Key USDA Report Data Coming Thursday

March 25, 2013 01:02 AM

What Traders are Talking About:

* Key USDA reports Thursday. Most of traders' focus in this holiday-shortened week are on USDA's Prospective Plantings and Quarterly Grain Stocks Reports late Thursday morning. Producer planting intentions are the focal point, but it's been quarterly corn stocks which have been the biggest market-moving data for several years. USDA will also release its Quarterly Hogs & Pigs Report Thursday afternoon, though traders will have to wait until next Monday to trade the data as markets are closed for Good Friday.

The long and short of it: Planting intentions and quarterly grain stocks could very well set the price tone for the grain markets through spring, especially if there are any major surprises.

* Cyprus reaches bailout deal. Cyprus reached a deal over the weekend that secures 10 billion euros ($13 billion) in bailout funding that will keep the island nation's banking sector afloat. A levy on all Cypriot bank accounts will be avoided, but large account holders at the two biggest banks is likely to be far greater than initially planned. With the bailout deal, Cyprus will avoid a financial meltdown and an exit from the euro-zone.

The long and short of it: Global stock markets are reacting positively to Cyprus' deal, though commodities are having a very muted reaction.

* Bullish Cattle on Feed Report. Traders were expecting a bullish report, but the data was even friendlier than expected. USDA's monthly audit of feedlot activity showed all three categories on the bullish side of the pre-report trade guesses. The most bullish number was the Placements category, which was down 14% from year-ago and the smallest figure for February since USDA began its data set in 1996. Therefore, the report is most bullish for deferred live cattle futures.

The long and short of it: The report data should help live cattle futures put in a short-term low. But a strong bullish reaction is needed for that to be the case. Given demand concerns, traders have been reluctant buyers of live cattle futures.


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