Crop prices are forecast lower, livestock prices mixed on Monday

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Corn futures are expected to open 3 cents to 8 cents lower. Pressure on corn markets came from both market fundamentals and from outside markets. The election of Socialist Francois Hollande as president of France caused a sell-off of the euro and a corresponding strengthening of the U.S. dollar. Most of the Corn Belt got at least some rain over the weekend which will help production prospects especially across the Dakotas and Minnesota. New crop December corn is below $5.20 a new life-of-contract low.

Soybean futures are called 7 to 12 cents lower. As of 7:00 a.m. CST overnight trade was 7 3/4 to 12 1/2 cents lower. Traders expect another favorable export sales report this week. Prices should be encouraged by an increased demand for US soybeans due to an ongoing drought in South America. Alternatively, soybeans futures will see added pressure from outside markets and the rise in the US dollar overnight.

Wheat futures are called 1/2 to 4 cents lower. As of 7:00 a.m. CST overnight trade was 1/2 to 1 1/4 cents lower at the CBOT, 2 to 4 cents lower at the KCBT and 2 3/4 to 3 3/4 cents lower at the MGE. Prices will see added pressure from outside markets, the rise in the dollar as well as the expectation of a large winter wheat crop. The crop in Kansas may be up by more than 40 percent this year. Wheat export inspections are expected to exceed the 16.7 million bushels needed to stay on pace to reach the crop year forecast.

Cattle futures are set to open higher. Short covering and a strong showing in the cash cattle markets on Friday should encourage prices. Strength in the cash cattle market is expected to continue into this week. Cash prices are expected to be between $122-$123 in the South and approximately $196 or higher in the North. Gains will be limited by weakness in the beef market, where choice was down 67 cents to $190.29 while select declined 79 cents to $186.11.

Hog prices are expected to open mixed. The pork cutout value ticked up on Friday to $78.86. It is still very low, but at its highest level since April 2. That should be enough to encourage some traders to either close out their short positions or get back into the market on the long side. However, cash hog prices fell further on Friday and are once again at a new low for the year. The June contract is still more than $8 per cwt above the current cash prices, keeping pressure on the nearby contracts.

Cotton prices are forecast to open 10 to 40 points higher. The weak jobs data reported on Friday caused cotton prices to move lower. A forecast indicating 2012 cotton production of about 19.1 million bales also caused prices to move a little lower. USDA will provide a forecast for 2012/13 production and use later this week, with production based on the 13.2 million planted acres reported earlier. Most other analysts expect actual acreage to be below intentions. Much of the cotton growing area is forecast to receive some rain this week.



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