Market Snapshot, 10:00 am CT (VIP) -- December 4, 2013

December 4, 2013 04:06 AM

Corn futures are 4 to 7 cents higher through the December 2015 contract.

  • Corn futures have moved to the plus side in a short-covering rally after trading slightly lower at the end of the overnight session and opening slightly weaker initially.
  • USDA announced a daily corn sales to Mexico totaling 167,750 MT. Of that total, 132,600 MT is for 2013-14, while the remaining 33,150 MT is for 2014-15 delivery.
  • This is overshadowing news China has now rejected five batches of U.S. corn totaling 120,643 MT this month, in addition to last month's 60,000-MT rejection. The shipments were rejected because they contain an unapproved GMO variety.
  • And traders are shrugging off the weekly ethanol figures that show a decline of 14,000 barrels per day in daily output and a rise in stocks of 102,000 barrels.
  • Also, gains come despite strength in the U.S. dollar index.
  • Gulf corn basis is 1 to 2 cents firmer for nearby delivery this morning, which suggests exporters are in need of supplies.

Soybean futures are 7 to 9 cents higher through the September 2014 contract with lead-month January futures leading gains.

  • Soybean futures have moved to the plus side in corrective short-covering after fading late in the overnight session and opening lower.
  • Nearby January futures uncovered support at yesterday's lows and then traded above yesterday's highs encouraging follow-through buying.
  • Traders are shrugging off the stronger U.S. dollar index.
  • Gulf soybean basis is reported as steady this morning.


Wheat futures are mixed with a downside bias.

  • SRW and HRW wheat futures moved into the plus column on spillover strength from corn and soybean futures after initial weakness. But weakness has again set in.
  • HRS futures are weaker on a sharp rise in production estimates from Canada.
  • Statistics Canada now pegs its 2013 wheat crop at a record 37.5 MMT, which is much higher than traders expected.
  • Selling is being limited by weather forecasts calling for sub-zero temperatures into the Central Plains, placing some of the HRW wheat crop at risk.
  • Today's stronger U.S. dollar index reminds traders that U.S. wheat is not as competitively priced as it once was on the global market.
  • In addition, traders are also reacting to news that Russia's ag minister has growing confidence the grain harvest will hit the 90-MMT level.
  • Gulf SRW basis is steady in early morning trading.


Live cattle and feeder cattle futures are narrowly mixed.

  • Trading activity remains very light as traders wait for cash prices indications.
  • Showlist estimates are tighter, especially in Nebraska, which could give feedlots an edge in cash negotiations. But packer margins remain in the red.
  • Choice boxed beef values slipped 6 cents yesterday and Select was down $1.53 but movement did improve from Monday's poor showing to 188 loads.
  • Feeder cattle futures are also mixed as buying interest is being limited by early strength in the corn market.


Lean hog futures are slightly weaker through the April contract, while far-deferred months are steady to slightly firmer.

  • Nearby lean hog futures remain on the defensive as the wide premium the December contract holds to the cash hog index has traders pressing prices lower. Today's action has narrowed that premium slightly more than $2.00.
  • The pork cutout value slipped 90 cents yesterday and the $2 drop in ham prices suggests holiday ham purchases by retailers are likely completed.
  • Some packers are in need of additional supplies and foggy conditions across the country's midsection are limiting movement this morning. Plus, wintry weather is on its way. Therefore, cash hog bids are mostly steady this morning.
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