Grain Markets Start the Week Under Pressure

February 11, 2013 12:26 AM

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Overnight highlights. Following are opening grain and livestock calls at 6:25 a.m. CT:

Corn: 2 to 4 cents lower. Corn is weaker on followthrough from Friday's losses and spillover from sharp losses in the bean pit. Traders are noting demand destructions behind losses, as well as the seasonal "February break" that often occurs at this time of year. March corn has completed a 62% retracement of the rally from the January low to the early February high.

Soybeans: 16 to 20 cents lower. Soybean futures are seeing sharp followthrough from Friday's losses, as traders take weather premium out of the market due to expectations for a record Brazilian bean crop. Some rains fell over Rio Grande do Sul over the weekend and more is in the forecast, although more will be needed to erase the drought. Still, traders look for Brazilian beans to hit the ports soon, taking pressure off the U.S. to supply China with soybeans.

Wheat: 1 to 3 cents lower. Chicago wheat is lower, while Minneapolis and Kansas City are favoring a weaker tone in mixed trade. There's little fresh news for the wheat market to digest and as a result, traders are keeping a close eye on neighboring pits, which is weighing on the market this morning. Traders viewed Friday's USDA reports as mostly neutral. While the U.S. carryover data was positive, the global supply situation is plentiful.

Live cattle: Steady to lower. Futures are expected to be weaker due to concerns about beef demand. Choice beef values slipped $1.34 and Select fell $1.51 on Friday, but movement was strong last week. Traders are watching for a seasonal rise in beef values, which typically begins around this time and continues into spring. Packers also need higher beef prices to improve their margins.

Lean hogs: Mixed. Futures are expected to see a mixed start to the week, as traders work to narrow the steep discount February hogs hold to the cash index ahead of Thursday's expiration. Meanwhile, traders will be watching for signs the pork market is working on a seasonal low, especially since packers' profit margins remain well in the red. Cash hog bids are expected to be steady to lower to start the week as packers work to correct negative margins.


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