Market Snapshot, 8:30 am CT (VIP) -- July 31, 2012

July 31, 2012 03:39 AM

Corn has turned narrowly mixed as earlier gains have been trimmed.

  • Corn enjoyed light followthrough from yesterday's gains at points this morning amid ongoing crop concerns as there's little meaningful rain in the near-term forecast. But profit-taking pressure has trimmed gains.
  • Yesterday's crop condition report showed a slowed pace of deterioration, as USDA lowered the portion of crop rated "good" to "excellent" by two percentage points -- slightly less than traders excepted.
  • Gulf basis is steady to weaker this morning to suggest rationing is ongoing.


Soybeans are mostly 5 to 10 cents higher, fueled by worries rains won't come in time to save the crop.

  • Soybeans are seeing followthrough from yesterday's gains amid ongoing drought worries. With little rain in the near-term forecast, traders are increasingly concerned yields will decline during the key pod-filling stage.
  • Yesterday's crop condition report showed 29% of the crop in "good" to "excellent" shape -- down by two percentage points -- which was about as expected.
  • Gulf basis is steady to lower for immediate delivery this morning, but steady to firmer for fall delivery.


Wheat is choppy with a downside bias as some profit-taking has surfaced.

  • Traders are looking to put some profits in the bank as the corn market is not providing strong spillover support.
  • Russia's ag ministry has narrowed its estimate of the 2012 grain crop to 80 million metric tons (MMT) from the previous range of 80 MMT to 85 MMT. Russia's prime minister says the country will retail its grain exportable surplus despite lower harvest prospects.
  • Meanwhile, USDA reports spring wheat harvest is 28% complete, which could result in building harvest-related hedge pressure.
  • Jordan purchased 100,000 metric tons (MT) of wheat. Export sources say the wheat will be sourced from Ukraine or elsewhere in the Black Sea region.


Live cattle futures are called mixed as traders wait on clearer cash signals.

  • Traders are watching cash signals, with uncertainty about when trade will begin. The boxed beef market got off to a solid start, with Choice values up 68 cents and Select up 75 cents yesterday on decent movement of 150 loads.
  • This week's cattle showlist is down in Kansas and Texas, but up in Nebraska. While up slightly overall from last week, traders expected an even larger showlist after many feedlots didn't clean up lots last week.
  • Feeder cattle are expected to be weaker due to concerns about tightening corn supplies.


Lean hog futures are called to open higher amid improving technicals.

  • Futures are expected to build on yesterday's gains; enjoying followthrough buying from the high-range close.
  • But upside potential could be limited by concerns about the pork market. The pork cutout value softened 36 cents yesterday to keep packers' profit margins in the red.
  • The cash hog market is called steady with some weaker undertones as packers work to improve profit margins and due to an increase in sow slaughter (although that is supportive for deferred futures).
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