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The outlook for weather more favorable for planting in the Midwest and for rain in the parched Southwest weighed on grain futures today.
On the week, May soybeans fell 25 ½ cents and November lost 14 ½ cents. Corn futures for May fell 9 ¾ cents and December finished down 8 ¼ cents.
However, “We’re still in a full-blown weather market,” and anything can happen to give the market more direction, said Virginia McGathey of McGathey Commodities.
Yesterday the National Weather Service issued one-month temperature and precipitation forecast maps.
It also issued new three month outlooks for temperature and moisture.
July futures have been backing off recent highs, and “Some of this could be due to liquidation of May futures open interest and May option exportation,” said Steve Freed, grain research VP at ADM Investor Services. Talk of improved Midwest weather for planting also could be offering seasonal resistance.
The stronger U.S. dollar and weaker currencies for Brazil and Argentina pressured futures “as South American corn offers have become more competitive for the summer months,” said The Hightower Report. “Traders are likely to be more sensitive to U.S. and China weather this year as China could see a major production deficit ahead.”
Ukraine’s 2018-19 corn production likely will increase nearly 19 percent from 2017 to 28.6 MMT this year, on 9 percent more acres and higher yields. Exports likely will climb 21 percent to 21.2 MMT in 2018-19, says a USDA ag attaché report. Both estimates exceed USDA in WASDE (24.12 MMT crop; 20 MMT exports). Chart: Major exporters’ market shares, 20 years
July futures dropped below key moving average support, off recent highs near $10.78, said Steve Freed, grain research VP at ADM Investor Services. “Some of this weakness is linked to talk that China may buy more Brazil soybeans vs U.S. and U.S. farmer might increase 2018 soybean acres.”
Easing of weather concerns pressured futures and farmers are ready to start planting, said Virginia McGathey of McGathey Commodities. “Looking ahead, we're expecting good weather all summer and that just means that there's going to be more grain and certainly that's sending the market a little bit lower.”
Even though wheat crop conditions improved in the Monday report by 1 point to 31 percent good/excellent, “this is the lowest rating for this point in the season in over 20 years,” noted Joe Lardy, research manager at CHS Hedging.
“This HRW crop is three times worse than last year at this time…we are trading it like it is unchanged,” warned Mike Zuzolo, president of Global Commodity Analytics & Consulting. He said it could be due to reduced trade war worries. HRW basis could “climb rapidly in the next 45 days” if wetter weather doesn’t arrive.
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Grain futures prices, links to charts
Cattle futures advanced ahead of the Cattle on Feed report, but hog contracts declined.
USDA estimated federally inspected hog slaughter this week at 2.436 mln head, up 64,000 head from last week and up 139,000 head or 6.1 percent from a year ago. This year to date, kill is up 2.9 percent.
Estimated cattle slaughter of 624,000 head increased 19,000 from last week and 23,000 or 3.8 percent from a year ago. This year to date, slaughter is up 2.3 percent. Report
In weighted average negotiated prices for barrows and gilts, USDA reported:
- National carcass base up 14 cents to $57.65/cwt. (week ago: $50.06)
- National live up 45 cents to $41.17 (week ago: $37.61)
- Iowa-Minnesota carcass base down 67 cents to $57.93 (week ago: $51.10)
USDA reported carcass cutout values this afternoon down 51 cents at $67.91/cwt. (week ago: $66.33)
Hog prices in China touched an eight-year low last month, many Chinese producers don’t plant expand in the current price environment, and “Imports from the U.S. most likely won’t occur due to the newly level duties,” reported Joe Lardy, research manager at CHS Hedging.
Hog futures declined today after being “relatively strong” recently, said Virginia McGathey of McGathey Commodities. “Concerns over the summer belly demand have brought in a little bit of selling and kind of pushed the market a little bit lower.”
Boxed beef cutout values this afternoon were firm to higher on light to moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings, USDA said.
- Choice rose 64 cents to $211.98/cwt. (week ago: $212.61)
- Select jumped $1.65 to $200.13 (week ago: $199.91)
In Nebraska negotiated cash sales, USDA reported 5,973 head sold live at $117-122 and 7,799 head sold dressed at $175-195. In Iowa-Minnesota, 1,663 head sold live at $116-125.50 and 3,976 head sold dressed at $190-195.
“Today’s Cattle on Feed report was pretty neutral,” said Joe Lardy, research manager at CHS Hedging. “The placement number of 91 percent was just slightly above estimates for 90.3 percent.”
Cattle futures opened lower but rebounded on higher cash prices, said Virginia McGathey of McGathey Commodities. “It seems that the carcass weights were declining a little bit and that was helping the market up.”
Feeder steers and heifers this week sold steady to $4 higher than last week in the North and South Plains while the Southeast sold $3 to $6 higher, USDA said in the weekly feeder and stocker summary.
Cattle on Feed (vs year ago)
- March placements: 1.921 mln (-9.3%)
- March marketings: 1.84 mln (-3.9%)
- April 1 on feed: 11.729 mln (+7.4%)
USDA Report PDF TXT
Livestock futures prices, links to charts
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