Corn seemed to follow wheat higher gain Sunday night. Little fresh corn news emerged over the long holiday weekend, which apparently threw traders back upon the wheat markets for guidance. Southern Plains dryness continues to spur bullish interest in winter wheat. However, nearby corn futures are bumping up against significant technical resistance. May corn futures gained 1.5 cents to $3.88/bushel early Monday morning, while December added 1.5 to $4.12.
The soy markets continued their recent pattern of mixed action. Talk of large South American supplies, particularly with the incipient Argentine production set to boost Brazilian totals appear to be depressing soybean and meal prices at this juncture. Meanwhile, resurgent crude oil prices boosted soyoil quotes once again. May soybean futures sagged 1.75 cents to $9.8425/bushel Sunday night, while May soyoil rallied 0.45 cents 31.49 cents/pound, and May meal dipped $2.8 to $324.5/ton.
The wheat markets are threatening a breakout. Talk of persistent southern Plains dryness reportedly powered wheat gains seen Sunday night, with traders thinking winter wheat prospects are being hurt. In addition, Russian news indicated that a major official had said their export taxes were more likely to remain in place this summer instead of being removed, thereby implying reduced global wheat competition. May futures could surge if contracts decisively top their late-winter highs. May CBOT wheat climbed 3.25 cents to $5.395/bushel in early Monday action, while May KC wheat advanced 3.0 cents to $5.8575/bushel, and May MWE wheat moved up 3.75 to $5.9925.
Beef strength apparently boosted cattle futures last Thursday. The cattle industry is clearly expecting a sizeable seasonal price drop during late spring and summer. However, cash and wholesale quotes have persistently refused to end their traditional March-April price rally; sizeable midday beef gains helped pull the Chicago market higher on Thursday. Futures seem like to surge on their Monday opening, since cash prices climbed again Friday. June cattle futures jumped 1.15 cents to 153.37 cents/pound at Thursday’s settlement, while August cattle rallied 0.65 to 149.82 cents/pound. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle futures vaulted 0.80 cents to 217.45 cents/pound, and August feeders ran up 0.62 to 218.55.
Bird flu news may have undercut CME hogs Thursday. The USDA announced Thursday morning that a fourth Minnesota farm and one in South Dakota had been found to be infected with highly pathogenic ‘bird flu.’ While this doesn’t directly affect the hog industry, the potential for more foreign embargoes and increased domestic broiler supplies dampened hopes for renewed pork demand. Friday’s hog quotes were weak, but big pork gains seemingly favor a firm Monday hog opening. June hog futures ended Thursday having tumbled 0.55 cents to 75.70 cents/pound, while December slid 0.27 to 66.70.
Indian news may be boosting cotton futures. News that the ICAC had cut its global inventory forecast supported cotton futures last Thursday. That was followed over the weekend by a report from the USDA’s India attaché, who published an Indian cotton production estimate about 1.0 million tonnes below the latest official quote from the USDA. That may explain the fiber market’s strength in the face of weekend losses in equity index futures. May cotton surged 0.60 cents to 64.29 cents/pound shortly after sunrise Monday, while December futures rose 0.41 to 64.95.