early gains. August hog futures advanced 0.65 cents to 95.55 cents/pound in late-Monday action, while December moved up 0.35 cents to 81.70.



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