Weak Chinese news undercut virtually all commodity markets Monday

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The futures markets moved almost universally lower Monday morning in response to a disappointing GDP report out of China Sunday evening. The financial markets were leading commodities lower. Corn prices certainly were not immune to the damage, with concerns about forthcoming demand apparently undercutting prices. The weekly Export Inspections report proved supportive. May corn fell 9.75 cents to $6.4875/bushel late Monday morning, while December plunged 15.25 cents to $5.3475.

Most soybean futures also declined in reaction to the financial market weakness dominating Monday morning trading. However, the bean market actually proved much firmer than did many of counterparts. Indeed, talk of tight cash markets and a relatively large result on the weekly Export Inspections report supported the nearby soybean and meal contracts. May soybeans slipped 1.25 cents to $14.1175/bushel around mid-session Monday, while May soyoil fell 0.27 cents to 48.96 cents/pound, and May meal slid $1.4 to $398.8/ton.

Despite talk of recent frost damage to the U.S. winter wheat crop and forecasts for another bout of freezing temperatures later this week, wheat futures suffered sizeable losses Monday morning. Ideas that spring wheat plantings will be delayed are still very much in play, but such concerns apparently did little to limit the bearish spillover from the financial markets. Traders are rather clearly worried about the potential demand impact of slower global economic growth. May CBOT wheat futures plummeted 22.0 cents to $6.9275/bushel just before lunchtime Monday, while May KCBT wheat dove 20.5 cents to $7.325, and May MGE futures tumbled 11.75 cents to $7.96.

Cattle traders were probably hoping for improved cattle and beef buying from packers and grocers, respectively, this week. Such hopes were not unfounded, since those markets historically perform rather well during mid-April. However, cattle and feeder futures could not avoid the broad selling dominating the financial markets Monday morning. The losses seem overdone, but bulls will probably need to see some favorable news before they will be willing to return as active buyers. June cattle dropped 1.12 cents to 119.62 cents/pound in late Monday morning action, while December lost 1.57 cents to 125.15. May feeder cattle futures plunged 1.52 cents to 139.40 cents/pound, and August crashed 1.67 cents to 146.12.

Hog contract suffered major losses Monday morning as well. The implication that slowing global growth will undercut demand evidently overruled ideas that hog and pork demand will prove very strong on a seasonal basis this spring. That might easily change if/when traders see signs of aggressive buying at the cash and/or wholesale levels, but that does not seem very likely today. The lightly traded May hog contract collapsed 1.45 cents to 85.92 cents/pound around midsession Monday, while the June contract broke down 1.52 cents to 88.37.



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