Volatile!

August 19, 2008 07:00 PM
 

Julianne Johnston Pro Farmer Senior Markets Editor


From Pro Farmer

Updated as of 7:00 a.m. CT

Bullpen has only been shortened during Crop Tour week.

Whiplash... Soybean futures posted a volatile day of trade yesterday. After a weaker start yesterday, soybeans were limit higher in many contracts, which triggered a round of profit-taking and a lower close. Wide daily trading ranges are increasing emotions in the market. Weather is being closely watched, as well as demand developments and outside markts.

Overnight highlights... The whiplash continued overnight, as grain futures were stronger. Soybeans were mostly around 20 cents higher, corn was 6 to 8 cents higher and wheat was up 7 to 9 cents.

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Opening calls. These calls originate more than three hours before the open -- use caution, things change::

Corn: 6 to 8 cents higher. Yesterday, futures opened lower, but quickly turned sharply higher, but ended near opening levels amid profit-taking. Soybeans closed 12 to 15 1/2 cents lower. What a wild day of price volatility! Many contracts hit their limit higher level ahead of midday, but then saw sharp profit-taking pressure return prices to near opening levels.

Soybeans: 15 to 20 cents higher. Yesterday, corn opened lower and quickly turned higher, and finished 9 1/4 to 12 1/4 cents higher despite double-digit losses in the neighboring soybean pit. Early losses were seen as a buying opportunity, with additional support coming from demand improvements and outside markets.

Wheat: 7 to 9 cents higher. Yesterday, futures saw a highly volatile day of trade, following the soybean market lower into the closer. Chicago wheat closed mostly 14 1/2 cents lower, with Kansas City mostly 13 cents lower and Minneapolis 8 to 11 cents lower in all but the July contract, which closed 5 cents firmer.


Cash cattle expectations: Light cash trade. Cash sources report some very light cash cattle trade in the Texas Panhandle yesterday afternoon at $99, which is a dollar lower than the bulk of last week's trade. Pressure on futures yesterday spurred the weaker cash trade. Meanwhile, the beef market is mixed, with Choice values up 5 cents and Select down 25 cents on moderate movement of 214 loads.

Cash hog expectations: Mostly steady. Packers saw profit margins trimmed yesterday as pork cutout values dropped $1.88. Resistance to higher prices signals retailers have Labor Day needs booked. If pork prices continue to fall, it will result in pressure on the cash hog market.


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