Corn futures are 5 to 8 cents lower in old-crop futures while new-crop corn is around 12 to 14 cents lower.
- Corn futures are being pressured by improvement in some weather forecasters' outlooks.
- The southern Corn Belt saw drier weather this weekend and the National Weather Service forecast for April 27 to May 1 calls for above-normal temps for much of the Corn Belt and below-normal precip for the far western Belt. However, the northern Corn Belt is expected to see above-normal precip and below-normal temps.
- But this afternoon's Crop Progress Report will remind the market of a slow start to corn planting and the likelihood some acres will be switched to beans.
- Steady gulf corn basis this morning limits any hopes of improved export demand.
Soybean futures are posting losses of 12 to 16 cents in old-crop contracts, while new-crop beans are roughly 8 to 10 cents lower.
- The death tally for the Chinese bird flu situation continues to rise and Chinese media estimates the poultry industry has lost $2.7 billion due to the outbreak. As a result, the country's soybean imports are expected to post the first year-over-year loss in eight years.
- Pressure also stems from ideas a slow start to corn planting will cause producers to shift acres to beans.
- Also, the extended outlook is more favorable for bean planting, especially considering much-improved soil moisture reserves.
- Steady Gulf basis levels for soybeans this morning signals fresh export demand news is lacking.
Wheat futures posting losses in the mid- to upper teens in Chicago and Kansas City while Minneapolis is 9 to 13 cents lower.
- Wheat is in a follower's role to corn and soybeans this morning.
- Strength in the U.S. dollar index is adding to the negative tone.
- Attention could shift to short-covering later today as the weekly Crop Progress and Condition Report from USDA should remind the market of a slow start to spring wheat planting as well as some freeze damage to the HRW wheat crop.
Live and feeder cattle futures are posting slight to moderate losses in most contracts this morning.
- Friday's Cattle on Feed (COF) Report is pressuring cattle futures this morning as all categories came in on the bearish side of expectations. The report signals there will be more market-ready supplies down the road than previously thought.
- While boxed beef movement improved somewhat last week, the inability of prices to string together consecutive days of gains signals ongoing delays of the seasonal spring grilling rally. On Friday, Choice and Select cuts fell 69 and 62 cents, respectively, on decent movement of 174 loads.
- Some forecasts for April 27 through May 1 now call for above-normal temps for much of the U.S. If realized, this could encourage consumers to fire up the grill.
- Boxed beef performance will be highly influential as to this week's cash action. Last week trade took place at mostly $126 with scattered sales at $127 in northern locations. This was down around $1 from the week prior.
Lean hog futures are posting slight to moderate losses this morning.
- Early cash hog bids are mostly steady, but there are some expectations for firmer bids this week as market-ready hog supplies are expected to tighten and packers are enjoying positive cutting margins.
- Last week, the pork product market improved both in terms of price and movement. On Friday, however, the pork cutout value fell 20 cents and movement slowed to just 314.9 loads.
- But buying enthusiasm is being limited by the steep premium nearby contracts hold to the cash hog index.
- Traders are also taking advantage of strength in the U.S. dollar index and booking some profits ahead of this afternoon's Cold Storage Report, which is expected to reflect hefty pork stocks.