Corn futures are trading 3 to 5 cents lower in old-crop contracts and 1 to 2 cents lower in new-crop contracts.
- Corn futures are facing light profit-taking pressure this morning, though selling interest is relatively light so far.
- Yesterday USDA reported that as of Sunday 3% of the nation's corn crop was seeded, which compares to the five-year average of 6% and 2% last year. But traders are not overly concerned about a slightly slower than normal start to planting at this time.
- While concern is not great, traders are hesitant to push new-crop futures much lower considering a return of wintry, wet weather this week with more snow in the forecast for some areas of the Midwest late this week.
- Meanwhile, tensions in the Black Sea region remain an underlying source of support. Ukraine's grain stocks totaled 12.3 MMT as of April 1, up 14% from year-ago, according to the State Statistics Service.
Old-crop soybeans have surged 15 to 19-plus cents higher, while new-crop are mostly around 8 cents higher.
- Bulls spreading is propelling old-crop contracts this morning. The front-month has come within 1/2 cent of the key $15.00 mark.
- Tight old-crop supplies and still decent demand for U.S. old-crop beans are lifting nearby contracts.
- Traders will also receive an update on domestic demand via crush data from NOPA members today. Traders expect NOPA to report soybean crush totaled 146.1 million bu. in March, which would be up 3.2% from the month prior and 6.6% above year-ago.
- New-crop beans are benefiting from efforts to hold onto record-high planting intentions.
- Market technicals also favor market bulls.
SRW wheat futures are mixed with a slight upside bias. HRW and HRS futures are mildly favoring the downside.
- Wheat futures are seeing some mild profit-taking after yesterday's strong gains.
- But outside of that, selling interest is limited amid ongoing crop concerns in the Plains.
- USDA yesterday reported ongoing declines in the condition of the winter wheat crop. This translated to a 6-point drop for the HRW wheat crop on Pro Farmer's Crop Condition Index (0 to 500-point scale with 500 being perfect). The SRW crop posted a 4-point rise.
- Traders are also concerned about a freeze event on the Plains last night with more cold temps in the forecast causing more damage.
- Meanwhile, tensions in the Black Sea region remain an underlying source of support.
Live cattle futures are posting slight to moderate losses today. Feeder cattle futures are moderately lower.
- Profit-taking is weighing on the market this morning as early cash cattle clues favor market bears.
- But futures are already well below last week's cash cattle trade at $147 to $150, limiting pressure.
- Also, the June contract is seeing some technical sales as the market has been unable to sustain buying above the 40-day Moving Average the past week.
- Packers continue to deal with deeply negative cutting margins. This along with steady to slightly higher showlist estimates this week should give packers an edge in negotiations.
- Trade may take place earlier than normal as many plants are plants are wanting to get supplies bought ahead of the upcoming holiday weekend.
- The product market is giving some clues it may be nearing a low. Mixed prices yesterday again spurred solid movement of 169 loads. Movement has picked up notably over the past week.
- Nearby feeder cattle futures hit or tested new contract highs yesterday. Therefore, traders are booking some profits today.
Lean hog futures are mixed with spring- and summer-month contracts slightly to sharply higher and deferreds slightly lower.
- Nearby lean hog futures continue to bounce back from last week's spike low, signaling the market may have put in a near-term low.
- Also, the new front-month June contract is $2 below the cash hog index. The cash hog index has declined while futures have risen in recent sessions, substantially narrowing this gap.
- Packer demand remains soft as they reduced kill schedules to adjust to tighter supplies stemming from porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV). And this week, many are bought ahead and slaughter needs are lighter as plants plan downtime for the Easter holiday.
- Also, packers profit margins, while positive, have declined from recent strong levels.
- And pork prices continue to slide amid light movement. Yesterday the pork cutout value dropped 98 cents and just 212.85 loads changed hands.