Corn futures are trading mostly 6 to 9 cents lower ahead of afternoon trade.
- Bearish attitudes and non-threatening weather are keeping pressure on the corn market at midday. Technical-based selling pressure is also price-negative.
- The lack of threatening weather continues as the dominant factor. Rains have swept across Minnesota and parts of Iowa this morning and more rains are expected later today. Forecasts call for below-normal temps and normal to above-normal precip into mid-month.
- Traders are looking ahead to next week's first survey-based crop production estimate from USDA and they are expecting that figure to rise due to the currently non-threatening growing conditions.
- Informa Economics reportedly forecasts the corn crop at 14.140 billion bu. and the national average yield at 158.6 bu. per acre, both down from the firm's July projections.
- Weekly corn export inspections topped expectations at 15.120 million bushels. Traders were expecting 8 million to 14 million bushels.
Soybean futures are mixed at midday, with the August and far-deferred contracts slightly higher, while the September through March contracts are under pressure.
- A wave of rains moving across the Corn Belt today is price-negative as they come amid moderate temps. Weather forecasts call for cool temperatures and chances for rain through at least mid-month.
- Informa Economics reportedly forecasts the soybean crop at 32.66 billion bu. and the national average yield at 42.7 bu. per acre. Those are both lower than projected by the firm last month.
- China plans to auction 500,000 MT of state-owned soybean reserves on Thursday, which is price-negative, but this has been rumored for more than a week and prices are expected to be above those of imported beans.
- Weekly soybean export inspections totaled only 1.361 million bu., but that was within the guess range of 500,000 bu. to 3.5 million bushels.
SRW and HRW wheat futures continue to post double-digit losses. HRS futures are 7 to 8 cents lower.
- After trying to put in a seasonal low for the past couple weeks and failing to find active buying, there is some give-up selling in wheat today. Pressure on the corn market is adding to the negative tone.
- Technical-based selling weighed on wheat early as September Chicago futures dropped to a new contract low. While that technical-based selling has eased, the market has not been able to recover.
- Traders continue to view weather forecasts as positive for spring wheat crop development.
- Weekly wheat export inspections were within the guess range at 25.464 million bushels. Wheat export inspections are now 26% ahead of year-ago.
Live cattle futures have turned narrowly mixed. Feeder cattle are also mixed ahead of afternoon trading.
- Live cattle futures have weakened after a firmer start, as traders remain cautious buyers until cash fundamentals signal a low is in place.
- While the cash cattle market is showing signs a low is in the works, the boxed beef market continues to sputter.
- Morning boxed beef trade showed lower prices and movement of only 72 total loads. The boxed beef market must strengthen to encourage buying in live cattle futures.
- Feeder cattle futures are following the path of live cattle futures today. Weakness in the corn market provided initial support, but that has eased despite corn maintaining its losses.
Lean hog futures have extended earlier gains to trade 45 cents to $1.47 1/2 higher through the April contract. October hogs are leading gains.
- Traders continue to narrow the discount futures hold to the cash market. With August hogs soon to expire, traders are now more actively working to narrow the big discount the October contract holds to cash.
- But traders also expect hog supplies to build seasonally, therefore, justifying a fair discount in price.
- Cash hog bids are steady at most locations, though some weaker bids have surfaced despite positive packer margins. That signals packers are not concerned about securing needed supplies for later-week kills.