Corn futures are mostly 1 to 2 cents higher this morning.
- Corn futures continue to enjoy mild followthrough buying after gains in overnight trade. Spillover from the wheat market also adds support.
- Technically, the market is benefiting from the May contract's move back above the $5.00 mark yesterday.
- Rains in the Corn Belt this week and chilly temps that are expected to persist over the next 10 days keep concerns about planting delays in mind.
- Also, this morning's Weekly Export Sales Report keeps strong demand in mind. Sales of 618,900 MT for 2013-14 and 382,900 MT for 2014-15 came in at the upper end of pre-report expectations.
Old-crop soybeans are fractionally to 5 cents higher, while new-crop beans are 2 to 5 cents lower.
- Bull spreading is the feature activity today due to tight old-crop supplies.
- The possibility of corn planting delays, which would lift soybean planting intentions, are weighing on new-crop futures.
- This morning's weekly export sales data reflected slowed demand, but this has long been anticipated. Soybean sales of 800 MT for 2013-14 were a marketing year low. Sales of 118,200 MT for 2014-15 were also lackluster. The combined tally came in below expectations.
- This morning's acreage report from Statistics Canada revealed producers in the country plan to plant 19.8 million acres of canola this spring, which was well below expectations and down 0.7% from 2013. But Canadian farmers said they plan to plant a record 5.3 million acres of soybeans, up 16.5% from 2013.
- A meeting between government officials and officials with the Argentine soy crushers union has been pushed back to noon today. Workers have been threatening to strike unless their demands for higher wages are met.
- Lower export demand caused Gulf basis to slip 5 to 10 cents today. Basis for immediate shipment is holding near its lowest level since September 2012.
Wheat futures are posting gains in the teens across all three flavors.
- SRW wheat futures continue to make their way back toward resistance at $7.00. Futures have resumed an uptrending pattern this week after a brief dip below the 14- and 40-day moving average.
- HRS futures are benefiting from concerns that rain and cool temps will continue to delays spring wheat planting in the Northern Plains.
- The market is also benefiting from a decent showing in this morning's Weekly Export Sales Report. Sales of 339,100 MT for 2013-14 and 271,700 MT for 2014-15 were within expectations. Exports came in at 519,400 MT.
- Also supportive is this morning's Statistics Canada acreage report, as it revealed producers in the country plan to plant 24.8 million wheat acres, which came in slightly above expectations. If realized, the planting figure would be 4.8% smaller than year-ago.
- The Drought Monitor reflected ongoing expansion of drought on the Plains.
- Traders are brushing off the forecast for precip on the Central and Southern Plains this weekend, as this is also expected to be accompanied by severe weather.
Live cattle futures got off to a choppy start, but most contracts are now slightly higher. Feeder cattle futures are enjoying moderate gains.
- The start of cash cattle trade at steady prices of $148 on the Northern Plains yesterday is giving traders incentive to reduce the discount nearby contracts hold to last week's cash trade.
- Strong gains in the boxed beef market this week has traders thinking steady to higher trade might occur in the Southern Plains relative to last week's action at $146. While showlists were estimated up in Nebraska, Southern Plains cattle were estimated tighter this week.
- Yesterday, Choice boxed beef values jumped $1.43 and Select rose $1.05. Impressively, Choice values have gained $9.78 over the past week. Also, movement has for the most part remained solid despite the rise in prices.
- Light support also stems from another week of strong export sales. The week ended April 17, weekly export sales of 18,000 MT were up 7% from the prior four-week average.
- Strong gains in the boxed beef market have improved packer profit margins by nearly $100 over the last week. They are just narrowly in the red now.
- The bullish technical posture of feeder cattle futures is supportive.
Lean hog futures got off to a firmer start, but most contracts are now slightly lower.
- Most contracts are seeing some profit-taking after yesterday's strong gains.
- The front-month is leading losses thanks to the nearly $6 premium it holds to the cash hog index.
- The market still has Tuesday's bullish Cold Storage data in mind that indicated tightening supplies and/or solid pork demand.
- Traders are also encouraged by a surge in movement to 460.22 loads yesterday on a 10-cent slide in the pork cutout value. This may be an early sign prices are finally reaching value levels.
- Also supportive, weekly pork export sales improved markedly last week, rising to 15,100 MT, an 83% jump from the prior four-week average.
- Cash hog bids are mixed today as some plants are still in need of supplies. Others are working to improve negative cutting margins.
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