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February 4, 2013 12:05 AM

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Overnight highlights. Following are opening grain and livestock calls at 6:05 a.m. CT:

Corn: 2 to 3 cents higher. Futures are seeing a boost from disappointing weekend rains across Argentina and southern Brazil and a dry near-term forecast. Strength in the U.S. dollar index is limiting buying, with futures so far remaining within the boundaries of Friday's trading range. Corn is also seeing a boost from double-digit gains in the bean pit.

Soybeans: 9 to 13 cents higher. Futures are being supported by concerns about dryness in southern Brazil and Argentina after conditions were dry over the weekend. With no rain in the near-term forecast for those areas, traders are concerned about stress building for the filling crop. March beans have moved above resistance at last week's high to extend the rally.

Wheat: 4 to 7 cents higher. Wheat is stronger at all three exchanges on spillover from neighboring pits. Strength in the dollar index is limiting buying, although additional support is coming from news over the weekend that Egypt purchased 60,000 MT of U.S. wheat for March delivery. While this is not a large purchase, it signals U.S. prices are competitive on the global market.

Live cattle: Higher. Futures are called higher in reaction to Friday's Cattle Inventory Report, which showed supplies tighter than expected and that producers have begun to hold back heifers -- keeping them out of the feedlot to tighten supplies even further. This also signals that the 10-year cycle high is due to be posted this year, although ongoing drought in the Southern Plains will limit producers willingness to aggressively expand herds. But weakness in the beef market could trim gains, as Choice values fell $2.76 on Friday and Select was down $1.63 on strong movement of 238 loads.

Lean hogs: Steady to higher. Futures are expected to see a lift on spillover from cattle futures a well as strength in the pork market. Pork values improved $1.77 on Friday to trim packers' losses, although their margins remain in the red. The cash hog market is expected to be mostly steady to start the week as packers are in need of supplies, although some supplies are thought to be carried over from last week due to weather disturbances.


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