Corn futures are maintaining double-digit gains at midday.
- Traders remain focused on weather to start the week as a dry weekend and building heat in the Corn Belt this week may cause tip back and draw down yields.
- Adding to such concerns are some reports of tip back and dryness on the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour, while good (but not excellent) yield potential is being seen in in other areas. Final results from Ohio and South Dakota will be released tonight.
- Traders expect this afternoon's USDA Crop Condition update to show a one-point decline in the proportion of the crop rated "good" to "excellent" to 63%.
- Weekly corn export inspections of 7.061 million bu. fell short of expectations and came in well below week-ago.
- Gulf basis was up a penny for November delivery but steady for other months at midday.
Soybean futures continue to see gains in the 20s to 30s through the March contract.
- Forecast for heat in the Midwest this week and the next is lifting soybeans today. The precip outlook is varied. This could stress the filling bean crop.
- Traders are also keeping an eye on data from the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour, as scouts began taking samples on the western and eastern legs of the Tour this morning. Final results from Ohio and South Dakota will be released tonight.
- Traders will also receive an update on the condition of the soybean crop from USDA this afternoon. The market expects a one-percentage-point decrease in the amount of soybeans rated "good" to "excellent" to 63%.
- Weekly soybean export inspections of 5.294 million bu. topped expectations and rose from the week prior. This reminds that export demand has improved on the price break below $13.00.
Wheat futures are 6 to 7 cents higher for SRW wheat. HRW and HRS wheat are roughly 3 to 5 cents higher.
- Spillover from the corn market is lifting wheat futures today.
- Light support also stems from a surge in weekly export inspections for the week ended Aug. 15 to 33.787 million bushels. This topped expectations by a wide margin.
- Nevertheless, the market remains concerned that cheaper Black Sea region prices will cause the U.S. to lose out on export business.
- Harvest-related hedge pressure is also limiting buying interest in spring wheat. This will likely remain the case until half the crop is harvested. USDA will provide an update on harvest progress this afternoon.
Live cattle futures have firmed to post slight gains in all but the front-month. Feeder cattle futures have also reversed early losses to trade slightly to moderately higher.
- Higher-than-anticipated cash cattle trade at $123 in the Southern Plains on Friday is lifting futures. This was up $2 from the bulk of trade in the region the week prior. Nebraska saw $1 to $2 higher cash trade at $125 last week.
- Traders are hopeful more cash market strength is ahead as supplies are tightening seasonally and a rally appears to be underway.
- Traders are also encouraged that reaction to the temporary halt of Zilmax sales by Merck & Co. has been relatively limited.
- Boxed beef prices firmed 83 cents this morning, but Select fell 72 cents and movement slowed to 66 loads. Traders will continue to watch the beef market for signs of resistance to higher prices.
- Strength in the corn market is pressuring feeder cattle futures this morning.
Lean hog futures are posting slight losses in most contracts this morning.
- Cash hog bids are steady to sharply lower today as supplies are building seasonally and packer demand is light.
- The pork cutout value firmed 37 cents this morning but movement was relatively light at 152 loads.
- The market is also seeing some technical-based selling as futures have closed last week's big upside gap.
- October lean hogs are still at more than a $15 discount to the cash hog index, limiting selling interest.