Grain markets proved mixed on Monday

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After trading weakly Sunday night, the grain markets turned upward Monday. Nearby corn futures were almost surely boosted by talk of slow farmer selling, tightening spot markets and the weekly Export Inspections report. The latter stated the latest total at 14.144 million pounds, whereas traders were reportedly expecting something in the 6.0-8.0 million pound range. The nearby strength seemed to pull new crop prices higher despite improved weather forecasts. July futures surged 13.5 cents to $6.685/bushel at its Monday close, while December rose 7.0 cents to $5.40.

Soybean traders seemingly sold futures in response to the weekly Export Inspections report, since the result fell modestly below the low forecasts posted beforehand. Expectations for a quick finish to spring 2013 plantings probably weighed upon the complex as well. Firm soyoil prices mitigated the downward action, because palm oil strength in the Asian markets spilled over into other vegetable oil quotes. July soybean futures fell 4.0 cents to $15.125/bushel as Monday trading ended, while July soyoil climbed 0.36 cents to 48.84 cents/pound, but July soybean meal slipped $1.6 to $449.1/ton.

The weekly Export Inspections report seemingly offered little support for wheat futures, since the result, at 21.592 million bushels essentially matched the midpoint of the forecast range (between 18.0 and 25.0 million pounds). And while the latest news and weather have tended to weigh upon golden grain values, corn strength apparently offered spillover strength. July CBOT wheat closed 0.25 cent lower at $6.805/bushel Monday, while July KCBT wheat rose 2.25 cents to $7.1375, and July MGE futures dipped 3.75 cents to $8.0025.

Seasonal pressure continued weighing upon the cattle and beef complex last week, with many in the industry expecting much more of the same during the days and weeks just ahead. However, news of strong export sales last week and strong wholesale gains apparently prompted a sizeable rebound late Monday morning. August cattle surged 0.58 cents to 119.25 cents/pound to start the week, while December lifted 0.72 cents to 125.30. August feeder cattle futures rallied 1.12 cents to 144.52 cents/pound, and November moved up 0.75 cents to 150.55.

The June hog contract expired on a very strong note last Friday as traders anticipated a seasonal peak later this month. In contrast, the summer and fall contracts slipped as traders started thinking about the downside of the mid-June price top. However, the discounts now built into those contracts give them room to rise if/when cash prices continue climbing or remain firm. The July hog future settled 0.07 cents lower at 97.95 cents/pound Monday afternoon, whereas December advanced 0.32 cents to 81.97.



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