Ahead of the Open (VIP) -- May 16, 2013

May 16, 2013 03:12 AM

Corn futures are called mixed, with new-crop futures slightly higher on bull spread unwinding.

  • New-crop futures finished the overnight session mostly 1 cent higher, with nearbys narrowly mixed.
  • This morning's weekly export sales data showed corn sales of 219,900 MT for 2012-13 and sales of 38,600 MT for 2013-14. Combined, the tally was within expectations and will provide little direction for futures this morning.
  • Strong corn planting progress being made across the Corn Belt this morning is limiting buying in new-crop futures, although a wetter near-term forecast raises concerns about a yield drag.
  • The U.S. dollar index is weaker this morning following yesterday's strong upside move.


Soybean futures are called 3 to 6 cents higher on followthrough from overnight gains.

  • Soybean futures finished the overnight session 3 to 6 cents higher, with the November contract leading gains following yesterday's slight losses.
  • Soybean futures have seen a choppy week of trade so far, remaining within the boundaries of the month-long consolidation range.
  • Upside potential for new-crop futures, however, is being limited to corrective buying as traders are growing concerned about the wet near-term forecast, which could result in some intended corn acres being switched to soybeans.
  • This morning's weekly export sales data showed sales of 15,300 MT for 2012-13 and sales of 346,600 MT for 2013-14. Combined, sales were within expectations.


Wheat futures are called to open 3 to 4 cents higher on weakness in the dollar.

  • Wheat futures at all three exchanges ended the overnight session mostly 3 to 4 cents higher on short-covering following yesterday's losses.
  • Weakness in the dollar index is also supportive for wheat futures this morning.
  • Weekly export sales of 125,000 MT for 2012-13 and 415,600 MT for 2013-14 were above expectations, which should also encourage some short-covering this morning.
  • This morning's Drought Monitor shows slight expansion of drought across the South, with little change made to the classifications in Kansas.


Live cattle futures are expected to favor the upside on the open due to ongoing strength in the boxed beef market.

  • Live cattle futures are due for a corrective bounce following yesterday's losses.
  • Futures are also expected to see a lift from strength in the boxed beef market. Choice values rose $1.86 and Select was up 68 cents on solid movement of 195 loads.
  • Traders are still waiting on cash cattle trade to begin, which could limit buying in futures. This week's showlist is about steady with last week.


Lean hog futures are expected to open steady to firmer this morning on help from strength in the pork cutout market.

  • Following yesterday's losses, lean hog futures are expected to see a corrective bounce.
  • Strength in the pork cutout market is also expected to lift lean hog futures. Pork cutout values improved 75 cents yesterday on strong movement of 532.4 loads of cuts to signal retailers are preparing for summer grilling features.
  • The CME lean hog index is projected up 26 cents to stand at $92.15, and June lean hog futures are trading in line with the index.
  • The cash hog market is called steady to firmer amid tight market-ready supplies. A few locations are still in need of additional hogs for Saturday's kill.
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