Winter Wheat Stabilizes

April 20, 2009 07:00 PM
 

Julianne Johnston Pro Farmer Senior Markets Editor


From Pro Farmer

Updated as of 7:00 a.m. CT

HRW steady; SRW declines... When USDA's weekly crop ratings are plugged into the weighted Pro Farmer Crop Condition Index (CCI; 0 to 500 point scale), the HRW crop held steady with week-ago at 298 point, while the SRW crop slipped 2 points to 370. Last year at this time, the HRW crop carried a 317 CCI rating, while the SRW crop stood at 363.

Winter Wheat

04/19/09

04/12/09

04/12/08

Kansas

113.99

110.51

119.86

Oklahoma

28.68

31.78

40.64

Texas

19.17

20.60

26.56

Colorado

25.90

24.56

21.55

Nebraska

30.32

30.16

29.79

HRW total

298.39

297.77

317.29

Missouri

36.67

36.56

36.92

Illinois

49.19

49.06

51.91

Ohio

50.93

51.87

59.25

Arkansas

27.05

27.43

16.84

Indiana

27.05

26.29

26.69

North Carolina

25.13

24.29

25.87

Michigan

35.86

36.72

42.98

SRW total

370.26

372.00

362.92

 

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

Corn: 1 to 2 cents higher. Futures saw light short-covering overnight. Futures finished in the middle of yesterday's trading range, finishing 6 to 9 cents lower. Corn futures were pressured by highly price-negative trade in outside markets. Crude oil futures were mostly around $4 lower, while the dollar was stronger and the stock market was under heavy pressure. Next strong support for May corn futures is the March low at $3.44 1/2.

Soybeans: 2 to 3 cents higher. Futures saw light short-covering overnight. Futures closed 30-plus cents lower yesterday due to negative outside markets. Crude oil futures were sharply lower amid widespread commodity selling, which spilled over into the grain markets, as well. Front-month crude oil futures dropped below the $46-per-barrel level to
do technical chart damage. Soybeans respected uptrending support to avoid doing any technical chart damage.

Wheat: 3 to 4 cents higher. Futures saw light short-covering overnight. Futures posted double-digit losses, posting a mid- to low-range close. Wheat needs a fresh dose of positive export news to support the market. Last week's snub by Egypt has traders concerned about the competitiveness of U.S. wheat on the global market. Today's dollar strength increased those concerns. May Chicago wheat briefly penetrated support at the March 30 low of $5.01.


Cash cattle expectations: Watching beef market. The recent surge in boxed beef prices continued Monday, with prices $2.08 (Select) to $2.24 (Choice) higher on movement of 209 loads. If beef prices continue to strengthen, it would increase odds of packers raising cash cattle bids again. But traders are concerned retailer demand may slow with Choice beef now above $150. And there's risk the beef market could be overshadowed, even if prices continue to firm, if cattle futures extend Monday's sharp declines.

Futures call: Mixed. Futures are called to open mixed on a combination of spillover from yesterday's losses and short-covering. Futures got caught up in widespread selling across the commodity sector and strong pressure on the stock market yesterday. As a result, market fundamentals were overshadowed and the cattle market faced persistent pressure.

Cash hog expectations: Steady to firmer. Sources say demand for cash hogs is strong and cash hog bids will be steady to firmer today. Despite cutting margins which are back in the red, packers are competing for a tightening supply of cash hogs.

Futures call: Mixed. Futures are called to open mixed on the possibility of short-covering and spillover from yesterday's losses. Futures were pressured by widespread commodity selling and the premium nearby hogs hold to the cash index. However, the cash market is making up some of the difference, as bids were steady to as much as $2.50 higher due to tightening supplies. The CME lean hog index is projected up 95 cents to stand at $58.85 . May hogs are trading at around a $13 premium to the index, which opens the door to substantial near-term pressure if the cash market fails to meet expectations.


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