Ahead of the Open (VIP) -- April 24, 2013

April 24, 2013 03:21 AM

Corn futures are called to open mixed on some short-covering.

  • Corn futures ended the overnight session with nearbys around 2 cents higher and new-crop futures narrowly mixed.
  • Traders are counting on improved weather conditions to allow producers to get into fields and begin planting by next week. As a result, buying is being limited to short-covering.
  • But tight old-crop stocks and positive outside markets are helping to support nearby futures this morning.
  • Gulf corn basis is steady for immediate delivery to stand 65 cents above May futures, with basis up a penny for June delivery.


Soybean futures are called to open mixed amid bull spreading.

  • Soybean futures ended the overnight session mixed, with old-crop futures up 1/4 to 1 3/4 cents and the rest of the market ended mostly marginally to 2 cents lower.
  • Old-crop futures are seeing a lift from tight supplies, although buying is limited by signals demand has softened.
  • China has reported 108 cases of H7N9 bird flu, including 22 deaths, and Taiwan has confirmed its first case of H7N9 in a 53-year-old man that recently traveled to China -- the first case outside of mainland China.
  • Statistics Canada says Canadian producers intend to plant 19.133 million acres to canola, which came in below expectations of 20.3 million.
  • USDA announced an unknown destination has purchased 116,000 MT of new-crop soybeans. So far this week, USDA has announced daily sales totaling 682,000 MT (previous sales were to China).
  • Gulf soybean basis is steady this morning after firming to $1 over May futures for immediate delivery yesterday.


Wheat futures are expected to be mixed given a lack of fresh supportive news.

  • Chicago wheat futures ended the overnight session marginally to 1 cents higher, with Kansas City 2 to 4 cents higher. Minneapolis ended marginally to 2 cents lower.
  • Buying in the wheat pit was limited to short-covering as traders are cautious to add long positions given global economic uncertainties.
  • Meanwhile, another freeze event was seen in the Southern Plains overnight, although traders are giving this little attention.
  • Statistics Canada says Canadian producers intend to plant 26.719 million acres to wheat in 2013, which is well above expectations the report would pin al wheat plantings at 24.4 million acres.
  • As expected, Ukraine has lifted its ban on wheat exports. Volume is not expected to exceed 200,000 MT, 80,000 MT of which is already in ports.


Live cattle futures are called to open steady to firmer on help from the beef market.

  • Traders still haven't received concrete evidence the boxed beef market has posted a near-term low, but yesterday's higher prices on solid movement of 179 loads is a positive sign.
  • Choice boxed beef values improved 63 cents to rise to $191.41 per cwt. and Select values rose 11 cents. The Choice/Select spread has widened to $7.63 premium Choice, which suggests demand for higher-quality cuts has improved.
  • While many feedlot owners are hopeful for firmer cash cattle trade compared with last week's $126 trade, packers have not yet begun bidding for animals and this week's showlist is up from last week.
  • Buying in feeder cattle futures will be limited to short-covering given choppy price action in the corn pit.


Lean hog futures are called to open higher on strength in the pork market.

  • Lean hog futures are expected to see a lift from ideas the pork market has posted a near-term low as retailers prepare for grilling features.
  • Pork cutout values improved $1.11 yesterday and movement was strong at 425.26 loads of cuts and 55.72 loads of trim.
  • As a result, packer demand for cash hogs has improved and bids are expected to be steady to $1 higher today.
  • But buying in nearby lean hog futures could be limited as May futures are already trading at nearly a $7 premium to the cash index.
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