Grain markets moved generally higher Monday

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Concerns about old-crop supply tightness seemed to boost the grain and soy markets Monday, with the expiring May corn and soybean contracts leading the way higher. Meanwhile, ideas that the cold, wet spring has delayed corn plantings to the point where they will not be completed by late May seemed to boost deferred futures as well. In addition, the weekly Export Inspections result was seen as supportive. July corn jumped 19.25 cents to $6.555/bushel at its Monday close, while December climbed 9.75 cents to $5.3925.

Persistent tightness in old crop soybean supplies continued supporting the expiring May CBOT contract and its July counterpart. And despite ideas that laggardly corn plantings will force acreage into beans later this spring, the new crop contracts also rose moderately Monday. However, the surprisingly small result on the weekly Export Inspections report probably limited futures gains. July soybean futures leapt 20.25 cents to $14.1925/bushel as the closing bell rang Monday, while July soyoil bounded 0.38 cents higher to 49.61 cents/pound, and July soybean meal added $8.3 to $415.1/ton.

Concurrent strength in corn and bean futures probably boosted the wheat markets as well Monday. Still, worries about the weather and its impact upon the forthcoming winter wheat crop in the Southern Plains and upon spring wheat plantings in the Northern Plains are still very apparent. The weekly export inspections figure also topped expectations, thereby giving futures an additional boost. July CBOT wheat futures rose 5.5 cents to $7.0975/bushel by its Monday close, while July KCBT wheat advanced 8.25 cents to $7.665, and July MGE futures gained 5.0 cents to $8.125.

Hopes for continued wholesale beef gains powered a Monday morning cattle rally. However, while the usual midsession report indicated a jump in select-grade values, benchmark choice-grade cutout declined slightly. Traders are not optimistic about the cattle outlook in the absence of wholesale beef strength. June cattle rose 0.12 cents to 120.57 cents/pound at its Monday settlement, while December slipped 0.02 cents to 125.65. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures sank 0.42 cents to 146.20 cents/pound, while November slid 0.17 cents to 151.75.

Anticipation of late-May cash and wholesale weakness seemed to undercut CME hog futures late last week. However, renewed optimism appeared to be exaggerating a technical bounce to start the new week. And while the CME lean hog index continued its recent rally with a modest rise, pork cutout declined at midday. Those developments likely limited the Chicago rise. June hog futures rallied 0.42 cents to 90.92 cents/pound, while December futures rose 0.25 cents to 77.50.



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