Market Snapshot, 8:30 am CT (VIP) -- August 29, 2012

August 29, 2012 03:52 AM

Corn is mostly 3 to 5 cents higher on concerns about heavy rains and strong winds.

  • Hurricane Isaac has made landfall and is expected to move north and eastward. While the heaviest of remnant rains are expected to miss the central Corn Belt, rains and winds associated with this storm are raising concern about crop losses due to weak corn stalks.
  • Traders are also optimistic the U.S. and euro-zone central banks will announce fresh monetary stimulus measures at the Federal Reserve's annual meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which begins tomorrow.


Soybean futures are 6 to 11 cents higher, with nearbys leading gains.

  • Soybean futures are the upside leader this morning as hot, dry conditions across the Corn Belt are stressing crops. The best chance for rains is later this week as remnants from Hurricane Isaac may reach southern and eastern areas of the Corn Belt.
  • There is no fresh demand news this morning, but until there are signs of price rationing in the soybean market, there is still fresh upside potential for futures. China continues to be the top buyer of U.S. beans.
  • Meanwhile, the China National Grain and Oils Information Center says China's soybean inventories are a record 22 million metric tons (MMT) -- enough to offset a decline in imports if needed.


Wheat futures at all three exchanges are posting solid gains with nearby Chicago futures leading the way.

  • Wheat is enjoying spillover from neighboring pits, as well as speculation Russia may announce export curbs following a meeting on the grain situation on Friday.
  • There are also concerns about too-dry conditions in western Australia damaging the winter wheat there.
  • But upside potential may be limited, as there are signs U.S. prices are not competitive on the global market.


Live cattle futures are called to open steady to lower on concerns about beef demand.

  • The upcoming Labor Day weekend is the last beef holiday of the summer and traders are concerned beef demand will taper off in September.
  • Boxed beef prices were 7 (Choice) to 23 (Select) cents lower yesterday on lackluster movement of 135 loads.
  • Even though this week's showlist is smaller, there's little demand for cattle ahead of the extended holiday weekend, which limits upside potential for nearby futures.


Lean hog futures are called to open steady to lower on weakness in the pork market.

  • The pork cutout value slipped another $1.46 yesterday, but the good news is movement improved to 136.25 loads. Still, packers have seen profit margins improve this week as losses in the cash market have outpaced those in the pork cutout market.
  • The cash hog market is called $1 to $2 lower today as packers are having no difficulty securing needed supplies and are nearly full for the week.
  • Pressure on nearby lean hog futures should be limited by the sharp discount those contracts hold to the cash index.
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