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Grain Traders Preparing for Friday's Reports

March 26, 2012
By: Julianne Johnston, Pro Farmer Digital Managing Editor

Follow me on twitter @julijohnston

Overnight highlights. Following are highlights of overnight trade:

Corn: Mixed. May corn is pivoting around unchanged, with July marginally lower in late overnight trade. The rest of the market is mostly 2 cents lower on dollar firmness. There's little fresh news for the corn market to digest this morning and a choppy week of price action is likely ahead as traders begin to move to the sidelines ahead of Friday morning's highly anticipated Prospective Plantings Report.

Soybeans: 7 to 11 cents higher. Futures strengthened overnight, with May posting a new-for-the-move high -- testing $13.80. Support came from concerns about the South American crop and expectations of improved demand for U.S. beans. China's official state grain trader Cofco Corp. overnight said it expects China's soybean imports this marketing year to rise to 55 million metric tons (MMT) to 58 MMT, up from 52.34 MMT last year -- further boosting demand hopes.

Wheat: Mixed. Futures are narrowing mixed this morning amid position squaring, with a stronger U.S. dollar index limited buying enthusiasm. Traders expects this afternoon's state crop condition ratings to show further improvement in the hard red winter wheat crop after much-needed moisture was seen last week. Wheat has a lot of work in order to improve technicals. However, followthrough from Friday's gains would signal a near-term low is in the works.

Live cattle: Steady to weaker. Futures are called steady to weaker based on Friday's Cattle on Feed Report, which showed all cattle On Feed one percentage point higher than expectations. If it weren't for pressuring leading into the report, the market could face sharper price declines this morning. Traders will also be keeping a close eye on the beef market for cash clues. Values softened last week, but movement improved.

Lean Hogs: Steady to lower. Futures are expected to be steady to weaker this morning on concerns about the cash market. But with nearbys trading at a discount to the cash index, downside risk should be limited. Packers' profit margins remain well in the red, which is expected to result in light demand for cash hogs this morning.


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