Overnight highlights. Following are opening grain and livestock calls at 6:25 a.m. CT:
Corn: 5 to 30-plus cents lower. I wish it were an April Fools Day joke, but it's not... Old-crop corn futures gapped sharply lower on the open on followthrough from Thursday's sharp to limit losses. Once again, it was a Quarterly Grain Stocks Report that stole the show and corn futures responded with a limit move. May corn has moved to its lowest level since late June. The good news is this price should encourage some fresh demand.
Soybeans: 3 to 17 cents lower. Soybean futures are also seeing followthrough from Thursday's losses as well as the negative stocks report and spillover from corn futures. May soybean futures have moved to its lowest level since mid-December, was the contract appears headed for a test of the bottom of the long-lasting consolidation range near $13.50. Meanwhile, November beans have violated support at the February low and a low-range close would open significant near-term downside risk.
Wheat: 5 to 8 cents lower. Traders did a good job of anticipating Thursday's all wheat acreage projection, but the higher-than-expected wheat stocks data is weighing on the market. Wheat is also seeing spillover from corn. One result of corn's sharp move is that May Chicago wheat futures are trading at around a 20-cent premium to May corn futures. Look for the spread to continue correcting as the stocks report signaled there will be "enough" corn left at the end of the marketing year to provide a cushion for the upcoming season as long as weather is more favorable this growing season.
Live cattle: Steady to higher. Last week's late sharp move higher signals live and feeder cattle futures have put in lows. This should attract followthrough buying to start the week, especially with corn still under pressure. But key to building on last week's gains will be whether or not the boxed beef market continues to improve. Improved boxed beef movement last week signals retailers have begun purchasing for grilling season features.
Lean hogs: Steady to weaker. Futures are expected to be pressured this morning by Friday's Hogs & Pigs Report that showed mild expansion in the hog herd. Most categories came within expectations, but the misses gave the report a slight negative read. Given the fact the latest Cold Storage Report showed plentiful stocks, there is fresh downside risk for futures. The cash hog market is expected to be mostly steady to start the week as packers work to secure this week's needs.
No Foolin, USDA's Grain Stocks Shock the Corn Market Again
The Week Ahead: April 1-7, 2013