Corn futures have firmed to trade 3 to 5 cents higher.
- Corn futures are enjoying some corrective short-covering this morning thanks to ideas the downside has been overdone, causing funds to cover their large short position.
- Additional support comes from weakness in the U.S. dollar index.
- Early pressure stemmed from reports China is likely to reject additional cargoes of U.S. corn after finding more unapproved GMO content. But fears about a dropoff in demand from the country were likely overstated as the country is expected to approve the variety (MIR 162) soon.
- Gulf corn basis is steady to 1 cent weaker for immediate delivery but basis is 1 to 2 cents higher for February through April shipment.
Soybean futures have reversed course to trade 3 to 4 cents higher in most contracts.
- Corrective short-covering, a weaker U.S. dollar index and spillover from the grain markets are lifting the soybean market this morning.
- Strong demand continues to prevent soybean prices from dipping too far.
- Also, while South America is expected to produce a record-large crop, the area has no shortage of struggles in getting supplies shipped.
- A 5-cent dip in Gulf basis for immediate delivery signals the availability of freshly harvested supplies in the U.S. are meeting exporters' needs.
- Strong crushing margins and slow farmer sales are encouraging some soy dealers at interior locations to boost basis at interior locations.
Wheat futures are leading to the upside this morning, with HRW wheat 5 to 7 cents higher and SRW and HRS wheat 5 to 9 cents higher.
- Concerns about sub-zero temps as far south as the Central High Plains are lifting the wheat market today.
- A weaker U.S. dollar index and gains in the corn market are also providing incentive to cover short positions.
- Gulf SRW basis jumped 9 cents for January to March delivery, suggesting U.S. wheat prices are again attracting some export business.
- But gains are being limited by news that the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics (ABARES) raised its 2013-14 Aussie wheat crop forecast to 26.213 MMT from 24.467 MMT previously, citing favorable weather in Western Australia.
Live and feeder cattle futures are narrowly mixed this morning.
- A major slowdown in movement on an uptick in prices yesterday in the boxed beef market is keeping demand concerns on traders' minds. Just 65 loads changed hands on an 18-cent uptick in Choice cuts and a $1.07 jump in Select values yesterday.
- However, firmer beef prices along with tighter showlist estimates could give feedlots an edge in cash negotiations this week.
- Showlists are down at all locations but especially so in Nebraska, which is expected to see a 30,000-head drop over last week's guess range.
- Firmer corn prices and recent gains in the feeder cattle futures are encouraging some light profit-taking in feeders today.
Lean hog futures are posting moderate losses this morning.
- Traders are working to bring nearby contracts more in line with the cash hog market. While the cash hog index has ticked up in recent sessions, December futures are still more than $3.00 above these prices.
- The cash hog market is mostly steady this morning as packers are enjoying strong cutting margins and they are in need of supplies coming off of the Thanksgiving holiday.
- While the pork cutout value rose $1.11 yesterday, despite sharp losses in ribs and loins, movement slowed to 257.3 loads.
- Concerns about the impact of the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus continue to limit the hog market's downside.