Market Snapshot, 10:00 a.m. CT -- (VIP) -- September 17, 2013

September 17, 2013 05:05 AM


Corn futures have moderated from where they ended the overnight session and are clinging to modest gains in most contracts.

  • Corn futures posted solid corrective gains overnight amid ideas recent losses were overdone, but buying interest is limited this morning as soybeans are dropping.
  • USDA's Farm Service Agency updated certified acreage data this morning. Prevent-Plant corn acreage now stands at 3.573 million acres, up from 3.411 million acres in August. Planted + failed corn acres are now 91.428 million versus 88.771 million in August.
  • Our weighted Crop Condition Index for corn is virtually unchanged from last week at 342 on a 0 to 500 scale (top being perfect). Traders sense crop condition ratings have likely bottomed.
  • Harvest activity is gradually increasing, which will make it hard for futures to find sustained buying interest. USDA reported harvest at 4% complete as of Sunday.

Soybean futures opened the day session with slight gains, but have turned lower. November and January futures are posting double-digit declines.

  • Soybean futures posted double-digit gains through the overnight trading session, but buying interest has faded this morning.
  • Rains are pushing through the western Corn Belt this morning, which is price-negative. These rains will be beneficial for the portion of crop that hasn't started to shut down. Forecasts call for more rain chances and cooler temps for the next couple days.
  • FSA Prevent-Plant soybean acreage is now 1.687 million versus 1.619 million last month. Planted + failed soybean acres are now 74.659 million versus 72.061 million last month.
  • November soybean futures have dropped through support at yesterday's and last week's lows. Key support now stands at the bottom of the Aug. 26 chart gap at $13.31 1/2.

SRW, HRW and HRS wheat futures opened the day session mostly 1 to 3 cents higher, but have turned mixed.

  • Wheat futures have seen buying interest dry up as soybeans are now under pressure and the corn market is struggling to find buying.
  • Limiting buying interest are rains that are falling on the Plains. Recent rains are recharging soil moisture supplies as winter wheat seeding gets underway. While dryness remains across much of the region, soil moisture conditions are the best they have been in years.
  • A lack of fresh export demand news is also limiting buying interest. Traders will need to see a big purchase or a flurry of smaller purchases to signal prices are low enough to attract active foreign buying interest.
  • The U.S. dollar index is mildly weaker this morning, but that isn't enough to sustain corrective buying interest on its own.

Live cattle futures are slightly lower. Feeder cattle are posting slight to moderate losses this morning.

  • Traders are hesitant to buy live cattle futures despite bullish cash cattle hopes as futures are already trading at a premium to last week's cash trade.
  • While traders still have bullish cash hopes, a sluggish performance in the boxed beef market Monday is giving them a little pause. Given tight margins, packers may not be willing to raise cash cattle bids if the boxed beef market doesn't strengthen.
  • Showlist estimates are up sharply in Nebraska this week, but down in Texas, Kansas and Colorado.
  • Feeder cattle futures are being pressured by a weaker tone in live cattle and mild strength in the corn market. Traders are also taking some profits following four consecutive days of price gains.

Lean hog futures are being pressured by profit-taking this morning.

  • Traders are banking profits following yesterday's sharp runup in fall- and winter-month lean hog futures.
  • But the discount these contracts hold to the cash market and bullish attitudes are limiting the downside to corrective selling at this point.
  • Cash hog bids are mixed across the Midwest this morning amid varied packer demand. With cutting margins falling into the red, some plants have slowed their attempt to secure slaughter supplies.
  • Much cooler temps across the Midwest are also expected to increase hog marketings as producers get caught up following the recent unseasonal heat.
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