Ahead of the Open (VIP) -- April 22, 2014

08:16AM Apr 22, 2014
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Corn futures are called 3 to 4 cents higher amid corrective trade.

  • Corn futures ended the overnight session mostly 1 to 3 cents higher, which was near session highs, amid short-covering following yesterday's losses.
  • Futures were also supported by yesterday's crop progress data from USDA, which showed only 6% of the crop was seeded as of Sunday, which represents just a three-percentage-point gain from last week.
  • While the planting season is off to a slower-than-usual start, traders say it's not a complete surprise and there is still plenty of time to get the crop planted.
  • But yesterday's NWS 6- to 10-day forecast signals planting will remain slow as below-normal temps are expected across the Belt into May.
  • Also this morning, USDA reports Mexico purchased 240,000 MT of corn for 2014-15, which is supportive for new-crop futures.


Soybean futures are called to open 3 to 6 cents higher in corrective trade.

  • Soybean futures ended the overnight session mostly 3 to 6 cents higher, with nearbys leading gains amid bull spreading.
  • Traders returned to defend long positions in overnight trade following yesterday's losses, which signals there are still active buyers near uptrending support.
  • Additional support came from news China's Ministry of Commerce says it expects the country to import 6.9 MMT of soybeans this month, which is up sharply from its previous forecast of 5.11 MMT.
  • Meanwhile, there's little other fresh news for the market to digest. Traders are keeping an eye on the weather as it relates to the slower-than-usual start to corn planting. But it's too early to be concerned about corn acres shifting to soybeans.


Wheat futures are called 1 to 3 cents higher on crop concerns.

  • SRW and HRW wheat ended the overnight session mostly 2 to 3 cents higher, with HRS mostly a penny higher.
  • Futures were supported by ideas yesterday's sharp losses were overdone, as well as concerns about the winter wheat crop.
  • Our weighted Crop Condition Index (scale of 0 to 500, with 500 being perfect) showed the HRW crop dropped 3 points from last week and the SRW crop improved by 2 points from last week.
  • State reports made mention of last week's freeze event but said the extent of damage was not reported.
  • HRS futures were supported overnight by yesterday's crop progress data that showed spring wheat planting is off to a slower-than-usual start. USDA reports 10% of the spring wheat crop was seeded as of Sunday, behind the five-year average of 19%.
  • Iraq has rejected all offers for its tender of at least 50,000 MT due to high prices.


Live cattle futures are called to open higher on strength in the beef market.

  • Live cattle futures are expected to see a boost this morning from yesterday's strong start to the beef market. Futures were slightly higher in overnight trade.
  • Choice beef values surged $2.71 and Select rose $2.84 amid decent movement of 151 loads.
  • This week's showlist is thought to be up from last week as many feedlots carried animals over. But if the beef market continues to improve, it would raise packer demand for cash supplies.
  • Cash trade isn't expected to get underway until later in the week, which could lead to a choppy tone.
  • A firmer tone in the corn market also makes traders cautious about adding long exposure in the live and feeder cattle markets.


Lean hog futures are called to open slightly lower on followthrough pressure.

  • Lean hog futures are expected to see followthrough weakness after yesterday's sharp declines. Light followthrough selling was seen in overnight trade.
  • Futures are also vulnerable to selling after pork cutout values slipped $1.93 to start the week amid lackluster movement of 231.27 loads.
  • As a result, demand for cash supplies is thought to be light today even though some packers are short bought following the Easter holiday. The cash market is called steady to $1 lower this morning.
  • May lean hog futures are trading in line with the cash index, which is softening.