Afternoon MarketWatch: Grains end mixed in a quiet Monday trade.

Monday, October 12, 2015
***** Corn futures finish lower by 1 3/4 to 2 cents; soybeans end well off the day’s highs but hang on to gains of 1 1/2 to 2; Chicago wheat follows corn lower to settle 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 weaker.  *****
   # The grains continued where they left off on Friday; corn and wheat down, soybeans higher.  Traders were still digesting the October Crop Production and WASDE reports.  
   # Weak energy prices were a headwind for the broad commodity space.  WTI crude futures were off more than $2 per barrel after running into technical resistance.    
   # The weekly Crop Progress report is delayed due to the Columbus Day holiday.  Traders expect the corn crop to be 40 percent harvested with soybean progress near 60 percent.    
   # Saudi Arabia announced the details of a large wheat purchase made on Friday.  740,000 metric tons will be procured mostly from European sellers.  
   # Traders were mentioning liquidation of long corn/short soybean spreads.  Friday’s CFTC data show funds were caught wrong-footed after being big buyers of corn in the previous reporting week.     
   # Preliminary estimates for Chinese soybean imports in September are near 6.4 million tons, which would be a decrease on the month but a 1.4 mmt increase over September 2014.   
   # The weather forecast is mostly dry and warm for the Corn Belt this week.  Light showers are reported in parts of Central Illinois on Monday afternoon.    Temperatures will likely dip into the weekend, when chances for rain develop in the West.  
   # Dry soils in Russia and Ukraine may find some relief from rains moving through the region this week.  Some weather-risk premium is being extracted from the wheat market as a result.   
   # U.S. stock indexes were holding moderate gains as the closing bell approached. A strong U.S. stock rally has been enjoyed so far in October, led in part by a recovering equity market in China.  Ideas that the Fed will not be in a position to raise rates in 2015 also lends some support.   

***** Cattle futures close $0.22 lower to $0.72 higher as feeders make gains across the curve; lean hogs up $0.50 to $0.62. *****

   # Live cattle futures were mostly higher on Monday with notable action in the spreads.  The nearby contract featured relative strength after cash cattle prices rebounded late on Friday afternoon.   
   # Pork prices remain firm enough to allow the cash market to sustain gains.  The nearby October is expected to rally into the contract’s expiration on Wednesday.  The technicals remain friendly.