Corn futures finished mixed Monday. Weekend rains across the Corn Belt pressured prices today. Planting is well ahead of normal and therefore much of the crop will benefit in getting a good initial stand and also there are fewer areas to be concerned about planting delays. Export inspections of 29.3 million bushels were strongly higher than the previous week’s 25.1 million bushels, which pared morning losses. New crop December corn recovered from its life-of-contract low. July was 1/4 of a cent lower at $6.20 and December was 1/2 of a cent higher at $5.24 3/4.
Soybean futures settled strongly lower on Monday. Prices declined as the U.S. dollar remained strong coupled with favorable rains over the weekend and good weather projections for the next few days. Possible austerity measures from France and Greece also placed downward pressures on commodities as investors rushed to sell off risky assets. Weekly soybean inspections were below expected projections of 14 to 18 million bushels at 9.9 million bushels adding additional pressure to futures prices. July futures were down 13 1/4 cents to close at $14.65 3/4 and November futures were down 15 3/4 cent to close at $13.53 1/2.
Wheat futures settled mixed Monday. Prices fell to significant lows on Friday, life-of-contract for some markets, and failure to break below those levels midmorning triggered buying and turned futures higher in the CBOT and KCBT markets. Fundamentals remain bearish, with favorable crop outlooks following last week’s annual wheat tour, which confirmed the crop is well ahead of normal and yield prospects are very good. Favorable rains are expected to continue to add pressure to wheat prices. Export inspections of 24.1 million bushels were up significantly. CBOT July was 2 1/2 cents higher at $6.06 1/4; KCBT July was 4 1/4 cents higher at $6.31 1/4; and MGE July was 8 cents lower at $7.36.
Cattle futures closed higher on Monday. Cattle futures reversed gains from this morning’s decline in prices. Cattle futures are seeing support from last week’s increase in cash prices. Daily cattle slaughter is up 11.6 percent at 125,000 head from the previous week of 112,000 head. The cattle market also saw improvement in boxed beef prices. As of midday Monday choice was up 29 cents at $190.58 while select was down $1.48 at $184.63. June cattle futures settled 87 cents higher at $116.27. August was 7 cents higher at $118.80.
Lean hog futures closed mixed on Monday. Cash hog prices continue to move lower and developments in outside markets were generally negative. The election results in France have equity and financial markets worried pushing the dollar up in value, but pork prices were a little higher on Friday. The June contract closed up 68 cents at $84.40. July was down 15 cents, falling to $85.20.
Cotton futures closed lower Monday. Heavy selling in the latter part of the session pushed cotton prices solidly lower, putting the July and December contracts at 4-month lows. Good rains over the weekend and forecasts for rain in west Texas are weighing on prices. However, rain in Texas will not be nearly as much as was forecast last week. July was 174 points lower at 86.25 cents and December was 107 points lower at 84.73 cents.