Corn Pressured Overnight by Strong Planting Progress

06:21AM May 01, 2012
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Overnight highlights. Following are highlights of overnight trade:

Corn: 4 to 6 cents lower. Futures were pressured overnight by stronger-than-expected corn planting, as yesterday's progress report by USDA showed 53% of the crop planted -- around ten percentage points higher than expected. Impressively, Iowa now has half of the crop planted, as most western Belt locations that were running behind the average pace are now more advanced than the five-year average.

Soybeans: 3 to 14 cents lower. Futures saw a late-session advance yesterday, with support coming on spillover from corn, but also a reminder of the tightening global stocks situation for the current marketing year. The South American soybean crop continues to decline as harvest progresses, which is especially disappointing due to the ongoing drought. Also, fresh demand via Chinese purchases announced by USDA yesterday was a plus. But this mature bull market needs a daily dose of positive news to keep bulls interested.

Wheat: 6 to 11 cents lower. Futures saw spillover pressure from neighboring pits overnight, as well as choppy outside markets. The U.S. dollar, crude oil and gold are all weaker this morning. Meanwhile, yesterday's progress report showed the crop declined slightly and state reports showed the need for more rain to support current condition ratings.

Live cattle: Mixed. Futures are expected to be mixed this morning amid spreading and price consolidation. Beef prices were mixed to start the week, with Choice values up 13 cents and Select down 11 cents on solid movement of 153 loads. This week's showlist is tighter than last week, which gives feedlots more bargaining power. With packers' seeing improved profit margins (although still in the red), demand for cash supplies could improve this week if the beef market firms.

Lean Hogs: Steady to firmer. Futures are expected to see a boost from improvement in the pork cutout market, as values were up $1.05 yesterday to improve packers' profit margins. While still in the red, packers' margins have improved significantly recently. The cash hog market is expected to be steady to weaker, but futures are due for short-covering to correct the oversold condition of the market.