Corn futures have rallied to trade mostly 4 to 10 cents higher in old-crop futures while new-crop is around 4 to 5 cents higher.
- Corn futures are enjoying corrective short-covering today as traders view yesterday's losses as overdone, especially considering the slow start to planting season.
- Yesterday's Crop Condition Report revealed corn planting was just 2% complete as of April 14, which compares to 16% complete last year and 7% complete on average.
- While the slow start is not yet overly concerning, the 6- to 10-day forecast calling for chilly temps after more wet, cold weather this week will keep producers out of fields.
- Basis was steady this morning after rising much of last week on tight supplies.
Soybean futures have extended early gains to to trade double-digit higher in nearby contracts, with deferred contracts up 3 to 6 cents.
- Old-crop soybeans are seeing corrective short-covering on ideas yesterday's price drop was overdone, especially considering very tight supplies.
- Plus, domestic soybean demand has improved after the March 28 price drop and recent Gulf basis strength signals still-decent export demand. Today, however, Gulf basis levels held steady.
- But the Chinese bird flu situation is still a limiting factor as this will curb the country's feed needs.
- Spring planting delays are also keeping buying interest in new-crop futures in check as this will likely translate to increased 2013 bean acres.
Wheat futures are trading mostly 1 to 3 cents higher in Chicago and Kansas City, while Minneapolis wheat is 6 to 7 cents higher.
- A weaker U.S. dollar index and strength in the corn market have given the wheat market a lift today.
- Minneapolis wheat is the upside leader thanks to concerns about a slow start to spring wheat planting. Spring wheat planting is 6% complete compared to 33% last year and 13% complete for the five-year average. More snow in the forecast points to more delays.
- Light support also comes from slight deterioration in yesterday's crop condition report; additional declines due to last week's freeze events will likely be reflected in subsequent updates.
- And while the forecast calls for more beneficial precip in winter wheat country, it also holds the chance for another freeze event Thursday and Friday.
Live cattle futures are off to a narrowly mixed start with nearby contracts slightly higher and deferred months under light pressure. Feeder cattle are moderately lower.
- Nearby live cattle futures are enjoying corrective short-covering on ideas the downside was overdone yesterday. A weaker U.S. dollar index is encouraging of this.
- The front-month contract is at nearly a $2 discount to the bulk of last week's cash cattle trade, which is also encouraging light short-covering.
- But heavy pressure on futures yesterday spurred light cash cattle trade in Texas and Iowa at $125 -- down $2 from the bulk of trade last week.
- Showlist estimates are sharply higher this week and the boxed beef market got off to an unimpressive start yesterday. Unless the beef market improves, this could point to additional lower cash trade again this week.
- A slow start to grilling season due to a wet, chilly spring and the stirring of domestic and macro-economic concerns has added to beef demand concerns.
- This along with strength in the corn market is encouraging followthrough selling in feeders.
Lean hog futures are posting slight gains in light trade.
- Lean hog futures are benefiting from some corrective short-covering today, but that is the extent of buying interest.
- While the pork cutout value did rise $1.12 yesterday, the bulk of the gains came from bellies and hams, signaling grilling demand has yet to pick up. Plus, movement was light relative to recent days at 296.40 loads.
- The pork market gain and recent lower cash hog bids have pulled packer profit margins back into the black. But they are nevertheless paying steady to lower prices for market- ready hogs today as most are well stocked on near-term needs.