Corn futures have extended losses to trade 14 to 17 cents lower this morning.
- Traders are looking at the forecast and booking some profits to start the week.
- Weekend rains were lighter than expected in some areas of the Corn Belt. And warmer temps are expected to return to the region this week and the outlook is a bit drier, though scattered precip is still expected. This is seen as favorable for the emerging crop and replanting efforts.
- The market will receive an update this afternoon from USDA about how much of the crop is left to be seeded. Expectations are for corn planting to come in near 95% complete.
- Spillover from soybeans and strength in the U.S. dollar index is also pressuring corn.
- Traders are brushing off improvement in Gulf basis levels this morning, which point to tight supplies and/or improving export demand.
Soybean futures are posting losses around 20 cents through the September contract, with deferred contracts seeing losses in the teens.
- Soybean traders are taking advantage of last week's rally by booking some profits this week as the forecast is a bit more favorable for soybean planting. Early pressure triggered some sell stops.
- Weekend rains were generally lighter than expected. Plus, the outlook for this week is warmer and precip chances have been scaled back.
- This should help farmers get back into the field this week to plant a crop that is expected to have picked up some intended corn acres.
- Traders expect USDA to report soybean planting around 75% complete in its crop progress update this afternoon.
- News Chinese trade data shows the country's soybean imports in May of 5.1 MMT, which was up 28% from April but down 3.4% from year-ago, is also price-negative.
Wheat futures are double-digit lower in Chicago and Kansas City, while Minneapolis wheat is around 5 to 7 cents lower.
- Spillover from corn and soybeans and strength in the U.S. dollar index are weighing on the wheat market.
- While the forecast for heat and dryness in winter wheat country are not favorable for the crop, harvest is getting started and related hedge pressure will keep the market under pressure.
- Meanwhile, rain in the Northern Plains was varied this weekend, leading to mixed expectations for spring wheat planting progress this week. USDA will provide a look at progress in this afternoon's Crop Progress Report.
- Ukraine's ag ministry forecasts the country will produce a grain crop between 53 MMT and 54 MMT, up from 46.2 MMT last year.
- But countering this are concerns about tight Australian supplies.
Live cattle futures are posting slight to moderate losses in light, early trade. Feeder cattle futures, in contrast, are slightly to moderately higher.
- Live cattle futures are facing pressure due to a softer cash and boxed beef market Friday.
- Just light cash cattle trade took place late Friday at prices mostly $2 below the week prior at $122 in the Southern Plains.
- And the fact that sales were light could give packers an edge again this week, as supplies will be carried over from last week.
- Declines in the boxed beef market last week weighed on the cash market. On Friday, Choice cuts plummeted $2.06 and Select values fell $1.47. Movement was a very light 128 loads. This has significantly pared packer profit margins this week.
- Traders will watch the boxed beef market closely this week for signs prices have dropped far enough to boost demand. Choice boxed beef values are still above the $200 mark.
- Softer corn prices are encouraging short-covering in feeder cattle futures.
Lean hog futures once again gapped higher on the open and are enjoying slight to moderate gains in most contracts this morning.
- Traders are actively buying lean hogs to start the week as the market's posture on the charts is highly bullish.
- Supporting this are tightening market-ready supplies and solid pork demand.
- Pork movement and prices have been solid in recent weeks. On Friday, the pork cutout value rose $1.25 though movement was light at 267.6 loads.
- Plus, the market continues to respond to the purchase of Smithfield Foods by a Chinese company as boosting export prospects for pork producers.
- But some packers are trying to boost negative cutting margins by trimming kill hours.
- Nevertheless, the cash hog market is steady to firmer today as many plants are in need of hogs to start the week and market-ready supplies are tightening.