Ahead of the Open (VIP) -- May 15, 2013

May 15, 2013 03:14 AM

Corn futures are called 2 to 5 cents lower on the open this morning.

  • Corn futures finished 2 to 5 cents lower overnight, with 4- to 5-cent losses through the March contract.
  • But tight supplies and a strong cash market should limit pressure on old-crop futures to mild corrective selling.
  • New-crop futures are feeling pressure from a very rapid advance in corn planting this week. The pickup in planting has erased some of traders' concerns with the record-slow start to the planting season.
  • Rain is in the forecast for late this week and early next week, so producers are planting around the clock in an effort to get as many acres as possible seeded ahead of the rains.


Soybean futures are expected to open weaker amid bull spread unwinding.

  • Soybean futures finished 4 to 7 cents lower in old-crop contracts and 1 to 2 cents lower in new-crop contracts overnight. Additional bull spread unwinding is expected this morning.
  • With corn planting rapidly progressing this week, there isn't as much concern with a major switching of acres to soybeans. But traders still feel USDA understated soybean acres in the Prospective Plantings Report at the end of March.
  • China National Grain and Oils Information Center forecasts Chinese 2013-14 soybean imports at a record 66 MMT, up 11.9% from the current marketing year.
  • USDA also announced this morning China bought 171,000 MT of soybeans for 2013-14. Strong Chinese demand prospects are underlying support, but not enough to fuel buying for now.
  • Traders are awaiting NOPA monthly crush data at 11 a.m. CT. The average guess puts crush at 125.2 million bu. for April, down from 137.08 million bu. in March.


Wheat futures are seen opening 2 to 8 cents lower.

  • Wheat futures were roughly 5 to 8 cents lower in Chicago and Kansas City overnight, while Minneapolis wheat posted losses of 2 to 4 cents.
  • A weaker tone in corn along with a lack of fresh supportive news is expected to weigh on wheat futures today.
  • A firmer dollar is also a source of price pressure for wheat. The dollar is stronger after disappointing first-quarter GDP data out of the euro-zone this morning.
  • Traders are showing little concern for the HRW crop woes or the slow planting pace of the spring wheat crop. But these factors should help limit selling pressure.


Live cattle futures are seen opening with a mixed tone. Feeder cattle futures are called choppy to higher.

  • Cattle traders continue to wait on cash cattle clues for the week. While most traders anticipate higher cash cattle prices compared to last week's mostly $126 trade in the Plains due to profitable packer margins, packers have not yet established bids.
  • The boxed beef market remains strong with Choice cuts surging to an all-time high of $206.09 Tuesday. But traders sense a short-term top is near.
  • Cattle traders will also begin to position for Friday afternoon's Cattle on Feed Report, which is again expected to show feedlot supplies below year-ago despite strong Placements last month.
  • Feeder cattle futures may get a little boost from a mildly weaker tone in corn. But buying interest is likely to be limited by a lack of buying in live cattle and the big premium futures hold to the cash index.


Lean hog futures are expected to open steady to firmer this morning.

  • Mild followthrough buying is expected in hog futures this morning after a strong close yesterday. June hogs are trading at a slight premium to the cash hog index, but traders are anticipating cash hog bids to firm into summer as supplies tighten.
  • Cash hog bids are expected to be steady at most Midwest locations today. While packer margins are negative, market hog supplies are tight, especially with producers focused on getting corn planted.
  • Pork movement has slowed as the bulk of Memorial Day purchases are complete, but the cutout value continues to firm. The pork cutout was up 25 cents Tuesday.
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