Corn futures are called to open narrowly mixed as traders await this morning's key USDA reports.
- Corn futures didn't stray too far from unchanged in the overnight session, ending it narrowly mixed.
- Traders are awaiting USDA's first survey-based corn crop estimate to be released at 11:00 a.m. CT. Traders expect USDA to peg the crop just above 14 billion bushels.
- While traders look for USDA to trim old-crop carryover by around 5 million bu. from last month, new-crop carryover is expected to be rise by around 11 million bu. from last month to 1.97 billion bushels.
- Meanwhile, non-threatening temps and scattered showers over the weekend are viewed as beneficial for the filling crop.
- However, the NWS forecast for Aug. 17-21 calls for below-normal precip across the Corn Belt, which raises some concerns about drought areas of the western Belt.
- USDA this morning announced Mexico bought 252,153 MT of corn for 2013-14 delivery.
Soybean futures are called 8 to 15 cents higher on short-covering ahead of USDA data.
- Soybean futures ended the overnight session 9 to 12 cents higher on short-covering as traders prepare for this morning's key USDA reports.
- The market is also expected to get a boost from USDA's announcement China bought 713,000 MT of soybeans for 2013-14 delivery, while "unknown destinations bought 140,000 MT of new-crop beans.
- Traders look for USDA to trim the size of the soybean crop from last month by around 84 million bu. from last month to 3.336 billion bushels.
- Traders look for USDA to trim old-crop carryover by around 2 million bu. from last month and new-crop carryover by around 32 million bu. to 263 million bushels.
- The latest NWS forecast for Aug. 17-21 also raises concerns for filling soybeans as it calls for below-normal precip across the Corn Belt. The exception is Ohio, which is expected to see above-normal precip.
- However, the absence of extreme heat across the Corn Belt so far this month is limiting concerns about a drier near-term forecast.
Wheat futures are expected to start daytime trade marginally to 1 cent lower.
- All wheat flavors ended the overnight session marginally to 1 cents lower on a lack of fresh news.
- Pressure on wheat is being limited by expectations USDA will trim the size of the U.S. wheat crop by 8 million bu. from last month to 2.106 billion bushels.
- A lower crop estimate is expected to result in a 4-million-bu. decline in carryover from last month to 572 million bushels.
- But traders are hesitant to push futures higher ahead of the report due to increased global competition.
Live cattle futures are called to open slightly to firmer on news of higher cash cattle trade.
- Live cattle futures ended last week mixed, but are expected to see a slight boost this morning from last week's higher cash cattle trade.
- Cash trade picked up in Kansas and Texas late Friday at $121, which is up $1 to $2 from the previous week.
- But before traders will be convinced a near-term low has been posted based on recent improvements in the cash market, the boxed beef market must improve.
- Choice beef values firmed 68 cents on Friday and Select values slipped 5 cents on lackluster movement of 153 loads.
- August feeder cattle futures have trimmed the premium the contract holds to the cash index to less than $4.
Lean hog futures are called to open steady to weaker on expectations of a softer cash market.
- Lean hog futures ended last week under pressure, but still posted gains compared to the previous week's close.
- Futures are expected to be weaker this morning on expectations for a softer tone in the cash market at many locations.
- Packers have early week needs secured and say supplies are beginning to build, as expected. But with margins well in the black, demand for hogs should be strong.
- Pork cutout values firmed 69 cents on Friday, but movement was light at just 261.6 loads.