Market Snapshot, Noon CT -- July 16, 2012

July 16, 2012 06:56 AM


Corn futures firmed ahead of midday to post gains in the upper 20s to low 30s.

  • Due to generally dry conditions, a poll of analysts by Reuters shows they expect USDA to reduce the amount of corn rated "good" to "excellent" by 5 percentage points to 35%.
  • The near-term forecast signals more condition declines likely lie ahead. Heat is expected to build this week with limited rain chances.
  • News that more than 1,000 irrigators across Nebraska were ordered to stop pumping water from rivers and streams until drought eases are adding to crop worries.
  • Weekly grain export inspections for the week ended July 12 signal some supply rationing has occurred, as inspections fell compared to last week and last year.


Soybeans continue to enjoy 30-plus-cent gains.

  • A Reuters poll of analysts shows they expect USDA to slash its crop condition rating by 5 percentage points to 35% "good" to "excellent" due expanding and intensifying drought across the Corn Belt.
  • The forecast for hot, dry conditions points to further declines and heightens concerns about supplies. Even considering a trendline yield (which we are now far below), new-crop beans supplies were expected to be tight.
  • NOPA June soybean crush of 134.156 million bu. topped expectations.
  • Weekly soybean export inspections of 14.271 million bu. fell compared to last week but gained on last year's pace.


Chicago and Kansas City wheat are enjoying 20-plus cent gains; Minneapolis wheat is seeing gains in the 20s to 30s.

  • Wheat is enjoying spillover support from corn futures. A now-weaker dollar is also making it easier for wheat to rally.
  • USDA this morning announced a 107,214 metric ton (MT) wheat sale to Japan for 2012-13; 69,784 MT is hard red spring wheat and 37,430 MT is soft white wheat.
  • Also, news that Russia's Ag Minister expects the country to harvest 45.3 million metric tons (MMT) of wheat this year, compared to 56.2 MMT in 2011, adds to a slew of global crop concerns existing in China, Australia and Europe, in addition to the Former Soviet Union.
  • Weekly wheat export inspections of 14.913 million bu. were in line with last week's tally, but softened compared to last year's pace.


Cattle futures have moved off their lows to post slight to moderate losses. Feeder cattle futures remain at or near their $3.00 limit lower.

  • Traders are favoring the downside as they wait for more signs as to this week's cash cattle action. Nearby live cattle futures are at a premium to last week's $114 to $115 cash trade.
  • While high temps across the U.S. could trim consumer demand and boost near-term supplies as producers move more cattle to market, this will also limit animal weight gain and tighten the supply outlook down the road.
  • This morning Choice values rose 21 cents while Select cuts softened 45 cents amid decent movement of 108 loads. This was a welcome improvement as Choice values have fallen steadily for an extended period.
  • Feeder cattle futures are sharply to limit lower thanks to the ongoing rally in the corn pit.


Lean hog futures have softened slightly to favor the downside in mixed trade.

  • Pressure on the soon-to-be front month August lean hog contract (the July contract expires today) is being limited by the around $8 discount it holds to the cash hog index.
  • Also, recent improvement in pork movement lighter declines in pork cutout values has traders optimistic a low is near. Movement was also strong this morning.
  • But buying interest will remain limited to short-covering until the cash hog market improves, and this is contingent on packer profit margins turning positive. Bids are steady to lower today amid light demand.
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