Choppy Tone Seen Overnight in Grain Markets

April 3, 2013 01:36 AM

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Overnight highlights. Following are opening grain and livestock calls at 6:35 a.m. CT:

Corn: 1 to 2 cents higher. Futures haven't strayed too far from unchanged, but are currently firmer in late overnight trade. Of course bullish attitudes have been diminished, but improvement in Gulf corn basis reflects a pickup in export demand as some end-users are using the break to increase purchases of corn. But this market still has a way to go to rebuild a large demand base.

Soybeans: 5 to 10 cents lower. Soybean futures have favored a weaker tone throughout overnight hours amid spreading with corn. Futures only saw light short-covering yesterday and this morning have violated support at Monday's low to suggest the price slide has not run its course.

Wheat: 8 to 10 cents higher. Wheat is mostly 8 to 10 cents higher this morning on short-covering and help from concerns about HRW wheat crop concerns. The crop across the Plains came out of dormancy in worse shape than traders expected, which has renewed concerns about how the drought will impact yields.

Live cattle: Mixed. Following yesterday's sharp losses live cattle are expected to see a choppy start as traders reevaluate positions. Sharp losses yesterday have shaken feedlots' hopes for higher cash cattle trade, although strengthening boxed beef values this week signal at least steady cash trade is possible. Choice beef values improved 89 cents yesterday and Select rose 91 cents, but movement hasn't been impressive this week as only 140 loads changed hands yesterday.

Lean hogs: Mixed. Futures were mixed again yesterday, with nearbys weaker amid bull spread unwinding. More of the same is expected today, although a more widespread negative tone is likely after pork cutout values slipped $1.05 yesterday on light movement of just 46 loads. As a result, packers are expected to tighten their purse strings and bids are expected to soften.


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