Grain futures move sharply higher early Monday evening before retreat.

Grain futures moved sharply higher overnight, led by the wheat, as Russia did not invade Ukraine, instead the Russian separatists seized and declared the independence of two eastern states, with Putin quickly moving to recognize their independence. Russian troops moved into those two states, declaring themselves as peacemakers and that any aggression from Ukraine would be met with retaliation, stating it would be on them to blame.

This was a new twist but was somewhat similar to how Russia acquired Crimea. NATO and the US claim Putin’s action is against the Minsk Accord signed back in 2014, which can be considered an invasion. A broad array of economic sanctions are said to be announced this morning, which was part of the reason for grain prices moving sharply higher in the night session. World grain markets will now have a volatile response to trade as the market tries to understand how much wheat, sunseed or corn supply has been lost to importers due to Putin’s move to nationalize Eastern Ukraine.

Malaysian palm oil closed overnight to a new all-time high, closing at 6,352 ringgits/MT, partially responsible for the soybean rally overnight that rechallenged the February 10 high before retreating into the morning hours on improved weather outlook this week for Argentina. Improved rain chances for Argentina starts Wednesday with 10-day rainfall totals of 1.5-4.50” potentially expected, which is the best rains they’ve seen since October. Dryness will start to arrive in northern Brazil, which will have a reprieve on the stormy conditions and help accelerate soybean harvest in the seeding of the winter corn crop.

Cattle futures trading ended last week near the lower end of the range, while cash cattle mainly were $2 higher with the bulk of the trade near $142-143. Box beef prices continued their retreat, with choice cutout declining $8.67 to a seven-week low of $265.85. Select beef values were down $5.20 at $262.63. Box beef prices seasonally bottom the last week of February or the opening week of March. The spread premium on choice cattle Thursday narrowed to just $0.03 choice to premium, recovering to $3.74 on Friday. April cattle have significant support at $143.00-143.50.