Ahead of the Open (VIP) -- February 19, 2014

February 19, 2014 02:18 AM

Corn futures are called narrowly mixed in lackluster trade.

  • Corn futures didn't stray too far from unchanged in a lackluster overnight session.
  • Traders are reevaluating positions following yesterday's gains. Key will be if traders return during the day session as buyers as March corn is hovering just beneath the key $4.50 level.
  • Gulf corn basis is steady this morning for immediate delivery but is 4 cents stronger for May delivery.


Soybean futures are called mixed amid bull spread unwinding.

  • Soybean futures ended the overnight session narrowly mixed, with nearbys marginally to 2 cents lower amid bull spread unwinding following yesterday's double-digit gains in the nearby contracts.
  • Brazil's crushing industry group Abiove has raised its estimate of the country's soybean crop by 1 MMT to 88.6 MMT.
  • Meanwhile, several other private analysts have recently lowered their estimates of Brazil's bean crop due to dryness in southern Brazil. Scattered showers are in the forecast for later in the week.
  • Gulf soybean basis is 5 cents higher for immediate delivery to stand 95 cents over March futures to signal supplies are tight, while basis for March delivery softened 1 cent this morning.


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

  • HRW and HRS wheat futures ended the overnight session 1 to 4 cents higher, with SRW wheat marginally to a penny higher.
  • Wheat is enjoying light followthrough from yesterday's gains as the near-term technical outlook is much improved.
  • Winter wheat markets are being supported by crop concerns, as drought continues to linger in HRW areas.
  • State statisticians report the condition of the winter wheat crop in Texas declined again last week, with 44% rated "poor" to "very poor," which compares to 41% the previous week.
  • Gulf SRW wheat basis is 2 to 5 cents weaker for nearby delivery, while HRW basis is 2 cents higher for nearby delivery.


Live cattle futures are called steady to higher on tight supplies.

  • Live cattle futures are expected to benefit from followthrough after yesterday's strong gains.
  • Traders are also encouraged by ongoing strength in the beef market, which suggests a near-term low has been posted.
  • Choice values firmed $1.01 yesterday and Select rose $1.70 on solid movement of 155 loads.
  • With market-ready supplies down from last week, packers have more bargaining power in this week's cash negotiations.
  • As a result, expectations are that cash trade will be $1 higher than last week's $142 to $143 trade.


Lean hog futures are called steady to firmer on cash market strength.

  • Lean hog futures are expected to enjoy light followthrough from yesterday's gains as well as strength from the pork market.
  • Pork cutout values firmed another 47 cents yesterday amid decent movement. With packers' profit margins deep in the black, there is incentive to keep kill lines running as full as possible.
  • The cash market is called 50 cents to $1 higher, with the possibility of even $2 higher bids today ahead of tomorrow's winter storm.
  • But buying could be limited as futures have entered overbought territory and the front-month contract holds around a $10 premium to the cash index.
  • Also supportive this morning is news that Russia will resume imports of U.S. pork in March, as well as word that China will begin buying pork for state reserves to support domestic prices.
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