Market Snapshot, Noon CT (VIP) -- December 3, 2013

December 3, 2013 06:05 AM

Corn futures continue to trade 2 to 4 cents higher.

  • Corn futures are edging higher in corrective short-covering with additional support coming from a lower U.S. dollar index.
  • Early pressure came from reports China will likely reject additional cargoes of U.S. corn after finding more unapproved GMO content. But fears about a drop-off in demand from the country were likely overstated as the country is expected to approve the variety (MIR 162) soon.
  • Informa Economics reportedly lowered its Argentine corn crop estimate by 500,000 MT to 70.6 MMT. But the firm also reportedly raised its corn production estimate for Ukraine by 1 MMT to 28.5 MMT.
  • News Brazil may start producing ethanol from corn as the record 2012-13 crop has left the country with surplus supplies is also supportive.
  • Gulf corn basis is steady for immediate delivery in late-morning trade, 1 cent weaker for January and February delivery and steady for deferred shipment.


Soybean futures are steady to 6 cents higher at midday with deferred contracts leading gains.

  • Corrective short-covering along with the weaker U.S. dollar index are lifting the soybean futures this morning after opening lower initially.
  • Soybean futures are also benefiting from spillover support from both corn and wheat futures.
  • Traders are reluctant to press soybean futures sharply lower as demand remains strong.
  • Tempering gains are prospects of a record-large crop out of South America but shipping issues remain an issue on that continent. Informa Economics reportedly raised its Brazilian production estimate by 1.3 MMT to 88 MMT today.
  • Strong crushing margins and slow farmer sales are encouraging some soy dealers at interior locations to boost basis at interior locations.
  • Gulf soybean basis is steady in late-morning trading.


Wheat futures are stronger in late morning trading with HRW wheat up 1 to 8 cents, SRW up 2 to 4 cents and HRS wheat 1 to 5 cents higher.

  • Forecasts for sub-zero temps as far south as the Central High Plains and their potential impact on the HRW crop are boosting wheat futures today.
  • The weaker U.S. dollar index and gains in the corn market are also providing incentive to cover short positions.
  • Price gains are being limited by news that the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics (ABARES) raised its 2013-14 Aussie wheat crop forecast to 26.213 MMT from 24.467 MMT previously, citing favorable weather in Western Australia.
  • Egypt bought 60,000 MT of Romanian wheat in its tender this morning, disappointing hopes the U.S. would get some of the business.
  • Gulf SRW basis is steady in late-morning trading after surging 9 cents for January to March delivery earlier this morning. The early strength has traders looking for a boost in export sales.


Live cattle and feeder cattle futures have softened to post slight losses at midday.

  • Prices are on the defensive as traders worry about demand due to the major slowdown in movement yesterday in the boxed beef market and weakness in prices this morning.
  • Choice boxed beef is down 47 cents and Select beef is down 95 cents this morning. Movement improved to 99 loads, which is better than yesterday's total load count for the day.
  • Firmer beef prices along with tighter showlist estimates could give feedlots an edge in cash negotiations this week.
  • Showlists are down at all locations but especially so in Nebraska, which is expected to see a 30,000-head drop over last week's guess range.
  • Feeder cattle futures are weaker on the small gains in corn futures.


Lean hog futures have softened to post moderate to sharp losses.

  • The wide premium December futures hold to the cash hog index has traders pressing prices lower. Today's action has narrowed that premium slightly more than $3.00.
  • The cash hog market is steady to higher this morning as packers are enjoying strong cutting margins and they are in need of supplies coming off of the Thanksgiving holiday.
  • The pork cutout value fell $1.19 today after yesterday's gain. Movement picked up to an impressive 264.26 loads this morning following yesterday's slow 257.3 loads for the day.
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