Market Snapshot, 10:00am CT (VIP) -- August 22, 2012

August 22, 2012 04:33 AM

While corn has seen mixed trade at times this morning, most contracts are currently posting slight losses.

While Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour results from Indiana and Nebraska showed significant declines in yield estimates compared to the year prior and the three-year average, they were an improvement from even poorer results in South Dakota and Ohio. This allowed some light profit-taking this morning.

But the reality remains Tour findings have been poor and that more price rationing may be needed as the crop might be even smaller than USDA estimated in August.

Gulf corn basis is steady this morning, which is an improvement from last week's levels that saw basis for nearby delivery soften due to the availability of supplies from the South.

Soybean futures have softened to post losses ranging from 1 to 9 cents.

Traders in the soybean market continue to oscillate between profit-taking after impressive contract-high gains yesterday and building more weather premium into prices.

Yesterday's Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour showed sharply lower pod count results from Nebraska and Indiana add concerns about small soybean supplies.

Adding support is Stats Canada's canola production estimate of 15.410 million metric tons (MMT). While this was a record, it still fell short of pre-report expectations.

Gulf basis levels are steady to firmer this morning, signaling still-strong demand and/or tight supplies.

Wheat futures have extended losses to trade roughly 6 to 10 cents lower.

With corn and soybean futures under pressure this morning, wheat is vulnerable to profit-taking after strong gains yesterday. Adding incentive to do so is a firmer dollar and diminished investor risk appetite due to fresh data pointing to a weak global economy.

Forecasts for much-needed rains in the U.S. Central and Southern Plains, which would be timely for improving soil moisture ahead of winter wheat planting, are adding pressure.

This morning's Stats Canada crop production report is neutral for wheat, as the all wheat production peg of 27.013 MMT was within expectations.

August live cattle are slightly firmer while deferred months posting moderate losses. Feeder cattle futures are mixed.

While the August contract is in line with last week's cash cattle prices, deferred months are at a premium to that $120 to $121 trade, leaving them vulnerable to some profit-taking around signs the boxed beef market may be topping.

Yesterday boxed beef values were narrowly mixed, though the softer prices led to improved movement.

Weak Japanese export data and disappointing U.S. existing home sales data took a bite out of investor risk appetite, adding light pressure to futures.

Feeder cattle futures are enjoying some light short-covering on weakness in the corn market today; but buying interest is limited as the market isn't convinced corn has topped.

Lean hog futures gapped lower on the open and are posting moderate to sharp losses.

A $2.09 plunge in the pork cutout value yesterday is weighing heavily on lean hog futures as this raises concern demand is beginning to lag supplies. This did encourage strong movement of 117.5 loads, however.

Cash hog bids are steady to lower this morning as supplies continue to expand seasonally. Last week average hog weights in Iowa and southern Minnesota rose 1.7 pounds.

Traders are also evening positions ahead of this afternoon's Cold Storage Report, which is expected to show pork stocks down 5.1% from month-ago to 561.8 million lbs. This would still represent record-high pork stocks for July, however.

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