Market Snapshot, 8:30 am CT (VIP) -- March 12, 2013

March 12, 2013 03:42 AM

Corn futures are mixed amid bull spreading.

  • Old-crop corn futures are up 1 to 4 cents with new-crop futures steady to 2 cents lower amid bull spreading due to tight available old-crop supplies.
  • Gulf corn basis is steady to 2 cents firmer this morning to stand 73 cents over May futures for immediate delivery. Continued strength in Gulf basis reflects improved demand but is also due to tight available supplies.
  • Sources report private Chinese feedmills have purchased around 600,000 MT of 2013-crop U.S. corn on the recent price drop, leading to calls for the government to issue more import quotas.


Soybean futures are 3 to 7 cents softer on profit-taking.

  • Soybean futures are weaker this morning on profit-taking and ideas demand for old-crop U.S. soybeans will soon wane as focus turns to the availability of new-crop South American supplies.
  • However, long lines waiting for Brazilian soybeans at the ports is expected to keep some business coming to the United States.
  • Gulf soybean basis is 1 to 2 cents higher for immediate delivery to stand 85 cents above May futures. While this reflects the tight old-crop stocks situation, it also signals some fresh demand news may be on the horizon.


Wheat futures are favoring a weaker tone in mixed trade.

  • Nearby Chicago and Minneapolis wheat futures are marginally higher this morning, with the rest of the market fractionally to 2 cents lower.
  • Wheat remains in a follower's role, as the market searches for a price that improves demand. This is reflected by a widening of the corn/wheat spread.
  • This morning May Chicago wheat is trading at a 10-plus cent discount to May corn futures.
  • Recent moisture improvements across the Central and Southern Plains are also weighing on new-crop futures. State crop reports reflect the timeliness of the rains, especially with Kansas wheat greening up.


Live cattle futures are called mixed as traders wait on the cash market for direction.

  • Live cattle are expected to be see a choppy start following yesterday's gains as traders wait on direction from the cash market.
  • The boxed beef market is off to a less-than-impressive start, with Choice value down 40 cents and Select up 67 cents on light movement of 103 loads on Monday.
  • This week's cattle showlist is up slightly in Nebraska, Kansas and Texas, giving feedlots less bargaining power unless beef movement picks up.
  • A choppy tone in the corn market is expected to lead to two-sided price action in feeder cattle futures.


Lean hog futures are called mixed, with buying limited to short-covering.

  • Futures are expected to see a mixed start, with some followthrough from yesterday's losses possible.
  • Nearby futures could also face pressure from the premium those contracts hold to the cash index.
  • Meanwhile, the cash hog market is called steady to weaker today amid light demand. Despite a 69-cent gain in the pork cutout value yesterday, packer margins tightened.
  • Improved weather across the Midwest is also expected to increase livestock marketings, further limiting packers' need to bid up for supplies.
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