Grain prices on retreat.

Grain futures are lower across the board this morning, as yesterday's late press to the highs on war rumors in the Black Sea were dashed in the night. Troop movement was noted in the European evening, which was during our noon hour, and many thought it was the push towards escalations. Instead, as the day wore on, the troop movements were the wrapping up of war exercises and battalions heading back to their bases. This sparked widespread selling overnight while stock indices recovered sharply in price.

CBOT market volatility is high as weather forecasts for South America try to bring rain into some of the driest areas in the 10-day forecast. Political tensions are creating trendless moves created by the algorithm trading machines following headlines. However, the weather will still remain the dominant source of buying interest. The US plains wheat will start to green up in early March with limited soil moisture, closely monitor condition ratings, and inspire buying interest. As grain prices declined for row crops, end-user buying from China and nontraditional sources will be filtering into the US. Upward price trends still exist into the spring.

The S American forecast maintains generally dry weather for S Brazil and Argentina into late February. The extended range models indicate an increased chance of rainfall in the 11-15 day period, with the GFS being wetter than the European models. Rains of near 1.00″ around February 26-27th for Argentina are seen in the models and creating the selloff presently in corn and soybeans.

Cattle futures were firm on Monday, with a firm start anticipated this morning, especially for feeder cattle with feed values in retreat. Negotiated fed cattle markets were quiet, and with the firm closing yesterday, show lists are being priced $1-3 higher than last week. Box beef values were mixed on Monday, with the choice down $0.56 at $273.96, and the select value was higher by $0.92 at $268.75. Technical support on April cattle is rising to $143.00, the 50-day moving average.