Ahead of the Open (VIP) -- May 7, 2013

May 7, 2013 03:16 AM

Corn futures are called to open steady to marginally higher after a choppy end to the overnight session.

  • Corn futures favored a firmer tone throughout overnight trade, but were choppy as the overnight session ended.
  • Ideas yesterday's losses were overdone spurred light short-covering overnight. But futures need to fill yesterday's gaps to signal near-term lows have been posted.
  • Yesterday's crop progress data showed just 12% of intended acres were planted as of Sunday -- the slowest pace since 1984.
  • But traders expect producers to make strong planting progress before another system moves into the Corn Belt on Wednesday evening. Also, the latest National Weather Service 6-10 day forecast is more promising for active planting progress.


Soybean futures are called to open 5 to 8 cents higher amid spreading with corn.

  • Soybean futures ended the overnight session mostly 5 to 6 cents higher on spreading with corn and help from weakness in the dollar index.
  • But outside markets aren't overly supportive, as crude oil and gold are also weaker this morning.
  • Traders expect more favorable corn planting weather by next week, which is supportive for new-crop soybean futures as traders gauge the risk of acreage being switched from corn to soybeans.
  • To signal a near-term low has been posted, November soybean futures need to return above last week's high of $12.40 1/4.


Wheat futures are called to open 3 to 5 cents higher amid ongoing concerns about the winter wheat crop.

  • Wheat futures at all three exchanges ended the overnight session mostly 1 to 5 cents higher on help from dollar weakness and continued deterioration of the winter wheat crop.
  • Our weighted Crop Condition Index shows the HRW crop slipped further to stand 103.3 points (on a 0 to 500 point scale) below year-ago.
  • But traders say crop concerns are known and the delayed maturity of the crop gives some hope of a late-session (although mild) recovery.
  • The largest percentage gain in spring wheat planting was seen last week, but still, just 23% of the crop has been seeded. This compares to 50% on average. Acreage in North Dakota and Minnesota are at the largest risk of being "lost," as just 7% and 2%, respectively, are planted.


Live and feeder cattle futures are called to open steady to weaker on ideas the boxed beef market has posted a near-term high.

  • Live cattle futures slipped into the close yesterday to finish with moderate losses. The low-range close gives bears the advantage heading into this morning's open.
  • A weaker start to the boxed beef market for the week raises expectations it has posted a near-term high after posting an all-time high on Friday.
  • Choice beef values slipped $1.42 yesterday and Select declined by 52 cents and just 125 loads of product changed hands.
  • Cash cattle trade isn't expected until later in the week as packers are expected to lower bids and feedlots want higher prices due to tighter market-ready supplies.
  • Feeder futures are expected to see spillover from live cattle.


Lean hog futures are called to open steady to weaker on followthrough from yesterday's losses.

  • Lean hog futures ended yesterday with slight to moderate losses on concerns about the cash market.
  • Futures are expected to see followthrough pressure this morning due to lighter demand for cash hogs, causing traders to narrow the premium nearby futures hold to the cash index.
  • Pork cutout values slipped just 7 cents yesterday, but with packer profit margins in the red, cash bids are expected to be steady to weaker today.
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