Corn futures are near unchanged in the front-month contract, while deferred contracts are mostly around 4 to 7 cents higher.
- Traders are again engaging in some bull spread unwinding this morning.
- New-crop corn is seeing light support from the yield-damaging implications of cold, wet weather on already planted corn and ongoing delays for unplanted acres.
- But traders view replenished soils as favorable and don't appear overly worried about the remaining unplanted acres and the likelihood these will be switched to beans or claimed as Prevent Plant.
- Buying interest in July corn futures is being somewhat limited by news Tyson may need to import South American corn to meet summer needs. While this isn't "new" news, it is a reminder that corn imports will be up sharply for 2012-13.
- Gulf corn basis firmed 2 cents for immediate delivery this morning.
Soybean futures surged on the open this morning, but the market has since reined in gains.
July futures are slightly lower while the August contract is around 3 cents higher and new-crop contracts are mostly 9 to 13 cents higher.
- Early gains in the soybean market have given way to some profit-taking. Dollar strength is also encouraging of this.
- The market is paying more attention to planting delays that are likely to continue as more rain and cool temps are expected for the Corn Belt this weekend. Above-normal precip is also expected for the eastern Belt next week.
- Tight supplies continue to limit selling interest to profit-taking in old-crop soybeans.
- But a 3- to 4-cent slide in Gulf basis for July delivery reminds that South America is actively competing with the U.S. for export business.
Wheat futures are choppy, with Chicago wheat 1 to 3 cents lower, while Kansas City and Minneapolis futures are mixed.
- Traders are weighing a firmer corn market against strength in the U.S. dollar index.
- Buying interest is also being limited by expectations for a large 2013 wheat crop. The G-20's Agricultural Market Information System today forecast global wheat production to hit a record 702 MMT in 2013, up 6.5% from year-ago.
- But crop concerns in the U.S. are limiting selling interest. While the Southern Plains recently benefited from precip, hot (100-degree-plus), dry weather is expected to return to the region early next week.
- Early harvest-related activity in southern Texas is weighing on the market, although early results are reportedly disappointing.
- Meanwhile, the market expects a reminder of slowed spring wheat planting on Monday.
Live and feeder cattle futures posting slight losses in early trade.
- Cash cattle trade has yet to get underway, but softer boxed beef price action this week has cut into packer profit margins. Most traders are expecting trade to take place at steady to lower prices compared with $124 action in the Southern Plains last week.
- Yesterday, Choice boxed beef values fell 77 cents and Select firmed 28 cents; movement was decent but not impressive at 187 loads.
- The forecast for wet weekend weather for much of the country keeps demand concerns in mind.
- This morning's as-expected jobs data is having little influence on market action today.
- Strength in the corn market is weighing on feeder cattle futures.
Lean hogs are mixed with an upside bias this morning.
- Lean hogs got off to a firmer start, but mild profit-taking has trimmed gains.
- Lean hog futures are benefiting from some technical buying interest ahead of the weekend as the market's posture on the charts has strengthened this week.
- Meanwhile the cash hog market is a mixed bag again today. While tightening supplies are keeping the cash hog index pointed higher as it has caused some packers raise bids despite negative cutting margins, others have reduced kill hours and lowered bids to improve their bottom line.
- Keeping margins in the red, the pork cutout value slid $1.20 yesterday, though movement was decent (though lighter than recent tallies) at 361.9 loads.
- Ideas the proposed purchase of Smithfield Foods by a Chinese company will boost U.S. export opportunities for pork remains an underlying source of support.
- A risk-on attitude to wrap up the week as illustrated by strong gains in the stock market and a firmer commodity index today is also supportive.
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