Corn futures have improved to post gains of 1 to 2 cents in most contracts.
- Short-covering continues to dominate trading today as traders view yesterday's selloff as overdone.
- Adding to the positive view is further evidence of strong export demand coming from this morning's Weekly Export Sales Rata. It showed corn sales of 960,600 MT for 2013-14 and 37,900 MT for 2014-15, which met expectations. Exports were also impressive at nearly 1.426 MMT.
- New-crop futures continue to find support from worries about cold temps across much of the Corn Belt and even some snow. This suggests a late start for corn planting, making it difficult for new-crop corn futures to buy acres from soybeans.
- Traders are shrugging off news Informa Economics boosted its Brazilian corn crop estimate from 65.45 MMT to 68.0 MMT. It raised its Argentina corn crop estimate by 400,000 MT to 23.0 MMT.
- New crop futures are gaining light support from new Informa Economics boosted its 2014-15 Ukraine corn estimate by 3 MMT to 26 MMT. If realized, that would be 4.9 MMT smaller than that country's 2013-14 crop.
Old-crop soybeans are 5 to 9 cents higher while new-crop are mixed with an upside bias.
- Short-covering is lifting soybean futures today, as well. Traders view yesterday's losses as overdone. But futures are well off their early highs.
- Technical traders are watching November beans, which are again testing resistance at $12.00.
- Supporting futures is this morning's weekly export sales tally of 66,200 MT for 2013-14 and 19,300 MT for 2014-15. The tally was light, but it was within expectations and included no major cancellations. Importantly, China was the lead buyer.
- Exports of 659,400 MT with China as the primary recipient were also impressive.
- News that Brazil's congress has rejected an amendment to impose new taxes on domestic buyers is being digested by the market.
- Informa Economics lowered its soybean crop estimate from 88.8 MMT to 86.75 MMT.
Wheat futures have backed off from earlier gains with HRW now mixed and SRW and HRW up 1 to 3 cents.
- News Informa Economics projects the 2014-15 U.S. winter wheat crop at 1.616 billion bu., up 82 million from 2013-14 introduced some profit-taking back into the wheat market.
- Nearby futures found support earlier from today's strong weekly wheat export sales of 336,400 MT for 2013-14 and 310,500 MT for 2014-15, which topped expectations. Exports of 523,100 MT were also solid.
- News banks are tightening payment procedures for Russian grain exporters amid geopolitical unrest is providing light support for the market. However, how much this will impact trade in the region is unclear.
- The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations cut its global 2013-14 wheat crop forecast by 2 MMT to 702 MMT.
Live cattle futures continue to trade slightly higher while feeder cattle futures are sharply higher, with deferred contracts posting new contract highs.
- Live cattle futures are higher as traders work to narrow the $5 or more discount nearbys hold to last week's cash cattle trade at $150 to $152 on the Southern Plains.
- Traders are looking for lower cash trade this week, but a $5 decline is not expected.
- Slaughter supplies are up and packers are cutting in the red. However, the recent uptick in wholesale beef is erasing some of the red ink for packers.
- Providing some negative news is this morning's wholesale beef market. Choice beef is down 69 cents and Select is off $1.19. Movement, however, is a strong 102 loads. This follows strong movement yesterday on higher prices.
- Today's weekly beef export sales tally of 13,800 MT for 2014 is viewed as positive and adds to several weeks of solid export sales.
- Strong followthrough buying after penetrating resistance has feeder cattle futures soaring. Some deferred months have moved to new contract highs.
Lean hog futures continue to trade moderately to sharply lower with the July contract down the daily $3.00 limit.
- Lean hog futures are sharply lower on ideas the market has posted a major top.
- This morning's pork cutout report is adding to that negative view. The pork cutout value is down $1.78 on lackluster movement of 165.21 loads.
- The $5 discount the front-month contract holds to the cash index is limiting the selloff in that contract.
- Cash hog continue to trade mostly steady today. Some plants have reduced kill hours or days of operation in order to offset a shortage of hogs related to the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV).
- The National Animal Health Laboratory Network reports 247 positive PEDV cases were reported the week ending March 23, which is down from last week's 270.
- Export demand the week ended March 27 improved notably from recent lackluster tallies.