Market Snapshot, 10:00 a.m. CT (VIP) -- May 3, 2013

May 3, 2013 04:58 AM

Corn futures are posting losses of 1 to 5 cents this morning on spreading unwinding with soybeans.

  • The market appears unconcerned about substantial snow across much of the upper Midwest and the planting delays this implies. Rather, they are focusing on a warmer, drier forecast for this region next week, which they expect to accelerate planting activity.
  • On the other hand, the five-day forecast calls for major precip in areas of the central and southern Corn Belt.
  • Traders will get a planting and emergence update from USDA on Monday, as well as the first look at soybean planting.
  • Meanwhile, tight old-crop supplies remain a source of support for old-crop corn in light of new-crop production uncertainty. Gulf basis firmed 2 cents for July and August delivery this morning.


Soybean futures have rallied to trade post gains in the teens to 20s with old-crop futures leading gains.

  • Tight supplies are supporting old-crop futures and spread unwinding with corn is supporting new-crop futures this morning.
  • Gulf soybean basis is steady for immediate delivery this morning, but it has slipped by 15 cents for delivery the last half of May.
  • Traders appear unconcerned with the prospect that corn planting delays will likely result in more soybean seedings.
  • Outside markets are also now supportive of commodity buying interest thanks to a better-than-expected U.S. jobs report for April.


Wheat futures are mostly 6 to 9 cents lower in Chicago, while Kansas City is down 7 to 12 cents and Minneapolis is 7 to 9 cents lower.

  • Wheat futures are following the corn market lower this morning as traders appear more concerned with booking some profits ahead of the weekend than market fundamentals.
  • Results from the Wheat Quality Council's tour of the HRW Wheat Belt showed yield potential down from year-ago, but market reaction signals traders had expected even greater declines.
  • Monday's crop condition update will likely reflect ongoing deterioration of the HRW wheat crop; it was again nipped by freezing temperatures overnight
  • Meanwhile, planting delays continue in spring wheat country. Much of this region is again covered in snow.


Live cattle futures are posting slight to moderate losses in early trade. Feeder cattle futures are narrowly mixed.

  • Traders are taking advantage of recent price strength to book some profits ahead of the weekend.
  • Strength has stemmed from gains in the boxed beef market. Choice boxed beef values rose above the $200 mark for the second time ever yesterday, and prices are just 60 cents away from the all-time record of $201.18. Select cuts have also improved this week but the lofty prices have slowed movement, raising concerns a seasonal peak is near.
  • Cash cattle trade is thought to be largely complete after additional sales yesterday. Trade in the Southern Plains took place at mostly $128 to $130, steady to higher compared to last week. Prices of $130 to $131 in northern locations hit new records.
  • The fact that the market is displaying little urgency to narrow the nearly $5 gap the front-month contract holds to the lower end of cash trade signals uncertainty about how demand will fare in the face of a weak economy.


Lean hog futures are mixed with a downside bias in early trade.

  • Traders are evening positions amid mixed fundamentals ahead of the weekend.
  • The pork cutout value rose 82 cents yesterday and movement was decent at 352.3 loads.
  • But as cash market gains have outpaced those of the product market recently, packers are cutting in the red. As a result, bids are mostly steady today as most have near-term needs covered.
  • Wet, heavy snow in south-central Minnesota and Iowa yesterday has caused the roofs of new hog buildings to collapse.
  • The sharp premium nearby contracts maintain to the cash hog index are limiting gains.
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