Dollar Strength Leads to Pressure on Grains Overnight

March 20, 2012 01:44 AM

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Overnight highlights. Following are highlights of overnight trade:

Corn: 3 to 8 cents lower. Futures saw followthrough pressure from yesterday's losses, as well as pressure from strength in the U.S. dollar index. The dollar weakened on news hurdles have been crossed for Greece to pay its debt installment. Adding to pressure is acceleration of corn harvest in South America, which is allowing for planting of the safrinha crop, which is expected to be much bigger than usual due to strong corn prices.

Soybeans: 7 to 10 cents lower. Futures saw followthrough from yesterday's losses, as well as from strength in the U.S. dollar index. While crop concerns remain in southern Brazil due to dry conditions, harvest is speeding up and traders expect end users to switch to South American supplies soon. The export window for U.S. beans has been open much longer than usual, tightening supplies. But beans need fresh news to extend the rally.

Wheat: 6 to 7 cents lower. Futures saw followthrough from yesterday's sharp losses given a lack of fresh positive news. Rains across the Southern Plains are helping sustain the winter wheat crop and yesterday's state condition reports showed improvement in the crop from last week. May Chicago wheat appears headed for a test of the March low at $6.33 1/2.

Live cattle: Mixed. Futures are expected to be mixed following yesterday's losses on the possibility of short-covering as traders wait on cash trade to begin. The beef market started the week on solid footing, with Choice values up $1.83 and Select up 85 cents. Movement was slow to start the week at 136 loads, so key will be if movement improves this week. Traders also have Friday's Cattle on Feed Report in the back of their minds, as the report to remind the market of the tightening supply situation.

Lean Hogs: Mixed. Futures are called mixed on the possibility of followthrough from yesterday's gains, although concerns about the cash market loom. Pork cutout values were 41 cents lower yesterday on slow movement, keeping packers' profit margins well in the red. The cash hog market is called steady to weaker again this morning due to lackluster demand for hogs.


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