Corn futures are 7 to 13 cents higher, but the market is trading off its early highs.
- The emotional reaction to the soggy weekend over much of the Midwest with more rain in the forecast this week sent futures roaring out of the gate.
- December futures gapped higher and filled the downside gap left May 6 by surging above $5.52, which is triggering followthrough support from technical-minded traders.
- The delayed planting progress and need for replanting on flooded-out acres has traders thinking not all intended corn acres will actually get planted, which is supportive to new-crop futures, especially, as well as to old-crop contracts as new-crop supplies will not be available to the market as soon as expected.
- Traders are looking for this afternoon's planting progress update to show 86% of the corn crop planted as of May 26.
- Corn futures are also seeing spillover strength from sharp gains in soybean futures.
- At 12.427 million bu., weekly corn export inspections were down 2.133 million bu. from last week's tally and within expectations.
- At midday, Gulf basis is unchanged after firming 2 cents for immediate delivery earlier.
Soybean futures are 28 to 35 cents higher at midday with new-crop leading gains.
- The weekend soaking shot soybean futures sharply higher and futures have maintained most of the early gains.
- Soybean plantings are slipping into serious delay areas even though soybeans have a wider planting window. But prospects for more rain this week are supporting the aggressive upswing in prices even though the delays also mean some corn acres will likely be switched to beans.
- Technical buying also kicked as November futures traded to price levels not seen since the end of March.
- Soybean export inspections of 3.388 million bu. are down 368,000 bu. from last week and within expectations.
- Traders also got positive export news as USDA announced a 120,000-MT soybean sale to China for 2013-14 delivery this morning.
- In addition, reports Chinese analysts signal the country's soy demand is on the rise as China is working to build its poultry sector back up after the bird flu situation earlier this year is cited as a positive by traders.
- Gulf basis near midday is up a penny for late-July delivery and steady for other months.
Wheat futures are mostly 1 cents to 5 cents lower in Chicago, steady to 4 cents lower in Kansas City, but fractionally to 3 cents higher in Minneapolis.
- Futures initially enjoyed light short-covering on spillover strength from corn and soybeans.
- But strong gains in the U.S. dollar index has turned Chicago and Kansas City lower.
- News China National Grain and Oils Information Center says the country purchased as much as 650,000 MT of U.S. wheat last week is seen as already factored into prices.
- Some areas of the Plains are expected to receive major rain this week, but traders are shrugging off forecasts that those rains will miss the Southern Plains
- At 21.220 million bu., export inspections were near steady with last week's tally and just above traders' expectations.
Live cattle futures are slightly to moderately higher after a strong open. Feeder cattle futures are weaker.
- Several live cattle futures contracts gapped higher on the open in spillover from gains in grains. But futures have backed off those gains and are filling the gaps left on the open.
- Choice boxed beef cuts firmed 17 cents today to $209.04 and Select cuts firmed 20 cents; movement improved to 120 loads.
- But traders continue to look for a pullback in beef prices, especially after a weekend of media reports on shockingly high retail beef prices.
- The continuing wet forecast for the Midwest is not positive for grilling demand.
- Last week, cash cattle trade took place at $1.00 to $1.50 lower prices of $124 in the Southern Plains and $125 to $126 at northern locations.
- Nearby futures still hold a big discount to these prices.
- Gains in corn futures and the U.S. dollar are pressuring feeder cattle.
Lean hog futures are narrowly mixed at midday.
- Lean hog futures opened stronger and probed the gap area posted back in mid-February. But prices failed to fill the gap and have since slipped.
- Traders expect supplies to tighten seasonally and packer margins are positive, which is keeping bids mostly steady today as packers book needs for late-week kills.
- The pork cutout value fell $1.33 this morning, but movement is a moderate 157.9 loads.
- Strength in the U.S. dollar index is seen as a negative for pork exports.