# Profit-taking was the name of the game today. Traders were paring risk ahead of Tuesday’s WASDE report. Violation of technical support helped to exacerbate the weakness.
# Analysts polled by The Wall Street Journal look for U.S. 2015/16 corn carryout to come in at 1.825 billion bushels, 2016/17 at 2.23 billion. U.S. soybean carryout for 2015/16 should drop to around 428 million bushels, 427 million for 2016/17. Analysts are all over the board with their estimates for 2016/17 wheat stocks. Their guesses range from 612 million to 1.22 billion bushels.
# The Crop Progress report is scheduled for release at 3:00 pm central today. Estimates take on a wide range after rains were hit and miss throughout the country last week. A loose consensus has corn plantings near 60 percent, soybeans 20 percent.
# It was a weak day technically, particularly for corn. July futures had a bearish outside day and settled under their 50- and 100-day moving averages. Lows at $3.58 3/4 and $3.51 1/4 will be watched.
# Two old-crop export sale announcements were good news for the corn market today. 170,000 metric tons will be headed for Japan. An unknown buyer booked another 120,000 metric tons.
# The export inspections report featured a strong corn number. Shipments were down just slightly on the week at 45 million bushels. Soybean inspections were not as hot at 4.1 million bushels.
# Rain was falling over a wide swath of the country today. Hail and Tornadoes were a threat in the Great Plains. Stormy weather and cold temperatures should stick with us through the week.
# The Chinese government is expected to begin auctioning off soybeans in an effort to reduce the stockpile held by the state. The soybean sales would likely serve to replace a small portion of soybeans otherwise sourced from the U.S. export market.
# Outside markets were unsupportive of the grains. The dollar index was stronger as oil fell back and equities traded on the defensive. Gold gave some back after making new highs last week and other metals were lower.
***** Live cattle settle $1.45 to $2.57 higher as feeders jump $3 to $3.67; hogs drop $0.70 to $1.12. *****
# Beef production is still running high with slaughters as numerous as they have been since late 2014. Weights are coming down. Beef exports are helping clear the market of excess supply, having been up 1.5 percent in the first quarter from the same period last year while imports were down.
# Hog slaughters are also running high. The cash market starts the week on the defensive. The midday cutout report was supportive with the carcass average at $82.66, up $1.01. June hog futures moved lower for a test of the intersecting pair of 20- and 100-day moving averages.
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