Corn futures have softened to trade roughly 5 to 8 cents lower with old-crop futures leading to the downside.
- The market continues to focus on substantial planting progress made thus far this week thanks to a stretch of warmer, drier weather. But rain and cooler temps are expected to move into the Midwest today.
- Also, the market is not yet concerned about the possibility of yield drag for a late-planted crop. Rather, they are paying attention to USDA's forecast for carryover to rebound over 2 billion bu. for the 2013-14 marketing year.
- This morning's weekly export sales data failed to impress as corn sales of 219,900 MT for 2012-13 and 38,600 MT for 2013-14 matched light expectations but declined from the week prior.
- While the U.S. dollar index is lower today, overall strength in the greenback raises concerns about continued slow exports.
Soybean futures have rallied to trade around 10 cents higher in old-crop while new-crop is roughly 3 to 5 cents higher.
- Soybean futures are benefiting from some spreading activity with the corn market today.
- Active corn planting in the Midwest this week has eased concern about a big shift in acres from corn to soybeans, though USDA's March 28 bean planting projection is still expected to be the low watermark.
- Meanwhile, recent surges in Gulf basis remind of tight old-crop supplies. This morning, Gulf basis fell 4 cents for immediate delivery but rose 18 cents for delivery the first half of June and 8 cents the latter half of the month.
- There is also some concern about a very slow start to soybean planting.
- This morning's weekly export sales data showed sales of 15,300 MT for 2012-13 and sales of 346,600 MT for 2013-14. Combined, sales were within expectations.
Wheat futures are down roughly 5 to 8 cents in Chicago and Kansas City. Minneapolis wheat is up 2 cents in the front-month and slightly lower in deferred contracts.
- Spillover pressure from the corn market today is weighing on the wheat market.
- The market continues to ignore the poor state of the HRW wheat crop, which is currently being blasted by hot temps.
- This morning's Drought Monitor shows slight expansion of drought across the South, with little change made to the classifications in Kansas.
- The market expects substantial spring wheat planting progress to have been made over the past week, though storms are developing in the region today.
- Weekly export sales of 125,000 MT for 2012-13 and 415,600 MT for 2013-14 were above expectations, which is limiting selling interest today.
Live cattle opened under pressure, but the market has improved to mixed trade. Feeder cattle futures are also choppy.
- Demand concerns continue to weigh on the cattle market despite the ongoing surge in the boxed beef market and expectations for steady to firmer cash cattle trade this week.
- Weekly beef export sales declined 5,400 MT from the week prior to just 4,700 MT.
- Futures remain at a significant discount to last week's cash action at $126. Packers are enjoying wide margins and showlist estimates are near steady with week ago.
- Choice boxed beef values surged $1.86 yesterday to yet another all time high (the 5th in nine days) of $207.95 yesterday. Even more impressive, movement held strong at 195 loads. Select cuts also firmed 68 cents to $192.75.
- The market is also beginning to ready positions for tomorrow's Cattle on Feed Report, which is expected to show On Feed at 96.3% of year ago, Placements at 112.1%, and Marketings at 102.9% of last year.
Lean hog futures are posting slight to moderate gains in early trade.
- Lean hog futures are enjoying some corrective short-covering today amid ideas yesterday's late move to the downside was overdone considering strength in both the pork and cash market. Weakness in the U.S. dollar index is also encouraging to that end.
- The pork cutout values improved 75 cents yesterday on strong movement of 532.4 loads. Record-high beef prices are seen as improving demand for relatively inexpensive pork.
- Early cash hog bids are steady to firmer again today as supplies are tightening and some packers are still in need of supplies for Saturday's kill. Active planting progress in the Corn Belt is also making supplies harder to come by.