Crop markets seem set to begin this week on a firm note

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Corn futures continued Friday’s post-report rally Sunday night. Although last Friday’s USDA Crop Production and WASDE reports implied the U.S. corn situation is quite liquid, the numbers were not as bearish as many anticipated. Numerous traders are probably covering previously established short positions at this point. December corn futures rose 2.75 cents to $4.29/bushel early Monday morning, while May added 2.75 cents to $4.4975

Bean and meal futures dipped from last week’s highs. Last Friday’s reports sent soybean and meal futures sharply higher, whereas oil prices languished. Thus, it isn’t terribly surprising to see those markets reversing those moves to some extent to start this week, especially with the palm oil markets rising modestly in Sunday night action. January soybean futures slipped 2.5 cents to $12.935/bushel in pre-dawn Monday activity, while December soyoil bounced 0.01 cents to 40.25 cents/pound, and December soymeal slid $1.8 to $420.5/ton.

The wheat markets are rebounding from Friday’s decline. The USDA reports were viewed as moderately bearish for wheat futures last Friday. However, bears couldn’t sustain selling pressure after the report. Thus, technical considerations, as well as concurrent corn strength, boosted golden grain prices to start this week. December CBOT wheat futures rallied 2.75 cents to $6.525/bushel in early Monday trading, while December KCBT wheat futures gained 4.25 cents to $7.1275, and December MWE futures moved up 2.5 to $7.105.

Cattle futures proved surprisingly firm last Friday. Weakness at both the cash and wholesale levels weighed upon cattle futures Thursday night, but CME prices rebounded modestly Friday. Seasonal and technical factors seemingly played substantial roles in the late-week rebound. December cattle futures rallied 0.72 cents to 132.40 cents/pound in late Friday action, while April futures moved up 0.60 to 134.80. Rising feed costs undercut yearling prices. January feeder cattle dropped 0.70 cents to 164.42 cents/pound, while March feeders sank 0.50 cents to 164.32.

Hog futures apparently derived support from related markets to end the week. In contrast to the cattle/beef complex, cash hog and pork prices proved surprisingly firm in late-week trading. The fact that many in the industry have been anticipating persistent seasonal weakness probably exaggerated the impact of those gains. December hog futures advanced 0.57 cents at 88.12 cents/pound at their Friday settlement, while April gained 0.52 to 93.70.

The latest Chinese reports seemingly boosted cotton prices. ICE cotton futures posted a mixed reaction to last Friday’s USDA reports, then rose in response to weekend news out of China. Ultimately, those indicated diminished stockpiling rates when compared to those from late 2012, thereby suggesting officials are moving away from their unsustainable buying binge. December cotton advanced 0.57 cents to 77.45 cents/pound around sunrise Monday, while March cotton ran up 0.26 cents to 78.90.



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