What a Week! Lots to Talk About

August 24, 2012 02:12 AM

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Overnight highlights. Following are highlights as of 7:15 a.m. CT and opening livestock calls:

Corn: 4 to 5 cents higher. What a week! I'm not necessarily commenting about the market, as I was very busy covering the Crop Tour from the Cedar Falls, Iowa, office as well as making sure Brian Grete and Chip Flory's normal daily duties were covered. But the choppiness of the corn market has also been fascinating to watch. This week's disappointing Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour results certainly got the attention of the market, but corn didn't post contract highs this week as traders note prices are rationing demand. Looks like the focus is clearly on the demand side.

Soybeans: 13 to 15 cents higher. Meanwhile, soybean futures did move to contract highs this week and this morning are testing those highs. The Crop Tour put more focus on the supply side of the market and reminded the market that "small crops" do indeed "get smaller." Following a disappointing South American harvest, the market still has its work cut out to ration remaining tight global supplies until next year, when there are hopes of a better South American crop that is in its early stages of being planted now.

Wheat: 6 to 8 cents higher. And then there's wheat that continues to ride on the coattails of the corn market. More indications of a smaller Russian wheat crop this week renewed talk it will curb exports, but Russian officials continue to declare there are no immediate plans of that happening. September Chicago wheat is actually in a slight downtrend form the July high, but price still remain historically high.

Live cattle: Steady to firmer. Cash cattle trade began late yesterday at steady levels with last week, which should help to stabilize live cattle futures to end the week. But strength in the grain markets could temper bullish enthusiasm. August live cattle are trading in line with the cash market, which should help support futures after yesterday's late-session recovery.

Lean Hogs: Mixed. Lean hog futures are a prime example of a market that is overdone to the downside. October hogs moved into severely oversold territory according to the 9-day Relative Strength Index and are trading at a steep discount to the cash index. Traders have a bearish attitude toward the hog market as supplies are building seasonally and producers have stepped up herd liquidation due to record grain prices. Pork cutout values firmed 47 cents yesterday, which could attract some short-covering to end the week in futures.


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