Market Snapshot, Noon CT (VIP) -- May 6, 2013

May 6, 2013 06:55 AM

Corn futures have extended losses to trade 14 to 26 cents lower, with old-crop contracts leading the price decline.

  • Corn futures are being pressured by what the market perceives as a much-improved forecast for planting progress. The forecast for May 11-15 calls for a drier pattern, though temps may continue to trend below normal.
  • Based on Reuters poll, traders expect corn planting to be only 15% complete as of May 5. This would be up just 10 percentage points from last week and the slowest pace since 1984, when plantings of 10% complete was the slowest on record.
  • Weekly export inspections were light at just 6.506 million bu., which is yet another reminder of the very sluggish export pace.
  • Steady Gulf basis levels for near-term delivery signals fresh demand news is lacking.


Soybean futures have extended losses to trade mostly 13 to 16 cents lower.

  • Heavy spillover pressure from the corn market is weighing on soybeans. Plus, technical-based selling is pressuring the market.
  • Also, Cargill announced it will temporarily idle its Lafayette, Indiana, soy crushing plant due to poor margins and tight supplies.
  • A Reuters poll shows analysts expect planting to be reported at 4% complete as of Sunday. This would be the slowest bean planting pace since 1996.
  • Gulf soybean basis is fully steady at midday, suggesting there's no fresh export business on the horizon.


Wheat futures are trading mostly 16 to 18 cents lower in Chicago, mostly 18 to 20 cents lower in Kansas City and mostly 10 to 15 cents lower in Minneapolis.

  • Heavy spillover from corn and a firmer U.S. dollar index continues to weigh on wheat futures at midday.
  • While this afternoon's Crop Progress and Condition Report is expected to reflect continued spring wheat planting delays as well as additional deterioration to the HRW crop, the forecast offers some hope for improvement. Rains are near-term forecast for the Southern and Central Plains, while warmer, drier weather is in the outlook for the Northern Plains. That's helping pressure the market.
  • Weekly wheat export inspections are also price-negative as they came in short of expectations at 16.693 million bushels. While export demand has improved, it isn't strong enough to be a consistent source of support.


Live cattle futures continue to show slight gains in all but the far-deferred contracts. Feeder cattle futures are firmer.

  • Cattle futures are mostly firmer on short-covering, with summer-month contracts benefiting from the big discount they hold to the cash market. Still, traders are reluctant to actively buy futures given demand concerns.
  • After posting an all-time high of $201.68 Friday, Choice boxed beef prices are $1.26 lower this morning and Select is down 72 cents while packers moved only 79 loads of product. This could spark additional speculation of a short-term top in the product market.
  • Late-week cash trade is expected, though traders will anticipate lower cash trade if the boxed beef market shows further signs of topping.
  • Pressure on corn futures is encouraging light short-covering in feeder cattle.


Lean hog futures continue to show a mixed tone.

  • May lean hog futures are being mildly pressured by the big premium the contract holds to the cash market with just over a week until expiration.
  • But summer-month contracts are mildly firmer amid tightening market-ready supplies and a firmer tone in the cash hog market.
  • Cash hog bids are steady to $1 higher across the Midwest, though cash sources signal packer demand is lighter than recent weeks given negative cutting margins. If margins continue to weaken, cash hog bids could soften later in the week once plants have this week's needs secured.
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