Grains and oilseeds mixed ahead of holiday weekend

Soybeans were mixed in old crop/new crop spread trade. Weekly export numbers weren’t great, but do reflect the strong demand, and the overall domestic supply does remain very tight. Past that – the trade’s watching South America’s harvest and U.S. pre-planting conditions. Futures markets will be closed for Good Friday, with grain and oilseed trade resuming Sunday evening. Soybean meal was mixed on the adjustment of spreads, and bean oil was higher. According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, canola stocks were unchanged from March at 3.3 million tons.

Corn was lower on fund and technical selling. Traders are watching planting and while there has been more snow, they don’t seem too worried about the delays. Also, forecasts for the coming week generally look better for planting. South Korea bought 125,000 tons of old crop U.S. corn and weekly numbers were good. Ethanol futures were mostly higher. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada states corn stocks on April 17 were 3 million tons, compared to 3.1 million in March. Strategie Grains projects European Union corn production at 65.1 million tons.

The wheat complex was higher on fund and technical buying. There’s some rain in the forecast for the Southern Plains, but it should be isolated and nowhere near enough to break drought conditions where it does fall. Areas further to the north continue to look cold and not conducive for spring wheat planting. Weekly export numbers were neutral, with a good week for sales and a slow week for shipments. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada left all wheat ending stocks unchanged at 9.7 million tons. Japan bought 58,300 tons of U.S. food wheat, along with 48,400 tons from Canada and 29,600 tons from Australia. According to Strategie Grains, European Union soft wheat production for 2014/15 should be 137.2 million tons.

Feedlot cattle trade was very light

There was light buying activity in the cash cattle trade in parts of the North on Thursday. Most of the dressed business in Nebraska was around 238.00, roughly 1.00 to 2.00 lower than last week’s weighted average. There were also reports of cattle sold with delayed delivery of late April to early May. DTN says some of the out front business has been marked between 234.00 and 236.00. It appeared that packers were interested in covering only short term needs. Trade volume for this week could be quite light. The slaughter was estimated at 110,000 head, even with a week ago, but 9,000 smaller than last year.

Boxed beef cutout values were higher on moderate demand and light to moderate offerings. Choice boxed beef was up 2.13 at 225.88, and select was .96 higher at 215.43.

Live cattle contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange settled 30 to 155 points lower. The initial early pressure that developed in the live cattle market, expanded into triple digit losses in the nearby contracts. The feeder futures led the market lower, and with the market closed on Friday, many traders were willing to take protection ahead of the long holiday weekend break. April settled 1.55 lower at 144.20, and June was down 1.25 at 134.37.

Feeder cattle ended 70 to 185 points in the red. The lack of support in cash markets seemed to limit the overall strength in the summer feeder cattle contracts. Even though beef demand is expected to strengthen through the near term, there are growing concerns about the ability to hold cash values long term. April settled .70 lower at 178.55, and May was down 1.85 at 178.05.

Continue reading “Feedlot cattle trade was very light” »

Closing Grain and Livestock Futures: April 17, 2014

May corn closed at $4.94 and 3/4, down 2 and 3/4 cents
May soybeans closed at $15.14, down 4 and 3/4 cents
May soybean meal closed at $488.30, down $2.70
May soybean oil closed at 43.41, down 30 points
May wheat closed at $6.91 and 1/4, up 3 and 1/4 cents
Apr. live cattle closed at $144.25, down $1.55
Jun. lean hogs closed at $124.82, up $1.05
May crude oil closed at $104.30, up 54 cents
Jul. cotton closed at 92.34, down 23 points
May Class III milk closed at $22.14, up 14 cents
May gold closed at $1,293.90, down $9.60
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 16,408.54, down 16.31 points

Thursday midday cash livestock markets

USDA Mandatory is reporting a limited cattle trade in Kansas on light to moderate demand. Compared to last week, early live sales are 1.00 lower at 146.00. Trading remains inactive in all other areas. DTN reports buying interest in the North seems to be slowly improving though they have not seen a major bid over 237.00 so far. Asking prices are around 148.00 plus in the South and 242.00 plus in the North. Given the fact the futures market will be closed Friday for the holiday both sides may be interested in completing trading today.

Boxed beef cutout values are higher in the morning report, choice 225.40 is up 1.65, select 215.53 up 1.06.

Feeder cattle receipts at the Springfield, Missouri Livestock Marketing Center totaled 1403 head on Wednesday. Compared to last week, steers trended steady, and heifers were steady to 3.00 higher. Holstein steers were not well tested this week, but a lower undertone was noted. Demand was good on a moderate supply. Feeder steers, medium and large 1 averaging 628 pounds brought 199.01 per hundredweight. 572 pound heifers averaged 198.99 at Springfield.

Barrows and gilts in all three major direct trade areas are not reported due to confidentiality. Nationally the hog market is 2.04 lower with a weighted average of 112.90 on a carcass basis. The Missouri direct base carcass meat price is steady to 3.00 lower from 108.00 to 112.00. Live hogs in the Midwest are very lightly tested with several interest out of the market for the Easter observance. Prices are steady to 1.00 lower from 80.00 to 83.00.

The pork carcass value FOB plant is .62 lower at 120.54.

Market participants viewed the decline in March hog supplies as a signal that spring and summer shortages would be much more severe than expected and responded accordingly. End users of pork that rushed to market in order to get enough supplies around them now may choose to sit on the sidelines as prices declined.

 

Beef exports hit marketing year high

USDA reports corn, soybean, soybean product, and wheat export sales for the week ending April 10 were within pre-report estimates. Physical shipments of corn and soybeans were more than what’s needed weekly to meet USDA projections for the 2013/14 marketing year, but wheat fell short of its mark.

Wheat came out at 438,000 tons (16.1 million bushels), up sharply from the week ending April 3 and 48% higher than the four week average. Brazil picked up 85,000 tons and Peru bought 64,600 tons, while Nigeria canceled on 50,000 tons. For the 2013/14 marketing year to date, wheat sales are 1.129 billion bushels, compared to 964.1 million in 2012/13. Sales of 359,900 tons (13.2 million bushels) for 2014/15 delivery were mainly to unknown destinations (211,600 tons).

Corn was reported at 601,900 tons (23.7 million bushels), down 9% from the previous week and 36% lower than the four week average. Japan purchased 161,000 tons and Israel picked up 120,000 tons, while unknown destinations canceled on 268,400 tons and China canceled on 168,000 tons. So far this marketing year, corn sales are 1.676 billion bushels, compared to 634.1 million this time last year. Sales of 192,600 tons (7.6 million bushels) were to Japan (141,800 tons) and unknown destinations (50,800 tons).

Soybeans were pegged at 19,200 tons (700,000 bushels), 76% less than the week before and 79% under the four week average. Indonesia bought 58,000 tons and Japan purchased 34,900 tons, but unknown destinations canceled on 68,200 tons and China canceled on 54,700 tons. At this point in the marketing year, soybean sales are 1.639 billion bushels, compared to 1.345 billion a year ago. Sales of 400,700 tons (14.7 million bushels) for 2014/15 delivery were primarily to unknown destinations (330,000 tons) and China (60,000 tons).

Soybean meal came out at 36,600 tons, 80% below the prior week and down 84% from the four week average. Venezuela picked up 40,000 tons and Mexico bought 23,300 tons, while unknown destinations canceled on 84,500 tons. Cumulative soybean meal sales for the current marketing year are 8,727,400 tons, compared to 8,388,900 last year. Sales of 84,000 tons for 2014/15 delivery were to unknown destinations (80,000 tons) and Mexico (4,000 tons).

Soybean oil was reported at 5,500 tons, 63% more than the previous week and 40% above the four week average. Mexico purchased 4,400 tons and Venezuela picked up 1,500 tons. 2013/14 soybean oil sales are 577,700 tons, compared to 829,000 in 2012/13.

Net beef sales were a marketing year high at 21,900 tons; that’s up 18% from the week before and 42% higher than the four week average. The listed buyers were Japan (7,800 tons), Mexico (3,800 tons), South Korea (3,500 tons), Hong Kong (2,400 tons), and Canada (1,500 tons).

Net pork sales totaled 8,600 tons. That’s larger than the prior week and 15% more than the four week average. The reported purchasers were South Korea (2,300 tons), Canada (1,800 tons), Japan (1,500 tons), Mexico (1,100 tons), and the Philippines (500 tons).

Fundamentals provide support for soybeans

Soybeans were higher on commercial and speculative buying. The near term supply remains tight and demand continues to look strong. China’s first quarter GDP growth was a little better than expected, up 7.4% from this time last year. Still, that was the slowest growth rate in the last year and a half and the slowest quarter to quarter growth in two years, according to AgriVisor. Soybean meal and oil were higher, following beans. 85% of Brazil’s bean crop is harvested and with dry weather, Argentina should make a good advance over the next few days. USDA’s weekly export sales report is out Thursday at 8:30 AM Eastern/7:30 AM Central. Old crop beans are placed at -200,000 to 100,000 tons, with new crop at 150,000 to 350,000, old crop bean meal is seen at 120,000 to 250,000 tons, with new crop at 25,000 to 150,000, and old crop bean oil is pegged at 0 to 10,000 tons, with new crop at 0 to 50,000.

Corn was lower on fund and technical selling. There was no real fresh news, so traders took profits while waiting for some new fundamental influence. There are planting delays, but it’s still a little early to get too concerned and longer term outlooks are conducive to planting. In any event, the trade expects a big corn crop again this year and the current supply is ample. Ethanol futures were lower. Weekly old crop U.S. corn sales are estimated at 625,000 to 925,000 tons, with new crop at 40,000 to 150,000.

The wheat complex was lower on profit taking and speculative selling. There’s a chance for rain in the Southern Plains in the longer term forecasts. That being said, the region needs a lot more than a chance to break the drought. The complex is also keeping an eye on political tension in the Black Sea area. DTN reports Jordan bought 150,000 tons of optional origin wheat, “believed to be sourced from the Black Sea”. Old crop U.S. wheat sales are projected at 75,000 to 400,000 tons, with new crop at 175,000 to 450,000 tons.

Hog futures show gains on higher midday pork values

The cash cattle trade was at a standstill on Wednesday afternoon with just a few bids reported in parts of the North at 240.00. A few cattle sold in Iowa at 150.00 on a live basis. Asking prices remain firm at 149.00 to 150.00 in the South, and 242.00 to 243.00 in the North. Significant trade volume could develop on Thursday if packers and feedlot managers decide to complete business before the long holiday weekend. The kill totaled 115,000 head, 2,000 below last week, and 6,000 smaller than last year.

Boxed beef cutout values were higher on moderate to fairly good demand and moderate offerings. Choice beef gained .89 at 223.75, select 214.47 up 1.33.

Live cattle contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange settled 41 points higher to 10 lower with only 2015 contracts in the red. A narrow price range defined the live cattle complex as traders seemed uninterested in stepping into the market at this point in the week. Traders looked for increased support from outside markets as well as potential beef value support. There was some late short covering in the live pit.  April settled .47 higher at 145.75, and June was up .20 at 135.60.

Feeder cattle ended the session 2 to 40 points higher but were unable to show much life through much of the session. DTN’s Rick Kment says, overall traders seemed to be overlooking the cattle market in favor of hanging out on the sidelines as mere observers. April settled .02 higher at 179.25 and May was up .12 at 179.90.

Continue reading “Hog futures show gains on higher midday pork values” »

Closing Grain and Livestock Futures: April 16, 2014

May corn closed at $4.97 and 1/2, down 6 and 1/4 cents
May soybeans closed at $15.18 and 3/4, up 17 and 1/2 cents
May soybean meal closed at $491.00, up $3.60
May soybean oil closed at 43.71, up 88 points
May wheat closed at $6.88, down 13 and 3/4 cents
Apr. live cattle closed at $145.75, up 47 cents
Jun. lean hogs closed at $123.77, up $1.25
May crude oil closed at $103.76, up 1 cent
May cotton closed at 91.01, up 112 points
May Class III milk closed at $22.00, up 19 cents
May gold closed at $1,303.20, up $3.20
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 16,424.85, up 162.29 points

Wednesday midday cash livestock markets

The cash cattle market is off to a slow start on Wednesday with feedlot operators passing on bids of 240.00 in Nebraska, however a few head reportedly were sold there at 242.00 per hundredweight to a regional packer on Tuesday. Packer inquiry should slowly improve today and we should at least start to see some definition in terms of preliminary bids. Current asking prices are around 149.00 to 150.00 South and 242.00 plus in the North.

Boxed beef cutout values are higher in the morning report, with choice beef .30 higher at 233.16, and select 213.96 up .82.

Feeder cattle receipts at the Ozarks Regional Stockyards at West Plains, Missouri totaled 2643 head on Tuesday. Compared to last week, feeder steers weighing less than 550 pounds were steady to 2.00 lower, heavier weights trended 2.00 to 3.00 higher. The bulk of the feeder heifers were steady to 3.00 higher with most of the gain on the weights over 500 pounds. Yearlings were not well tested but the undertone was slightly higher. The demand was good on a moderate supply. Feeder steers, medium and large 1 averaging 472 pounds brought 225.99 per hundredweight. 518 pound heifers averaged 198.62.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota and Eastern direct trade are not reported due to confidentiality. Nationally the market is 2.12 lower with a weighted average of 114.67 on a carcass basis. The Western trade is down 3.22 at 114.12. Missouri direct base carcass meat price is steady to 3.00 lower from 111.00 to 112.00. Market hogs in the Midwest are steady with an instance of 2.00 lower on a live basis from 81.00 to 96.00.

The pork carcass cutout value FOB plant is 2.38 higher at 124.11.

Seasonally, market hog numbers typically tighten from spring through midsummer. While the exact level of PED death loss through the winter will impact the pace of tightening, market hog supplies will tighten regardless of PED.

Strong session for soybeans, wheat

Soybeans hit new eight month highs on fund and commercial buying. Old crop supplies remain very tight and export demand continues to look solid. Past that – the monthly NOPA crush numbers were much larger than expected and, in fact, a new record for March at 153.84 million bushels. Soybean oil stocks were 2.023 billion pounds, compared to 1.893 billion in February. Soybean meal and oil were higher on spillover from beans.

Corn was mixed in consolidation trade. Planting is at 3%, slower than average, but not that much of a surprise given the recent weather. Seasonal temperatures should return soon and there’s more rain the near term forecast. Six to ten day outlooks do show some drier conditions, which should help speed up the planting pace. Ethanol futures were lower.

The wheat complex was higher on commercial and speculative buying. There’s likely been some freeze damage in the Southern Plains and the region needs a lot more rain with not much in the forecast. Minneapolis continues to focus on U.S. spring wheat planting. The trade’s also watching renewed political tensions in the Black Sea region. South Korea’s Feed Leaders Committee bought 53,000 tons of U.S. feed wheat. Ukraine’s Ag Ministry reports that grain stocks on April 1 totaled 12.3 million tons, up 14% on the year. According to Russia’s Ag Ministry, 6.4% of expected spring grain planting is complete.