Corn futures are 2 to 11 cents higher, with nearbys leading gains.
- Buying in the corn pit is picking up ahead of midday, with futures finding spillover from sharp gains in the bean pit, as well as weather concerns.
- But buying has been limited by spreading with soybeans.
- Day 3 of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour revealed a corn yield in Iowa of 171.94 bu. per acre, which compares to 137.27 bu. per acre last year and a three-year average of 157.09 bu. per acre.
- In Minnesota, the Tour found a corn yield of 181.09 bu. per acre, which compares to 156.19 bu. per acre last year and a three-year average of 172.53 bu. per acre.
- The solid yield potential measured on the Tour is at risk if the weather doesn't cooperate.
- December corn futures still have their work cut out in order to signal a low has been posted.
- Gulf corn basis for immediate delivery has surged another 20 cents after rising a dime this morning to stand $1.55 over September futures.
Soybean futures are 30- to 40-plus cents higher in the nearby contracts, with deferred months 20-plus cents higher.
- Traders are reacting to forecasts for building heat across the Corn Belt next week.
- Private weather forecasters say a strengthening high pressure ridge could allow for some "ridge-rider" showers in the northern Corn Belt next week, but in the heart of the Belt, conditions are expected to be dry.
- Traders are also reacting to below-three-year-average soybean pod counts from the Midwest Crop Tour, as scouts say weather must be ideal to maximize crop potential measured this week.
- Day 4 of the Tour revealed Iowa soybean pod counts in a 3'x3' square of 927.30, which compares to 999.80 last year and a three-year average of 1,189.74.
- Minnesota soybean pod counts in a 3'x3' square totaled 869.42, which compares to 934.35 last year and a three-year average of 1,099.44.
- The technical posture of the soybean market has improved this week, with November beans posting a new-for-the-move high today.
- Gulf soybean basis is steady for immediate delivery to stand $1.40 over November futures.
SRW and HRW wheat are 2 to 6 cents higher on spillover from corn, with HRS 1 to 2 cents lower.
- SRW and HRW wheat are seeing some short-covering and spillover from corn, while HRS has been choppy today.
- Traders in the HRS pit still have higher-than-expected Canadian wheat crop pegs from Stats Canada from earlier in the week on their minds.
- Additional pressure on HRS is coming from harvest-related hedge pressure.
- But with no positive fresh demand news to digest, buying across all wheat flavors is being limited to short-covering and spillover from corn this morning.
- Wheat futures have a lot of work ahead of them to signal near-term lows have been posted.
- Gulf SRW wheat basis is steady this morning to stand 35 cents above September futures.
Live cattle futures are slightly lower in all but the front-month contract, which is firmer.
- Price action in live cattle futures have been choppy today.
- Very light cash cattle trade out of Nebraska has been reported within last week's price range. But traders are still waiting to see if $1 higher trade develops in the Southern Plains.
- Traders are also preparing for the Cattle on Feed Report, which is expected to show On Feed at 95.8%, Placements at 97.5% and Marketings at 104.4% of year-ago levels.
- Strength in the grain markets is weighing slightly on feeder cattle futures.
- Yesterday's Cold Storage Report was mildly supportive for the cattle market, as it showed stocks in frozen storage down from last month and slightly below expectations.
- Boxed beef prices are mixed this morning, with Choice values up 10 cents and Select down 68 cents. Movement is solid for the morning at 101 loads changing hands.
Lean hog futures have firmed amid short-covering.
- Nearby lean hog futures are due for a corrective bounce as they hold a sharp discount to the cash index.
- But buying is being limited as traders expect seasonal price pressure to build.
- Yesterday's Cold Storage Report revealed pork stocks in frozen storage below the previous month, but slightly above expectations.
- Pork cutout values have slipped another 91 cents this morning to tighten packers' profit margins. Movement is decent this morning, but not overly strong.
- The cash hog market is mostly lower today as packers have had no difficulty securing this week's supplies and are already working on next week's needs.