Corn closes limit up on weather worries

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Corn futures closed 40 cents higher on Monday. Hot weather fears pushed corn futures up 40 cents, reaching limit up positions by midday. Hot dry conditions over the past several weeks have stressed corn crops across the Midwest. The trade is expecting to see another decline in crop condition ratings in this afternoon’s weekly crop progress report. Afternoon weather forecasts indicated a possibility for much needed rain across the eastern Midwest by this weekend.

Soybean futures are trading 40 to 50 cents higher on Monday. Fundamentally the market remains bullish. Unfavorable weather forecasts and strong international demand pushed prices higher today. Traders are expecting this afternoon’s crop progress report to spark another round of reductions for crop condition ratings on fears that new crop corn and soybeans are quickly deteriorating due to lack of moisture. However, updated afternoon weather forecasts indicate that corn and soybean crops may see wetter conditions by this coming weekend.

 

Wheat futures are trading 15 to 51 cents higher on Monday. Wheat futures were pulled higher on spillover strength from corn and wheat crop reductions in the Black Sea region. Today, Russia lowered its 2012/13 wheat estimates within 46 to 49 million tonnes and the Ukraine’s harvest is anticipated to fall within 12.2 to 12.63 million tonnes, down from 22.3 million tonnes in 2011. Traders are now expecting USDA to lower world wheat stocks in next month's supply/demand report.

Cattle futures closed lower on Monday. Market prices were weighed down by lower outside markets and bearish USDA reports. Friday’s Cattle on Feed report showed May placement up 15 percent, which topped analysts’ expectations of a 14 percent increase; while USDA’s cold storage report showed frozen beef stocks up more than 11 percent from the previous year. Midday boxed beef prices were down for both choice (48 cents) and select (44 cents).

Lean hog futures closed sharply lower on Monday. Hog futures traded both sides of the market much of the day on pressure from Friday’s bearish Cold Storage report and lower outside markets. The USDA cold storage report indicated frozen pork stocks were 16 percent higher than the previous year at 636 million pounds. However, the market did see some support from higher pork cutout values and steady cash prices, but they weren’t enough to sustain futures prices.



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