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

May 3, 2013 07:13 AM

Old-crop corn futures have improved to trade 3 to 5 cents higher while new-crop is down marginally to 2 cents.

  • The market appears unconcerned about substantial snow across much of the upper Midwest and the planting delays this implies. Rather, they are focusing on a warmer, drier forecast for this region next week, which they expect to accelerate planting activity.
  • The market is also brushing off a five-day forecast for major precip in areas of the central and southern Corn Belt.
  • Tight old-crop supplies remain a source of support for old-crop corn in light of new-crop production uncertainty. Basis levels around the country remain historically strong.
  • This is also encouraging some bull spreading activity ahead of the weekend.
  • Traders are brushing off news Informa Economics reportedly expects Brazil corn production of 76.3 MMT, up 1.7 MMT from the firm's previous forecast.


Soybean futures are 20-plus cents higher in old-crop contracts while new-crop beans are posting gains in the teens.

  • Tight supplies are supporting old-crop futures and spread unwinding with corn is supporting new-crop futures.
  • Traders appear unconcerned with the prospect that corn planting delays may cause some to switch acres to soybeans. There is a growing consensus that the economic incentive of planting corn will prevent any major shift.
  • Outside markets are also now supportive of commodity buying interest thanks to a better-than-expected U.S. jobs report for April.
  • Informa Economics reportedly pegged the Argentine soy crop at 53.0 MMT and the Brazilian soybean crop at 82.5 MMT.
  • Gulf basis was steady at midday, signaling fresh demand news is not on the horizon.


Wheat futures have improved to favor the upside in mixed trade in Chicago while Kansas City and Minneapolis wheat are mostly slightly lower.

  • Results from the Wheat Quality Council's tour of the HRW Wheat Belt showed yield potential down from year-ago, but the declines were not as large as some had anticipated.
  • Monday's crop condition update will likely reflect ongoing deterioration of the HRW wheat crop; it was again nipped by freezing temperatures overnight.
  • Informa Economics Reportedly expects USDA to project 2013 winter wheat production at 1.529 billion bu. next week, which would be down 117 million bu. from last year. Informa reportedly estimates total acreage abandonment of 8 million acres.
  • Meanwhile, planting delays continue in spring wheat country. Much of this region is again covered in snow.


Live and feeder cattle futures have softened to trade slightly to sharply lower ahead of midday.

  • Traders are actively reducing risk and booking some profits ahead of the weekend.
  • While Choice cuts climbed another 27 cents this morning, Select cuts fell 37 cents and movement slowed to 70 loads.
  • While Choice boxed beef cuts are now within 33 cents of the all-time high, this has come at the expense of movement. In light of an overall weak economy, there is increasing concern such prices are not sustainable.
  • Traders have also extended the gap nearby futures hold to this week's cash cattle trade at steady to slightly higher prices of mostly $128 to $129 on the Southern Plains. This signals they expect softer cash prices are also ahead.
  • Strength in old-crop corn futures are adding to pressure on feeder cattle futures.


Lean hog futures are mostly slightly lower on light trade at midday.

  • Traders are favoring the downside as they even positions ahead of the weekend.
  • But countering this are recent signs of improved domestic demand. This morning, the pork cutout value surged $2.69 and movement was solid at 185 loads.
  • But as cash market gains have outpaced those of the product market recently, packers are cutting in the red. As a result, bids are mostly steady today as most have near-term needs covered.
  • Wet, heavy snow in south-central Minnesota and Iowa yesterday has caused the roofs of new hog buildings to collapse.
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