Market Snapshot, Noon CT (VIP) -- August 22, 2013

August 22, 2013 07:08 AM

Corn futures have extended early losses to trade double-digit lower in new-crop contracts.

  • Rains moving across drought areas of the Corn Belt are resulting in stepped up price pressure for new-crop futures.
  • Traders are also reacting to this morning's weekly export sales data that fell short of expectations. But sales of 434,400 MT for 2013-14 still signal demand is rebuilding.
  • Day 3 of the Midwest Crop Tour revealed a corn yield in Illinois of 170.48 bu. per acre, which compares to 121.60 bu. per acre last year and a three-year average of 148.04 bu. per acre. But countering this were disappointing results from western Iowa. Full results for Iowa will be released tonight, along with data from Minnesota.
  • Gulf basis has improved another penny for immediate delivery to reflect tightening supplies. It stands $1.25 over September futures.


Soybean futures are mixed with nearbys under pressure and deferred months higher.

  • Rains moving across drought areas of the Corn Belt are limiting buying, but traders remain unimpressed by pod counts so far on this week's Midwest Crop Tour.
  • And while this morning's weekly export sales data didn't meet traders' lofty expectations, it still represents solid demand, as sales of 926,000 MT were reported for 2013-14.
  • Day 3 of the Midwest Crop Tour revealed Illinois soybean pod counts in a 3'x3' square of 1,115.97, which is down from the three-year average of 1,149.47 and pod counts from western Iowa were very low. Final results from Iowa and Minnesota will be released tonight.
  • Gulf soybean basis is steady at midday to stand $1.40 over November futures for immediate delivery.


Wheat futures are 3 to 6 cents lower across all flavors.

  • Wheat futures are seeing spillover from the corn market, but losses have been limited on thoughts the downside is already overdone.
  • Strength in the U.S. dollar index, however, is adding to the negative tone as traders recognize global competition has increased.
  • But on a positive tone, this morning's weekly export sales data matched traders' expectations, with sales of 494,000 MT for 2013-14.
  • Concerns persist about wheat losing out on export business due to higher U.S. wheat prices.
  • After a 5-cent boost this morning, Gulf basis has stabilized.


Live cattle futures are slightly to moderately lower this morning on spillover from the hog pit.

  • Live cattle futures remain under light price pressure, largely on spillover from sharp losses in nearby lean hog futures.
  • Strength in the U.S. dollar index is adding to weakness in cattle futures.
  • Traders are also waiting on cash cattle trade to begin. Bids and asking prices remain $4 to $5 apart, signaling trade may not take place until Friday.
  • Choice boxed beef prices are 46 cents firmer this morning and Select is up 87 cents, but movement has slowed noticeably this week.
  • But weekly beef export sales of 16,100 MT represent strong export demand. This tally matched that of the previous week.
  • Traders are also readying for tomorrow's 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.
  • Feeders are mixed as weaker corn prices are encouraging some light short-covering.


Lean hog futures are moderately to sharply lower, with nearbys leading losses.

  • Nearby lean hog futures are seeing stepped up price pressure due to ongoing weakness in the pork market.
  • Pork cutout values have dropped sharply this week, as prices are down another $1.45 this morning. But on a positive note, this is encouraging a pickup in movement.
  • Packers have seen profit margins tighten this week. As a result of that and more plentiful market-ready supplies, cash bids are up to $1.50 lower today.
  • But nearby futures are trading at a steep discount to the cash index, which could result in short-covering at any time.
  • Weekly pork export sales fell 5,300 MT from week-ago to 7,100 MT the week ended Aug. 15.
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