Corn futures have reversed overnight gains to trade 5 to 6 cents lower.
- Early gains have given way to profit-taking as harvest is underway amid favorable conditions this week. However, rains could disrupt activity this weekend and early next week.
- Basis levels firmed at Midwest locations today as farmers have been slow to sell new-crop supplies. Also, some farmers are harvesting beans first.
- Early results have reportedly been better than anticipated, which is making it tough for the corn market to find buyers.
- But selling pressure is being limited by ideas the price break has spurred export demand. While weekly export sales data has not been released, traders expect last week's business to have brought sales between 600,000 MT and 1.4 MMT.
- Strategie Grains has lowered its 2013-14 EU corn crop forecast by 900,000 MT to 64.9 MMT.
Soybean futures are 3 to 6 cents higher this morning.
- Soybeans are enjoying corrective short-covering this morning, along with some spreading activity with the corn market.
- Talk that foreign buyers are flying under the radar and booking U.S. soybeans while the U.S. government is shut down is providing light support.
- If the weekly export sales data would have been released this morning (government shutdown), traders believe it would reflect business last week between 400,000 and 1.025 MMT.
- But the upside remains limited by stepped up harvest progress this week as well as strength in the U.S. dollar index.
Wheat futures have softened to trade 1 to 4 cents lower in the winter wheat markets, while HRS wheat is narrowly mixed.
- News Egypt canceled its wheat tender for at least 50,000 MT due to high prices, is pressuring the market as it raises concerns recent gains may have slowed demand for U.S. wheat. Gains in the U.S. dollar index the past two days add to such ideas.
- However, weekly export sales were expected to come in between 300,000 MT and 900,000 MT last week. The report was halted by the government shutdown.
- Strategie Grains has lowered its 2013-14 EU wheat crop forecast by 300,000 MT to 135.2 MMT.
Live cattle futures are posting slight gains. Feeder cattle futures are moderately higher.
- Bid and asking prices remain at least $5 apart, signaling cash cattle trade may not take place until Friday. Last week, sales took place at $126 on the Southern Plains.
- Showlists are down at all locations except Nebraska this week, which could give packers an edge in negotiations. Also private sources indicate the boxed beef market has trended higher recently.
- But the upside is limited by the fact futures already have higher prices factored into prices.
- Also, the market is signaling the reaction to yesterday's news South Korea will halt some U.S. beef exports was overdone.
- The market is also benefiting from efforts to tally the death loss of last week's snowstorm in South Dakota. Some estimate losses between 60,000 and 70,000 head.
- Traders are hesitant to extend positions aggressively due to the lack of information caused by the government shutdown.
- Softer corn prices are giving feeder cattle futures a lift.
Lean hog futures are posting slight losses amid limited trading interest this morning.
- Supplies are thought to be expanding seasonally and packers are upping slaughter runs. This is resulting in steady to lower cash hog bids today.
- But yesterday's bearish reversal in the December contract and a rush to exit the October contract before the new settlement procedure has made it evident the market has likely put in a top.
- A lack of pork market data this week has also caused some to move to the sidelines. Packer profit margins have softened this week, signaling pork prices may have slipped.
- Strength in the U.S. dollar index is adding to the negative tone.