Ag markets proved generally weak Monday morning

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Corn futures have declined from two-month highs to start this week. The concurrent bounce by the U.S. dollar may be exaggerating the weakness, but the main reason for the slide stems from trader expectations ahead of the afternoon USDA Crop Progress report. That is, the industry expects it to show good progress toward completing spring plantings. The weekly Export Inspections report also seemed a bit disappointing. July corn fell 15.0 cents to $6.5125/bushel Monday morning, while December lost 14.25 cents to $5.4425.

After stalling at rather elevated levels last week, soybean futures were probably technically vulnerable at the start of trading this week. But ideas that forthcoming conditions will expedite plantings in the short term may have sparked early CBOT losses. The weekly Export Inspections report seemingly had little market impact. July soybean futures dropped 14.75 cents to $15.135/bushel in early Monday trading, while July soyoil sank 0.42 cents to 48.11 cents/pound, and July soybean meal skidded $3.2 to $449.3/ton. `

Wheat futures followed corn and soybeans lower Monday morning, with recent rains apparently affecting prices somewhat. Moisture over winter wheat areas may be improving production prospects (and depressing prices), whereas it is probably hampering efforts to complete spring wheat plantings (Minneapolis prices are relatively firm). The weekly Export Inspections report appeared quite supportive, especially since the large result, at 24.37 million bushels refuted ideas that the recent finding of GMO wheat was disrupting exports. July CBOT wheat futures fell 14.0 cents to $6.8225/bushel around midsession Monday, and July KCBT wheat dove 12.75 cents to $7.225, while July MGE futures dipped 5.75 cents to $8.14.

As expected, news of cash market weakness late Friday afternoon dragged CME live cattle futures downward to start trading this week. Traders apparently have little confidence in the summer-fall outlook either, since the August and October contracts are also trading at discounts to last cash prices seen late last week. Slumping beef prices are not helping the situation either. June cattle tumbled 0.67 cents to 119.45 cents/pound just before lunchtime Monday, while December declined 0.45 to 124.57. Meanwhile, August feeder futures rose 0.27 cents to 143.90 cents/pound in response to the grain/soy weakness; November edged up 0.12 cents to 149.52.

Hog traders were apparently expecting the seasonal hog/pork rally to continue over the short run Monday morning as futures moved moderately higher. However, prices accelerated upward as noon approached, which marked a reaction to rumors of a sizeable pork sale to China. June hog futures jumped 1.82 cents to 99.95 cents/pound late Monday morning, while December gained 0.27 cents to 81.95.



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