Grain markets close higher on weather worries

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Corn futures closed 20 to 24 cents higher on Monday. Extended periods of hot, dry conditions and expectations of lower corn yields pushed prices higher today. Lack of rain during the critical stage of pollination has traders concerned about yield potentials for this year’s crop. Forecasters are predicting below average rain fall over the next 7 to 10 days across the Midwest. USDA is set to release it crop progress report this afternoon with analysts’ expectations for the corn condition rating to be 5 percentage points lower, at 51 percent good to excellent.

Soybean futures closed 11 to 20 cents higher on Monday. Midwest weather concerns pulled market prices higher. Drought like conditions and minimal chances of rain are forecasted to continue across the Midwest for the next 10 days. USDA is set to release it crop progress report this afternoon with analysts’ expectations for the soybean condition rating to be 3 percentage points lower. Soybean futures were also supported by exports sales of 1.19 million tonnes of soybeans to an unknown buyer for the 2012/13 marketing year.

Wheat futures closed 7 to 21 cents higher on Monday. Wheat prices benefited from strong rallies in the corn and soybean markets. Weather worries in the Black Sea wheat production region also pushed prices higher. Traders will continue to keep an eye on Russian wheat estimates and global supply stocks. USDA is set to release it crop progress report this afternoon with expectations for higher spring wheat condition ratings.

Cattle futures closed lower on Monday. Market prices were pressured by waning beef demand and mixed beef prices. Midday beef prices were up 63 cents for choice but down 49 cents for select. Lackluster trade in the cash market weighed on prices as well. Cash trade is expected to be hit and miss much of the week due to the midweek holiday.

Lean hog futures closed higher on Monday. Market prices closed the session higher although slightly. Friday’s Hogs and Pigs report was neutral to somewhat bullish for prices. The report indicated market hogs and breeding herd numbers up only 1%, which were within trade expectations. Trade in the cash market was sluggish today, possibly due to the midweek holiday.

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