Crop Analysis (VIP) -- May 23, 2013

May 23, 2013 09:36 AM
 

Corn

Price action: Futures posted gains across contracts but saw bull-spread unwinding near the end of today's trading to finish mostly 3 to 4 cents higher.

Fundamental analysis: Spillover strength from soybeans, a weaker U.S. dollar combined with a strong export sales tally from USDA to lift futures. Weekly sales of 104,600 MT for 2012-13 and 341,600 MT for 2013-14 came within traders expectations.

In addition, forecasts for cool, wet conditions in the Corn Belt suggests continued delays in corn planting and a potential downturn in final planted acreage. That's supportive to new-crop futures.

Technical analysis: Futures took out stops above yesterday's high and traded higher. July futures tested resistance at $6.70 but failed to reach that level. However, futures did post their highest close since May 2. Traders would target the top of the April 1 downside gap at $6.76 if the $6.70 mark is penetrated. The July contract has formed a short uptrend line that offers support at $6.35.

Hedgers: 100% sold on 2012-crop in the cash market. 10% of expected 2013-crop production is sold via cash forward contract for harvest delivery

Cash-only marketers: 75% sold on 2012-crop production. 10% of expected 2013-crop production is sold via cash forward contract for harvest delivery.

 

Soybeans

Price action: Old-crop soybeans were highly volatile today, with the July soybeans trading in a 59 1/4-cent daily trading range. The market initially staged a strong rally, but heavy selling into the close resulted in old-crop contracts ending just 5 1/4 to 9 cents higher. New-crop action was more subdued and futures ended around 3 to 4 cents higher. September beans ended 1/2 cent lower.

Fundamental analysis: Futures initially rallied around another morning featuring strong demand news. Weekly soybean export sales surged past expectations to top the 1 MMT mark, with old-crop sales totaling 183,500 MT and new-crop sales of 838,900 MT. USDA also announced another daily bean sale for 115,000 MT to China for 2013-14. These signs of strong demand add to concerns about tight old-crop supplies.

But countering this news and encouraging selling into the close was news Argentine port workers have come to an agreement to end their strike. Buying enthusiasm in new-crop beans was also limited by wet, chilly weather in the Corn Belt with more precip in the forecast. This is expected to result in some farmers switching corn acres to beans.

Technical analysis: July soybean futures surged through resistance at the psychological $15.00 level, triggering buy stops and taking the contract all the way up to $15.46 3/4, before dropping to settle just 1/2 cent below the $15.00 mark, confirming that level as very tough resistance. Another move through that level would have bulls targeting today's high. The February high of $14.83 1/2 is near-term support.

Hedgers: 100% sold on 2012-crop in the cash market. 50% of expected 2013-crop production is hedged in November soybean futures at $12.19. 10% of expected 2013-crop production is sold via cash forward contract for harvest delivery.

Cash-only marketers: 90% sold on 2012-crop. 10% of expected 2013-crop production is sold via forward contract for harvest delivery.

 

Wheat

Price action: Wheat futures held strong into the close despite a softening in the corn and soybean markets. Chicago wheat ended 12 1/2 to 14 3/4 cents higher in the 2013 contracts, with 2014 contracts up 8 1/4 to 10 1/2 cents. Kansas City wheat ended 10 3/4 to 12 3/4 cents higher, with Minneapolis up 5 1/2 to 12 cents.

Fundamental analysis: Early support was tied to weakness in the U.S. dollar, with buying accelerated by a stronger-than-expected weekly export sales report. Sales of 239,400 MT for 2012-13 and 713,600 MT for 2013-14 came in above expectations (see "Evening Report" for more perspective).

The ongoing drought across the HRW Wheat Belt remains on traders' minds, but stepped-up planting progress in spring wheat country this week has limited buying in the Minneapolis market.

Technical analysis: Wheat needs to build on today's gains to improve the near-term technical outlook. While nearby Chicago and Kansas City wheat futures posted a high-range close, Minneapolis futures finished well off session highs. July Chicago wheat needs closes above the April high of $7.36 3/4 to signal a near-term low has been posted.

Hedgers: 75% sold on 2012-crop in the cash market. No 2013-crop sales advised yet.

Cash-only marketers: 75% of 2012-crop is sold. No 2013-crop sales advised yet.

 

Cotton

Price action: Cotton futures ended 92 to 175 points lower in the 2013 contracts, with 2014 contracts down 67 to 74 points.

Fundamental analysis: Cotton was pressured by disappointing weekly export sales. Cotton sales of 101,700 running bales for 2012-13 and 36,400 running bales for 2013-14 represent a slowdown from the recent pace. Exports of 232,900 running bales were down 24% from the previous week. While the dollar index was sharply lower today, traders believe recent dollar strength has tempered foreign buyers' enthusiasm toward U.S. cotton.

Technical analysis: December cotton futures posted a downside day of trade on the daily chart, with next support the May low of 82.92 cents. July cotton futures did near-term technical chart damage today on violation of support at the April low of 82.84 cents. The low-range close gives bears the upper hand heading into tomorrow's session.

Hedgers: 50% of expected 2013-crop production is hedged in December cotton futures at 83.87 cents. 50% of expected 2013-crop production is also sold via cash forward contract for harvest delivery. 100% sold on old-crop in the cash market.

Cash-only marketers: 85% sold on old-crop. 50% of expected 2013-crop production is sold via cash forward contract for harvest delivery.

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