Market Snapshot, 10:00 am CT (VIP) -- May 20, 2013

May 20, 2013 05:04 AM

Corn futures are posting losses around 2 to 3 cents in most contracts.

  • Expectations that this afternoon's crop progress update from USDA will reflect rapid planting progress last week is weighing on corn.
  • But major precip over the weekend that is still making its way across the Corn Belt today will keep farmers out of the field for at least the first part of this week. Traders continue to view the long-term benefits of precip as outweighing late planting dates.
  • Selling interest is being limited by USDA's announcement of a 120,000-MT corn sale to an unknown destination for 2013-14.
  • A 2-cent rise in Gulf corn basis for immediate delivery this morning signals more such demand news may be ahead.


July soybeans are around 4 cents higher, while new-crop beans are roughly 8 to 13 cents lower.

  • Traders are bull spreading the bean market to start the week as the market remains a tale of two crops.
  • Old-crop supplies are tight and the possibility of port strikes in Brazil could increase demand for old-crop U.S. beans.
  • Meanwhile, traders expect soybean production to rebound this growing season, especially as the crop will be planted into moisture-replenished soils.
  • The National Weather Service forecast for May 25-29 calls for above-normal temps across much of the Corn Belt and varied precip. The upper Midwest is expected to see above-normal precip while the lower half of the Midwest is expected to see normal to below-normal precip.
  • But buying interest is being limited by a 10- to 20-cent slide in Gulf basis for May and June delivery this morning, which signals increased farmer selling.


Wheat futures are slightly lower in Chicago, while Kansas City and Minneapolis are mostly slightly higher.

  • Spillover pressure from the corn market is weighing on Chicago wheat futures.
  • Meanwhile, Minneapolis wheat is benefiting from concerns about flooding in the Northern Plains, which will further delay spring wheat planting.
  • Plus, more rain is in the forecast for this region this week and in the extended outlook.
  • The market is also unsure as to what sort of condition ratings USDA will reveal for the HRW wheat crop today. While the region saw beneficial moisture in recent days, this was also accompanied by severe weather.


Live cattle futures opened with slight to moderate losses, but the June contract has firmed. Feeder cattle futures are under moderate to sharp pressure.

  • Aside from the June contract, live cattle futures are under pressure after Friday's Cattle on Feed Report showed all categories on the bearish side of expectations, with Placements at 115% of year-ago.
  • But heavy pressure late last week means much of this is already factored into prices.
  • Choice boxed beef prices surged to a record high every day last week, though this did slow movement. On Friday, Choice cuts firmed 74 cents to $209.51, while Select values slid 40 cents. Movement was a light at 108 loads, however.
  • Slow movement is gaining more attention as market participants see lofty beef prices as unsustainable considering the weak economy and high gas prices.
  • Pressure is also being limited by the wide $6-plus discount nearby contracts hold to last week's cash cattle trade at $125 to $125.50 on the Southern Plains.


Lean hog futures are enjoying slight to moderate gains in most contracts.

  • Lean hog future are enjoying light short-covering as traders view the downside as overdone Friday.
  • But buying interest in nearby contracts is being limited by concerns about how the detection of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) in the Iowa hog herd will play out.
  • Meanwhile, the pork market remains strong. The pork cutout value rose 48 cents Friday, though movement slowed to 255.7 loads.
  • Pork strength plus tightening market-ready hogs are keeping cash hog bids mostly steady this morning, though the end of Memorial Day buying is expected to result in a few lower bids.
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