Major Market Reaction to USDA Reports

January 13, 2012 12:31 AM

Markets closed Monday. Most government offices and markets are closed on Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. There will be no Pro Farmer services that day, but we'll return on Tuesday to cover the markets.

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Overnight highlights. Following are highlights of overnight trade and opening calls:

Corn: 1/2 to 4 cents higher. For the sixth straight year, the corn market posted a major reaction to a January USDA report. This time, nearby futures were limit lower in reaction to a much higher-than-expected Quarterly Grain Stocks estimate, which expands limits to 60 cents today. Futures saw light short-covering overnight, but bears now have momentum on their side. Goldman Sachs has lowered their U.S. corn price forecast to $5.50 for the year.

Soybeans: 2 to 5 cents higher. Futures were firmer overnight on short-covering following yesterday's sharp decline. USDA's carryover estimates came in higher than expected at 275 million bu., as USDA raised the size of the 2011 crop. Soybeans came well off session lows overnight, but without a major weather threat in South America in the weeks ahead, bears will gain momentum as the reports were a "game changer."

Wheat: 3 to 4 cents higher. Futures were firmer overnight on short-covering, but saw spillover from the corn market yesterday. USDA's winter wheat seedings peg came in above expectations as did the 2011-12 U.S. carryover peg at 870 million bushels. Traders expected USDA to trim carryover much more than 8 million bushels from last month. Without fresh demand news, wheat will remain in a follower's role to neighboring pits -- mostly corn.

Live cattle: Mixed. Futures are expected to be mixed as traders wait on cash cattle trade to begin. Sharp pressure on the beef market is softening cash expectations, as Choice values slipped $2.22 yesterday and Choice was down $1.03. Traders have generally expected steady to firmer cash trade this week due to smaller showlists, but those hopes are now dwindling.

Lean Hogs: Mixed. Futures are expected to be mixed as traders even positions ahead of the weekend. The cash hog market is called mostly steady as packers have plentiful supplies, but need to secure next week's early needs. Pork cutout values were up 99 cents yesterday, which is raising hope of a near-term low being in the works.


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