Grain Markets Choppy, Await Export Sales

August 23, 2012 01:59 AM



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Overnight highlights. Following are highlights as of 7:00 a.m. CT and opening livestock calls:

Corn: Narrowly mixed. Futures are narrowly mixed this morning, with pressure limited by disappointing Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour results. But traders are waiting on this morning's weekly export sales data to monitor signs of price rationing.

Soybeans: 3 to 6 cents higher. Futures are stronger this morning on disappointing Crop Tour results as well as some help from a weaker U.S. dollar index. Traders will be looking to see if this morning's weekly export sales data shows signs of price rationing.

Wheat: 1 to 4 cents higher. Wheat is enjoying light spillover from soybeans, as well as concerns about the Russian wheat crop, although the country continues to say it will not curb exports. Additional support is coming from dollar weakness.

Live cattle: Mixed. Futures are expected to see a mixed start as traders wait on active cash trade to begin. Light cash trade began in Nebraska late yesterday at weaker prices than seen last week, but sources say this doesn't necessarily mean lower cash trade will be reported in the Southern Plains, where showlists are tighter. Boxed beef prices were 9 (Choice) to 44 (Select) cents lower yesterday, but movement improved to 234 loads.

Lean Hogs: Steady to lower. Futures are at risk of more technical deterioration today given ongoing weakness in the pork cutout market. Pork cutout values plummeted $2.98 yesterday on sharp declines in rib and ham values. While packers' profit margins remain in the black, margins have tightened -- lowering demand for cash hogs. But pressure on futures could (or should) be limited by the discount those contracts already hold to the cash index.


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