|Corn futures have firmed to trade double-digit higher through the July contract, while deferred months are pennies higher.
- Strong gains in crude oil futures and soybeans along with positioning for month-end is supporting corn futures.
- The market also remains concerned about planting delays in Argentina and southern Brazil, which could result in acres switched to soybeans.
- But recent declines in basis levels, though they are still historically high, reminds the market demand destruction has occurred.
Soybean futures have extended gains to trade mostly 12 to 15 cents higher.
- Soybean futures continue to be supported by signs demand remains strong in the face of high prices.
- Basis strength at the Gulf and around the country point to tight supplies and strong export demand.
- Emphasizing this, USDA announced that China bought 25,000 MT of soyoil for 2012-13.
- Gains are being kept in check by delayed corn planting in South America. This ups the odds more acres will be switched to beans.
Wheat futures have firmed along with corn. Chicago and Minneapolis wheat are roughly 9 to 12 cents higher. Kansas City is around 6 to 7 cents higher.
- Wheat futures remain in a follower's role to corn and rallied along with it this morning.
- Traders are also readying positions in anticipation that this afternoon's Crop Progress Report will show winter wheat emergence remains hampered by dryness on the Plains, particularly in the northwest half of the region.
- But buying enthusiasm is being curbed by news Egypt bought wheat from Romania, Russia and France in its tender for 300,000 MT. This emphasizes that U.S. wheat is still not competitively priced.
- Meanwhile, the export ban saga in Ukraine continues. Most recently, Ukraine's ag ministry said that "no official document on the export ban has been prepared." Regardless, supplies in the region are dwindling.
Live cattle futures have pared losses and are now trading slightly higher in October futures and just slightly lower in deferred months. Feeder cattle are moderately lower.
- Traders continue to engage in light profit-taking after moderate cash cattle trade took place at steady to lower prices yesterday in the Southern Plains. Trade has yet to begin in more northern regions.
- December futures are working to stay in line with this week's cash prices.
- Adding light pressure were softer boxed beef prices today. Choice cuts fell $1.37 and Select cuts slipped 21 cents, but this encouraged a surge in movement. 148 loads changed hands this morning.
- Feeder cattle softened as corn futures firmed.
Lean hog futures continue to enjoy moderate gains with nearbys leading to the upside.
- Eastern Corn Belt plants are operating again after a shutter earlier this week due to Superstorm Sandy. These packers are in need of supplies and are planning a large Saturday kill to make up for downtime. Thus, cash hog bids are mostly steady today.
- December lean hog futures are benefiting from the $4-plus discount they hold to the cash hog index.
- Also supportive is a 0.5-lb. decline in hog weights in Iowa and Southern Minnesota for the week, which signals supplies are not expanding as rapidly as feared.
- Yesterday, the pork cutout value slipped 46 cents, but movement was impressive at 134.25 loads.