Market Snapshot, 10:00 am CT (VIP) -- February 19, 2013

February 19, 2013 04:08 AM

Corn futures softened with the open of pit trading and are mostly 6 to 8 cents lower.

  • The market initially benefited from weekend rains in Argentina that were lighter than expected in key production areas.
  • Countering this, recent rains have led to favorable prospects for Brazil's safrinha corn crop, which is currently being planted.
  • A lack of export demand news is also weighing on the market.
  • Plus, recent long-term projections from USDA and others reminds traders production is expected to recover for the 2013-14 marketing year.
  • Spillover from the wheat market is adding light pressure to corn.


Soybean futures are posting 20-plus cent gains in old-crop futures while new-crop futures are around a dime higher.

  • Soybean futures are benefiting from both supply and demand news this morning.
  • USDA announced a daily sale of 120,000 MT of soybeans to China for 2012-13.
  • Plus, weekend rains across Argentina again disappointed as major production regions received only light, scattered precip.
  • Gulf basis firmed a penny for immediate delivery, signaling more demand news may be ahead.
  • And while South America is still expected to grow a large bean crop, the possibility for port strikes or other transportation disruptions are not unusual for the region.


Wheat futures have softened to post losses around 10 to 12 cents in Chicago, while Kansas City and Minneapolis wheat are seeing slightly lighter losses.

  • Wheat futures softened with the open of pit trading as traders focus on chances for heavy rain in the Southern Plains later this week. Plus, the 6- to 10-day forecast calls for above-normal precip chances in the Central Plains.
  • News India is considering allowing private companies to export to up to 5 MMT (currently, just state-run firms are allowed to export up to 4.5 MMT) from government stocks is also weighing on the market.
  • Plus, the market remains skeptical as to whether U.S. wheat prices are competitive globally.


Live cattle futures are off to a mostly weaker start with the front-month steady and deferred months slightly to moderately lower.

  • February live cattle are benefiting from ideas the downside has been overdone.
  • The rest of the market is being pressured by demand concerns.
  • Choice boxed beef prices slid $1.58 Friday, signaling the market is still struggling to find "value" levels. Select cuts firmed 80 cents but just 142 loads changed hands.
  • This along with higher showlist estimates this week could give packers the upper hand in cash cattle negotiations.
  • Last week, cash cattle trade took place at mostly $123.
  • But concerns about below-normal temps across the country's mid-section this week and the chances for a winter storm in the Midwest later this week could give feedlots some leverage.


Lean hog futures are moderately lower this morning.

  • The pork cutout value continued its search for a low Friday with a 10-cent decline. Movement was also unimpressive at 43 loads.
  • Until the pork cutout value rebounds, buying interest in lean hog futures will remain limited.
  • Early cash hog bids are mostly steady, but weaker bids are expected considering unprofitable cutting margins.
  • Pressure is being limited by concerns about cold temps and a winter storm event disrupting transportation later this week.
  • Nearby contracts remain more than $4 below the cash hog index. This is also helping to limit selling interest.
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