Ahead of the Open (VIP) -- April 22, 2013

April 22, 2013 03:16 AM
 

Corn futures are called to open 5 to 10 cents lower on followthrough from losses in overnight trade.

  • Corn futures ended the overnight session 7 to 11 cents lower on strength in the dollar index and a slightly warmer- and drier-than-previously expected forecast for the Corn Belt this week. Still, planting is still not expected to get actively started this week.
  • The NWS forecast for April 27 through May 1 calls for above-normal temps across the bulk of the Corn Belt. Wet conditions are expected across the eastern Corn Belt and drier conditions are expected across the western Belt.
  • Gulf corn basis is steady this morning to stand 56 cents above May futures for immediate delivery.

 

Soybean futures are called 6 to 10 cents lower on concerns about demand.

  • Soybean futures ended the overnight session 6 to 10 cents lower on strength in the dollar index and concerns about bird flu in China.
  • As of yesterday, over 100 cases of H7N9 bird flu had been confirmed in China, with 20 of those cases resulting in deaths. The Chinese media estimates the poultry industry has lost $2.7 billion due to the outbreak.
  • Traders are also keeping an eye on the weather, and note a slight improvement is expected through the week, although the NWS 6-10 day forecast calls for above-normal precip across the eastern Corn Belt as the calendar flips to May.
  • Also this morning, USDA announced an 174,000-MT purchase of U.S. soybeans by China for 2013-14.
  • Gulf soybean basis is steady this morning to stand 56 cents above May futures to immediate delivery.

 

Wheat futures are called 5 to 10 cents lower on spillover from neighboring pits.

  • Chicago and Kansas City wheat futures ended the overnight session mostly 7 to 9 cents lower, with Minneapolis down 2 to 4 cents.
  • Wheat is largely following corn and soybean futures lower this morning due to a lack of fresh news.
  • Pressure on futures should be limited as traders expect this afternoon's crop condition data to reflect further deterioration after another freeze event occurred in the HRW Wheat Belt last week.

 

Live cattle futures are called to open steady to lower in reaction to the Cattle on Feed Report.

  • Friday's Cattle on Feed (COF) Report is expected to weigh on cattle futures this morning as it showed On Feed higher-than-expected at 95% of year-ago levels.
  • While the supply situation continues to tighten, the COF Report suggests it won't tighten as quickly as earlier expected.
  • Traders' main focus remains on demand. Boxed beef prices softened on Friday and movement was decent at 174 loads. But so far, the boxed beef market hasn't provided a solid clue that retailers are getting ready for spring grilling features.
  • Weakness in the corn market should help to limit pressure on feeder cattle futures this morning.

 

Lean hog futures are called to open mixed as traders wait for cash clues.

  • Cash opinions are mixed this morning, with some expecting firmer bids due to packers' improved profit margins. However, others say packers shouldn't have any trouble getting this week's needs secured.
  • Recent improvement in the pork cutout market -- especially the increase in movement -- suggests retailers are actively purchasing pork for spring features.
  • But traders are likely to be cautious about adding to long positions as they wait on this afternoon's Cold Storage Report, which is expected to reflect a well-stocked situation.
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