Market Snapshot, 10:00 a.m. CT (VIP) -- April 3, 2014

April 3, 2014 05:01 AM

Corn futures are mixed with nearbys favoring the upside.

  • Corn futures are enjoying mild short-covering amid ideas losses were overdone yesterday.
  • This morning's morning's weekly export sales data is also supportive as corn sales of 960,600 MT for 2013-14 and 37,900 MT for 2014-15 met expectations and signal still strong demand. Exports were also impressive at nearly 1.426 MMT.
  • Export commitments for 2013-14 are running 166% ahead of year-ago, which compares to USDA's export forecast for old-crop exports to run 122.3% above 2012-13.
  • The market is also benefiting from concerns about cold temps across much of the Corn Belt and even some snow. This could make it tough for new-crop corn to buy acres from soybeans.


Old-crop soybeans are firmer while new-crop contracts are mixed.

  • Short-covering amid ideas yesterday's losses were overdone is lifting the bean market, although futures have come off early highs
  • The chart posture of the market continues to favor market bulls. November beans are again testing resistance at $12.00.
  • Traders are also responding well to this morning's weekly export sales tally of 66,200 MT for 2013-14 and 19,300 MT for 2014-15. While the tally was light, it was within expectations and included no major cancellations. Plus, China was the lead buyer.
  • Exports of 659,400 MT with China as the primary recipient were also impressive.
  • News that Brazil's congress has rejected an amendment to impose new taxes on domestic buyers is being digested by the market.


Wheat futures are roughly 5 to 7 cents higher in the SRW and HRS markets. HRW wheat is around 4 cents higher.

  • Short-covering is lifting the wheat market today.
  • Adding support were strong weekly wheat export sales of 336,400 MT for 2013-14 and 310,500 MT for 2014-15, which topped expectations. Exports of 523,100 MT were also solid.
  • The market was also lifted by news banks are tightening payment procedures for Russian grain exporters amid geopolitical unrest are supportive for the market, although traders are uncertainty how much this will impact trade in the region.
  • The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations cut its global 2013-14 wheat crop forecast by 2 MMT to 702 MMT.


Live cattle futures are off to a slightly higher start. Feeder cattle futures are sharply higher.

  • Traders are looking ahead to this week's cash cattle trade and narrowing the $5-plus discount nearbys hold to last week's cash cattle trade at $150 to $152 on the Southern Plains.
  • While most expect steady to lower trade, a $5 or more decline is not anticipated. Showlist numbers are up this week and packers are dealing with negative margins.
  • Also, traders are encouraged by improvement in the boxed beef market yesterday. Choice boxed beef firmed $1.10 and Select rose 71 cents. Movement improved to 151 loads. However, a marked improvement in movement will likely be needed to signals prices have reached value levels.
  • Also encouraging was an uptick in weekly beef export sales to 13,800 MT for 2014. Sales have been solid in recent weeks.
  • Feeders are benefiting from technical-based buying as a number of contracts moved through key resistance areas.


Lean hog futures are sharply lower in most contracts. A major exception is the front-month which is just slightly lower.

  • Traders are actively pushing futures lower amid signs the market had put in a top. However, such signals have been followed by active buying in the past.
  • Selling in the front-month is being limited by the discount it holds to the cash hog index, which is over $130.
  • Also, the pork market improved yesterday. The pork cutout value firmed 92 cents and movement improved to 446.37 loads.
  • This has helped to improve packer profit margins.
  • Cash hog bids are mostly steady today as some plants have reduced kill hours or days of operation in order to offset a shortage of hogs related to the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV).
  • The National Animal Health Laboratory Network reports 247 positive PEDV cases were reported the week ending March 23, which is down from last week's revised number of cases of 270. The report states, "This maintains the general downward trend in positive case submissions."
  • Export demand the week ended March 27 improved notably from recent lackluster tallies.
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