Weather news seemed to support the grain markets Monday. The crop markets seemed to consolidate last Friday as traders squared positions before the weekend, but they have turned higher to start this week. Talk of intermittent rainfall this week and slower planting progress and surging wheat quotes probably supported, but buyers may also be worried about the looming threat of frost in the northern Plains. July corn futures closed up 2.5 cents to $3.68/bushel Monday, while December rose 3.0 to $3.8575.
The soy complex turned mixed again Monday. After seeming to ignore last Friday’s impressive NOPA crush result, soybean and product futures started this week strongly. However, bean prices sagged as the day passed, possibly due to the resurgent U.S. dollar and to weakness spilling over from the oil market. The latter seemed to reflect a downside reversal posted by crude oil futures. Meal proved surprisingly firm, likely in response to slow farmer selling and firming country quotes. July soybean futures ended Monday having edged up 1.25 cents to $9.545/bushel, while July soyoil lost 0.29 cents to 32.78 cents/pound, and July meal rallied $4.7 to $308.0/ton.
Talk of excessive moisture and frost boosted the wheat markets. Large areas of the Great Plains received plentiful rainfall over the weekend, which seemingly exacerbated fears of emerging crop problems due to soggy conditions. The rain was probably good for spring wheat in the northern Plains, but the Canadian Plains and northern tier of states face frost threats this week. July CBOT wheat futures surged 10.75 cents to $5.2175/bushel at their Monday settlement, while July KC wheat vaulted 13.25 cents to $5.55/bushel, and July MWE wheat jumped 13.25 to $5.745.
Mixed cash prices may have extended last Friday’s CME cattle losses. Cattle futures proved quite weak last Friday, but early afternoon news of firm-higher cash quotes in the southern Plains seemed supportive of Monday’s opening. However, those spot gains were apparently offset by a setback in Nebraska, Colorado and Iowa, which in turn probably caused today’s early weakness. Beef strength probably limited the drop. June live cattle futures fell 0.95 cents to 151.57 cents/pound as Monday CME pit session concluded, while August cattle sank 0.77 to 150.02. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures tumbled 1.67 cents to 216.72 cents/pound, and November feeders dropped 1.07 to 214.47.
Hog futures also suffered significant Monday losses. The cash hog markets ended last week on a firm note, but concurrent pork slippage seemed to cause a resumption of last week’s late selling. Early Monday quotes showed cash weakness and pork firmness, which didn’t help the bullish cause. Traders apparently expect steady-weak spot market action through mid-June, which would be in keeping with long-term seasonal tendencies. June hog futures settled 0.95 cents lower to 82.42 cents/pound Monday, while December rose 0.35 to 70.30.