Market Snapshot, 8:30 am CT (VIP) -- March 19, 2013

March 19, 2013 03:47 AM

Corn futures are mixed amid light bull spreading, although nearby contracts have moved off earlier highs.

  • May and July corn futures are firmer, while the rest of the market is down 2 to 4 cents amid bull spreading.
  • May corn moved to its highest level since May 6 as traders recognize old-crop stocks are tight, but has backed off from the overnight high.
  • New-crop corn still has a lot of work ahead of it to clearly suggest a short-term low is in place.


Soybean futures have softened to trade 2 to 4 cents lower

  • Soybean futures favored a firmer tone through the early morning hours, but have softened ahead of the start of open-outcry as traders remain cautious about adding long positions due to uncertainties in the euro-zone.
  • Reuters reports a a Chinese soybean buyer has canceled around 2 MMT of Brazilian soybeans due to shipping delays. But it's uncertain if the firm will replace the canceled cargoes immediately.
  • Gulf soybean basis is steady to 5 cents lower for nearby shipment, which signals demand for old-crop beans has softened. But shipping delays in Brazil could result in one more push to secure supplies from the United States.


Chicago wheat is 1 to 2 cents lower, with Kansas City and Minneapolis wheat fractionally to 1 cent firmer.

  • Pressure on wheat is being limited following yesterday's losses, especially since Chicago May wheat is trading at around a dime discount to May corn futures.
  • SovEcon says Russia's exportable grain stocks will remain tight for a second straight year. The firm sees exportable grain stocks of 16 MMT for 2013-14 compared to 15.1 MMT in 2012-13.
  • Meanwhile, moisture demands are rising for greening wheat in the Southern Plains and there's little rain in the near-term forecast. That should limit selling interest.


Live cattle futures are called steady to firmer on followthrough from yesterday's modest gains.

  • Futures are expected to see followthrough from yesterday's gains, but upside potential will be limited as traders remain concerned about beef demand.
  • Choice boxed beef values rose 8 cents yesterday while Select declined 22 cents. Movement was light at only 132 loads to start the week.
  • This week's cattle showlist is up slightly from last week, which reduces packers' willingness to bid up for cattle.
  • But another wintry blast across the western Corn Belt is stressing livestock and limiting weight gain.


Lean hog futures are called steady to firmer, but the upside will be limited to short-covering.

  • Lean hog futures are expected to work higher on short-covering, but upside potential will be limited by concerns about pork demand.
  • While the pork cutout value was up 53 cents yesterday, movement of just 21.75 loads keeps demand concerns on traders' minds.
  • While cutting margins are in the black, demand for cash hogs remains lackluster as packers say they are having no difficulty securing supplies.
  • The cash market is called steady to weaker, but some firmer bids could be seen today due to travel disruptions across areas of the Midwest.
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