Ag markets moved mostly lower to start the week

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Corn futures reacted weakly to bearish developments Monday. Sizeable equity market losses and U.S. dollar strength apparently undercut several commodity sectors in early trading, with grain prices being a prime example. Talk of improving crop conditions and favorable weather forecasts also appeared to trigger widespread selling. July corn futures sank 8.5 cents to $6.5325/bushel by late Monday afternoon, while December lost 9.75 cents to $5.465.

The soy complex ended Monday in decidedly mixed fashion. The legume markets had declined in concert with corn and wheat Sunday night, but the tight old crop situation apparently boosted nearby beans and meal and offset the bearish downdraft. Meanwhile, ongoing vegetable oil weakness depressed soyoil, as did the simple fact that aggressive crushing for meal could produce excess supplies of oil. July soybean futures jumped 18.75 cents to $15.12/bushel as pit trading ended Monday, while July soyoil dropped 0.37 cents to 47.65 cents/pound, and July soymeal rallied $4.8 to $452.5/ton.

Harvest results reportedly depressed wheat futures Monday morning. Early reports indicated that winter wheat harvesting over the weekend yielded surprisingly good results in Kansas, which exerted considerable downward pressure upon the Chicago and Kansas City markets. Declining equity values, the rising dollar and forecasts for favorable weather over spring wheat fields in the northern Plains apparently weighed upon the Minneapolis market. July CBOT wheat plunged 19 cents to $6.79/bushel at its Monday settlement, and July KCBT wheat dove 21.25 cent to $7.1525, while July MGE futures sagged 2.75 cents to $8.1125.

Cattle futures started the week on a down beat. The bearish nature of the monthly USDA Cattle on Feed report last Friday probably weighed upon prices. Traders also seemed to turn away from the big gains posted last Friday, due in part to steady-lower country prices at that time, as well as the wholesale slippage seen at noon today. August cattle closed 0.42 cents lower at 121.17 cents/pound, while December dropped 0.40 cents to 126.70. Meanwhile, diving corn futures boosted feeder prices. The August yearling contract surged 0.75 cents to 147.67 cents/pound and November rose 0.85 to 152.85.

Hog futures exhibited considerable strength Monday. Although the cash and wholesale markets have a history of turning decisively lower from June highs, the discounts already built into summer futures may have given them room to rally over the short-term. The large rise in pork cutout last Friday also seemed quite supportive. July hog futures surged 1.20 cents to 100.95 cents/pound at the Monday settlement, and the December contract added 0.57 cents to 82.87.



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