Crop markets were mixed to start the week

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Favorable weather undercut corn futures Sunday night. Late July forecasts for the Corn Belt are nearly ideal for the developing corn crop, so corn futures seemed to resume their recent downtrend overnight. Prices could move even lower depending upon the weekly Export Inspections and Crop Progress reports later today. September corn futures declined 2.75 cents to $5.4125/bushel early Monday morning, while December lost 2.75 cents to $4.98.

Tight old crop supplies continue supporting the soybean market. Despite the bearish implications of the great weather likely to dominate the Corn Belt though late July, the soy complex moved generally higher in weekend trading. The new crop contracts did lag somewhat, but it seemed evident that the extreme tightness of the old crop situation continues supporting nearby futures. A modest bounce in Asian palm oil values seemed to boost the oil market as well. August soybean futures surged 15.75 cents to $15.065/bushel in early Monday trading, while August soyoil gained 0.21 cents to 45.71 cents/pound, and August soymeal jumped $11.1 to $493.5/ton.

Wheat futures seemed to follow soybeans higher in overnight action. Despite the bearish implications of current weather forecasts, wheat futures echoed the gains posted by the soy complex. Weekend wheat news was mixed, but we suspect talk of increased buying from Egypt, traditionally the largest importing country, provided the upward impetus. September CBOT wheat rose 1.75 cents to $6.6625/bushel around sunrise Monday, while September KCBT wheat added 1.25 cents to $7.065 and September MGE futures edged 2.5 cents higher to $7.53.

Cattle futures declined modestly Friday, which probably reflected flat cash prices. The monthly USDA Cattle on Feed report was released after the close, with the results largely matching expectations. As a result, futures may react little this morning. August cattle slipped 0.12 cents to 121.97 cents/pound as trading wound down Friday, while December skidded 0.15 cents to 128.72. August feeder futures rallied 0.17 cents to 152.25 cents/pound, while November moved up 0.15 cents to 158.15.

CME hog prices declined in concert with cattle Friday. Bullish hog traders have very likely been hoping resurgent cattle and beef prices would support the hog and pork complex during the coming weeks and months. Thus, the cash cattle weakness, along with slippage in Corn Belt swine values, apparently caused the weakness experienced by hog futures. August hog futures settled 0.15 cents lower at 96.47 cents/pound Friday afternoon, while December sank 0.32 cents to 82.22.

Cotton futures dipped to start the week. The white fiber market may be somewhat vulnerable to short-term weakness in the wake of the surge posted late last week. But relatively favorable weather conditions in the Texas cotton growing area may also be weighing upon prices. October cotton slid 0.35 cents to 86.17 cents/pound in trading early Monday morning, while December sank 0.36 cents to 85.82.



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