Market Snapshot, Noon CT (VIP) -- August 13, 2012

August 13, 2012 06:54 AM

Corn futures have trimmed losses slightly to trade 9 to 12 cents lower.

  • Heavy pressure on soybean futures is spilling over to the corn market today.
  • But futures moved off their lows after the release of a weekly corn export inspections tally of 22.276 million bu., which improved over week-ago and topped expectations. This raises questions about whether enough supply rationing has occurred.
  • Countering this are softer basis levels and reports end-users are switching to other locations (i.e., Brazil) or commodities (wheat) to meet their needs.
  • The market is also readying for USDA's crop condition rating update this afternoon. Corn in the "good" to "excellent" category is expected to be unchanged at 23%.


Soybean futures have extended the downside move slightly to post losses in the 20s to 30s, with nearby contracts leading to the way.

  • Rains over the weekend with more in the forecast late-week is encouraging profit-taking in the soybean market.
  • Thanks to recent rains, traders expect USDA to raise its "good" to "excellent" rating for the bean crop by 1 percentage point to 30% this afternoon.
  • Traders are ignoring weekly export inspections that topped expectations at 15.698 million bu. and gained on last year's pace.


Wheat futures continue to post losses in the teens at all three locations.

  • USDA on Friday confirmed U.S. wheat supplies are not worrisome. This plus softer corn prices today have left wheat wheat vulnerable to profit-taking.
  • FranceAgriMer raised its soft wheat crop estimate to 36.5 million metric tons (MMT) from 35.9 MMT, saying late-season rains have boosted yields. This is in line with the estimate from France's farm ministry, which pegs the crop at 36.7 MMT.
  • Morocco's state-run grains authority received no bids in its tender to buy up to 300,000 metric tons (MT) of U.S. soft wheat.
  • Countering this, weekly wheat wheat export inspections of 22.205 million bu. topped expectations and gained on last year's pace.
  • Algeria purchased up to 400,000 MT of optional origin durum wheat, likely Canadian or U.S. origin.


Live cattle futures continue to enjoy gains ranging from slight to sharp. Feeder cattle futures are sharply higher.

  • Nearby cattle futures are benefiting from $1 to $2 higher cash cattle trade late Friday.
  • Traders are hopeful boxed beef action will justify higher cash trade again this week. This morning, Choice boxed beef cuts rose $1.14 while Select cuts rose 6 cents. Movement was slow, however, at 67 loads.
  • Feeder cattle are benefiting from pressure in the corn market.


Lean hog futures remain mixed with fall- and winter-month contracts slightly to sharply higher and far-deferred months moderately lower amid bull spreading.

  • Support for the soon-to-be front month October lean hog contract stems from the steep discount it holds to the cash hog index.
  • But seasonally expanding supplies are weighing on the cash hog market.
  • This has also put pressure on the pork product market. On Friday, the pork cutout value slipped 11 cents and movement slowed to 24 loads.
  • Light support also comes from the Obama administration's announcement it will buy up to $170 million worth of pork, chicken, lamb and catfish to ease drought-related hardship.
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