What Traders are Talking About:
* CME Group seeks comments on trading hours. Expanded trading hours for grain and oilseed futures at the Chicago Board of Trade were a hot-button topic last year as the exchange went from a 17-hour trading day to a 21-hour day. With the start of the new year, CME Group is revisiting the topic, wanting feedback from traders, the grain industry and farmers. A survey on the grain trading hours is available on the CME Group website through Jan. 31. To complete the survey, click here.
The long and short of it: Results of the survey are easy to predict as it seems there are very few who like the 21-hour trading day. The question is whether there is enough backlash for CME Group to change their trading hours for grain and oilseed futures.
* South American estimates unchanged. Pro Farmer South American crop consultant Dr. Michael Cordonnier maintained his corn and soybean production estimates for Brazil and Argentina. Dr. Cordonnier says while dryness is an increasing concern in areas of Argentina and southern Brazil, the good is offsetting the bad for now. But if the dryness builds, his production estimates may be lowered. Dr. Cordonnier pegs the Brazilian soybean crop at 81 MMT and the corn crop at 70 MMT. In Argentina, Dr. Cordonnier estimates the soybean crop at 53 MMT and the corn crop at 22.5 MMT.
The long and short of it: It would be price-supportive if South American crop estimates start to decline, even though record South American soybean production is forecast.
* Pork, beef stocks higher than expected. USDA's Cold Storage Report showed pork and beef stocks higher than expected. Pork stocks in frozen storage at the end of December totaled 554.4 million lbs., which topped pre-report expectations of 527 million pounds. Pork stocks were down 1% from the end of November, but 14% above year-ago. Beef stocks in frozen storage at the end of December totaled 465.5 million lbs., which was above pre-report expectations of 449.2 million pounds. Beef stocks came in 5% higher than the end of November and 2% above year-ago.
The long and short of it: The higher-than-expected beef and pork stocks raise some questions about red meat demand. Beef stocks are not a concern, but there's a lot of extra pork in storage that demand must chew through.
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