Market Snapshot, 8:30 am CT -- July 17, 2012

July 17, 2012 03:38 AM

Corn has been choppy, but nearby contracts are currently 8 to 10 cents higher amid weather concerns.

  • The corn market opened higher, set back on profit-taking, but is now trading higher as temps are set to rise and possibly set new records in areas of the Corn Belt today.
  • Yesterday's crop condition report showed more deterioration than expected. Once plugged into our weighted table, yesterday's ratings show the crop dipped another 23 points to 280 on our 0 to 500 (being perfect) scale.
  • December corn has come within a penny of the $7.90 level -- just 10 cents away from many traders' upside objection of $8.00.


Soybeans have improved to mixed trade, with nearbys pennies cents higher.

  • Upside potential has been limited as some traders are opting to take some profits out of the market after November soybeans opened above the key $16.00 level.
  • But pressure is being limited by crop stress. Yesterday's condition ratings declined more than traders expected. Our weighted index shows the crop dropped 11 points to 292 on a scale of 0 to 500 (being perfect).
  • The Palmer Drought Index shows much of Iowa needs up to 12 inches of rain to return soil moisture levels to normal. Areas of the eastern Belt need up to 15 inches.


Wheat is favoring a firmer tone in mixed trade, with buying being limited by some profit-taking.

  • Nearby contracts at all three exchanges are firmer, with September Chicago wheat trading at more than a dollar premium to September corn.
  • Stories of global crop concerns continue to circulate, raising expectations for stronger U.S. wheat exports. The latest is government data out of Kazakhstan, which shows the grain crop deteriorating.
  • Meanwhile, winter wheat harvest is underway in Manitoba, Canada, with reports of yields in the 60 bu. to 80 bu. per acre range.


Cattle futures are called to open steady to lower on demand concerns.

  • The boxed beef market is off to mixed start. Choice values were 10 cents lower yesterday and Select declined 38 cents on decent movement of 192 loads.
  • This week's cattle showlist is smaller in Kansas and Texas but larger in Nebraska. Key will be where cash trade begins at this week, as southern feedlots will hold out for at least steady bids.
  • Strength in the corn market is negative for feeder cattle futures. But feeders are severely oversold and due for a corrective bounce.


Lean hog futures are called to open steady to weaker on demand concerns.

  • Packers' demand for cash hogs remains light due to negative profit margins.
  • Pork cutout values slipped 68 cents yesterday, raising concerns about consumer demand amid rising temps.
  • Pressure on August hogs, which are now the lead-month contract, should be limited as the contract is trading at around a $8 discount to the cash index.
  • The cash hog market is called steady to $1 lower.
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