Market Snapshot, 10:00 am CT (VIP) -- December 24, 2012

December 24, 2012 04:03 AM

Corn futures are narrowly mixed, with the front-month firmer on spillover from soybeans and deferred months mostly slightly lower.

  • Nearby corn futures are benefiting from short-covering and help from neighboring soybean futures. But the lack of fresh news is limiting buying.
  • Traders have largely moved to the sidelines for the holidays. The grain and livestock markets close around noon CT today.
  • Bears still hold the advantage as corn futures remain in the downtrend established from the November high. Downtrending resistance for March corn currently intersects near $7.20.


January through September soybean futures are 1 to 3 cents higher, with far-deferred futures 5 to 8 cents higher.

  • Deferred futures are leading gains amid bull spread unwinding. General support is coming from slight dollar weakness.
  • Traders are working to even positions to limit their risk exposure this holiday-shortened trading week. Grain futures close at noon CT today.
  • Traders still have last week's large sales cancellations by China on their minds, as well as favorable conditions for most growing regions in Brazil, as additional rain chances are in the forecast this week.
  • Bears hold the near-term advantage in the soybean pit. To signal a near-term low is in the works, January soybean futures need to complete a 25% retracement of the decline from the September high, which stands at $14.73.


Chicago wheat futures are mostly 1 to 2 cents higher, with Kansas City and Minneapolis futures narrowly mixed.

  • Selling is being limited by spillover from neighboring pits and help from dollar weakness. But without fresh demand news, buying in the wheat pit is limited.
  • Wheat is also seeing a lift from the oversold condition of the market, which signals a time or price correction is due.
  • March Chicago wheat futures have seen little net price movement so far today, as the contract is working on an inside day of trade on the daily charts.


Live cattle futures opened slightly lower in reaction to Friday's Cattle on Feed Report.

  • The Cattle on Feed Report showed On Feed and Placements above expectations and Marketings below expectations. While the report reflects a tightening supply situation, it failed to provide a bullish surprise.
  • Friday's Cold Storage Report showed beef stocks at the end of November above expectations and up 2.5% from the previous month.
  • Additional pressure is coming on spillover from the stock market, which is weaker as investors remain on edge from Washington's gridlock over the fiscal cliff.


Lean hog futures are slightly lower in lackluster trade in all but the February contract, which has been choppy.

  • Lean hog futures are lackluster in thin-volume trade due to the abbreviated trade schedule, as markets close at noon CT.
  • The cash hog market is mixed in low-volume trade. Some packers are in need of supplies and are willing to raise bids given profitable margins, while others say they will have no difficulty securing needs for this week's holiday-shortened kill schedule.
  • Light pressure is also coming from Friday's Cold Storage Report, which showed record end-of-November stocks, although still below expectations.
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