Corn futures continue to see losses in the 3- to 4-cent range.
- EPA proposed lowering the corn-for-ethanol component of the Renewable Fuels Standard for 2014 relative to the mandated level and 2013 levels Friday afternoon. But this was largely expected due to a leaked EPA document in October, limiting any bearish reaction.
- Strong margins for ethanol markers are also helping to limit the impact of this news.
- The corn market is also seeing some spreading activity with the bean market.
- A South Korean corn buy over the weekend reminds that prices are rebuilding demand, helping limit pressure. This morning's export inspections report will provide another update on the demand front.
- Traders are also hesitant to push futures through tough support at the 2013 lows.
- Farmer sales of corn have been light of late, which is helping to keep basis levels at interior locations steady.
Soybean futures have extended early gains to trade mostly 7 to 9 cents higher.
- Weakness in the U.S. dollar index and ideas the downside has been overdone are lifting the bean market to start the week.
- Supporting such ideas are strong soybean export demand. Traders will receive an update on export demand via this morning's export inspections report. The market anticipates another strong week of inspections between 60 million bu. and 87 million bushels.
- The $13.00 mark is tough resistance for the January and March contracts.
- Buying enthusiasm is being tempered by expectations for a record South American crop, as the weather has been favorable for planting and establishment of the crop.
Wheat futures are seeing mild short-covering this morning, which is helping futures trade 1 to 3 cents higher in all three wheat flavors.
- Dollar weakness, spillover from soybeans and weekend demand news are lifting wheat this morning.
- South Korean flour millers bought 47,200 MT of U.S. milling wheat this weekend, which follows an uptick in sales late last week. This indicates U.S. wheat is again competitive.
- However, it could soon face stepped up competition from India as the country may soon resume wheat exports.
- However, the market expects USDA to remind of the favorable start to the winter wheat growing season in this afternoon's crop condition update. The forecast for mild weather this week also limits buying enthusiasm.
- The same can be said for weakness in the corn market.
Live cattle futures are posting slight losses this morning. Feeder cattle futures are narrowly mixed.
- Moderately active cash cattle trade took place at $1 higher prices of $132 on the Southern Plains last week, but nearby futures had even higher prices factored into prices. This is opening the door for some light profit-taking today.
- Meanwhile, light boxed beef movement despite a dip in prices on Friday has traders watching the product market for signs of consumer and retailer resistance to lofty prices. Choice boxed beef remains above $200 per hundredweight.
- Cattle supplies are historically tight. Traders will await showlist estimates for additional insight as to this week's cash action.
- Weakness in the corn market and dollar is supportive for feeder futures this morning. However, the market has also seen bouts of profit-taking after Friday's strong close.
Lean hog futures are slightly to moderately lower this morning.
- The lean hog market is seeing followthrough selling to start the week. The market sustained chart damage last week.
- Supplies continue to rise seasonally, which is keeping the cash hog market steady to lower despite wide packer profit margins.
- Also favoring market bears, the pork cutout value slid $1.83 Friday. And while movement of 303.91 was decent, it was down from strong load counts earlier that week.
- Spillover from the live cattle market adds light pressure.