Market Snapshot, 8:30 am CT (VIP) -- January 24, 2013

January 24, 2013 02:42 AM

Corn futures are 4 to 5 cents lower on followthrough from yesterday's losses.

  • A combination of followthrough from yesterday's losses, a lack of fresh news and slight firmness in the dollar index is pressuring corn futures this morning.
  • The Weekly Export Sales Report is delayed until tomorrow due to Monday's government holiday.
  • Forecasts for rains in central Argentina overnight and milder temps are adding to profit-taking pressure in the corn pit.
  • March corn futures are nearly 20 cents below Tuesday's high, although no technical chart damage has been done.


Old-crop soybean futures are posting double-digit losses, with new-crop futures moving off session lows to trade 6 to 8 cents lower.

  • New-crop soybean futures moved off session lows on news China has bought 510,000 MT of soybeans and an unknown buyer has purchased 113,000 MT of soybeans -- all for 2013-14.
  • But buying is being limited by improved weather in southern Brazil and central Argentina, while beneficial conditions continue across northern Brazil.
  • China's flash purchasing mangers' index rose to a two-year high of 51.9 in January, which is also supportive for commodity markets, but outside markets are choppy this morning.
  • The dollar is barely firmer, crude oil is firmer and gold is sharply lower this morning.


Nearby Chicago and Kansas City wheat futures are mostly 7 to 8 cents lower, with Minneapolis mostly 5 cents lower.

  • Without fresh news to digest, wheat futures are seeing spillover pressure from neighboring pits.
  • Wheat needs a dose of fresh export news to lift bulls' spirits and traders will have to wait until tomorrow for the weekly export sales data.
  • Russia says it plans to sell around 3 MMT of grain intervention stocks by June 30 in an attempt to ease domestic prices. The ag ministry says there are 3.33 MMT of grain remaining in government storage.
  • Meanwhile, dry conditions in the U.S. Southern Plains remains on traders' minds, but with the crop in dormancy, this is not a major market factor. The weekly drought monitor shows slight expansion of drought in the heart of the HRW Wheat Belt.


Live cattle futures are called to open mixed as traders search for a low.

  • Live cattle futures firmed into the close yesterday despite news that cash cattle trade had begun in Texas and Kansas at $122, which is down $3 from most trade last week.
  • February live cattle are trading at a slight premium to last week's cash trade, which opens the door to fresh selling. But the tightening supply situation and the fact futures remain oversold is expected to lead to choppy price action.
  • Traders will also turn their attention to evening positions ahead of tomorrow afternoon's Cattle on Feed Report. The report is expected to show On Feed at 95.6%, Placements at 104.1% and Marketings at 93.2% of year-ago levels.


Lean hog futures are called to open mixed amid varied demand for cash hogs.

  • February lean hog futures are trading at around a dollar discount to the cash index, which should help limit downside risk in futures today.
  • The cash hog market is expected to be mostly steady today as packers work to improve profit margins. Most packers have secured this week's needs, but note supplies have tightened, which could lead to support in futures this morning.
  • Pork cutout values firmed 22 cents yesterday, but movement was light with 54.8 loads changing hands.
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