Wheat watching weather, Black Sea region

Soybeans were higher on fund and commercial buying. Old crop exports were a new marketing year low, but it was another strong week for the shipments. The near term supply remains tight, even with signs of increased U.S. imports, of not only soybeans, but soybean meal. Soybean meal was up, following beans, and bean oil was mostly firm. According to Statistics Canada, canola planted area should be 19.801 million acres, nearly unchanged from last year, but below pre-report projections.

Corn was lower on profit taking, but most months did manage to hold at key technical levels. Parts of the Cornbelt are making some planting progress, but other areas are seeing another round of rain and cooler temperatures. Weekly export numbers were neutral. Ethanol futures were lower.

The wheat complex was higher on fund and speculative buying. There’s more dry and windy weather in the forecast for the Southern Plains and traders are also watching tensions in the Black Sea region. The weekly export numbers were bearish. Statistics Canada projects 2014 wheat acreage at 24.936 million acres, down on the year, but towards the high end of pre-report estimates. Durum planting is expected to be around 4.835 million acres. Morocco bought 30,000 tons of wheat from Poland.

The cash cattle trade is delayed until Friday

The cash cattle trade was quiet on Thursday afternoon with just a few token bids renewed in the South at 142.00. One regional buyer in Nebraska bid as high as 236.00 on a selective basis. Asking prices remain firm at 147.00 to 148.00 in the South and 238.00 plus in the North. Significant trade volume may not develop until after the release of the cattle on feed report on Friday afternoon. Thursday’s cattle slaughter was estimated at 118,000 head, 10,000 more than last week but 5,000 less than last year.

Boxed beef cutout values were higher on light to moderate demand and light offerings. Choice beef is up 1.16 at 233.80 and select was 1.40 higher at 222.07.

Live cattle contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange settled 22 to 75 points higher. There was some positioning by traders ahead of the cash trade and the cattle on feed report due out on Friday. The spot April contract remains several dollars under the most recent cash test. Board discounts suggest traders are nervous about building fed cattle supplies over the next 30 to 60 days, according to John Harrington at DTN. April live cattle settled .32 higher at 144.25, and June was up .75 at 135.85.

Feeder cattle settled 97 to 165 points higher. Several contracts reached new highs. Some of the buying appeared to be tied to reports of decent early spring rains and improving pasture conditions in parts of the Central Plains. May feeders settled .97 higher at 179.60, and August was up 1.60 at 184.05.

Continue reading “The cash cattle trade is delayed until Friday” »

Weekly soybean exports hit marketing year low

USDA reports corn, soybean, soybean product, and wheat export sales for the week ending April 17 were within pre-report estimates. Physical shipments of corn and soybeans were above what’s needed weekly to meet USDA projections for the 2013/14 marketing year, but wheat was short of its mark.

Wheat came out at 339,100 tons (12.5 million bushels), down 20% from the week ending April 10, but up 13% from the four week average. Japan purchased 147,400 tons and Taiwan bought 68,700 tons, but unknown destinations canceled on 131,700 tons. For the 2013/14 marketing year to date, wheat sales are 1.141 billion bushels, compared to 966.7 million in 2012/13. Sales of 271,700 tons (10.0 million bushels) for 2014/15 delivery were mainly to unknown destinations (148,900 tons) and Peru (28,500 tons).

Corn was reported at 618,900 tons (24.4 million bushels), 15% higher than the previous week, but 30% lower than the four week average. South Korea picked up 185,000 tons and Japan purchased 168,900 tons, while unknown destinations canceled on 215,900 tons. So far this marketing year, corn sales are 1.698 billion bushels, compared to 646.5 million this time last year. Sales of 382,900 tons (15.1 million bushels) were primarily to Mexico (240,000 tons).

Old crop soybeans hit a new marketing year low at 800 tons. That’s a decrease of 96% on the week and a drop of 98% from the four week average. Canada bought 29,800 tons and Mexico picked up 9,900 tons, but China canceled on 55,000 tons. At this point in the marketing year, soybean sales are 1.639 billion bushels, compared to 1.337 billion a year ago. Sales of 118,200 tons (4.3 million bushels) for 2014/15 delivery were mostly to unknown destinations (59,000 tons) and China (55,500 tons).

Soybean meal was pegged at 186,300 tons, quite a bit more than the prior week and up 9% from the four week average. Mexico purchased 61,300 tons and Denmark bought 49,500 tons, while unknown destinations canceled on 13,000 tons. Cumulative soybean meal sales for the current marketing year are 8,913,700 tons, compared to 8,582,200 last year. Net sales reductions of 9,600 tons for the 2014/15 marketing year were caused by cancellations of 10,100 tons by Costa Rica and 2,400 tons by Canada.

Soybean oil came out at 5,700 tons, 5% higher than the week before and 21% more than the four week average. Mexico picked up 4,800 tons and the Dominican Republic purchased 500 tons. 2013/14 soybean oil sales are 583,400 tons, compared to 830,700 in 2012/13.

Net beef sales totaled 18,000 tons, down 18% from the previous week, but up 7% from the four week average. The listed buyers were Mexico (7,200 tons), Japan (3,600 tons), South Korea (3,600 tons), Canada (1,200 tons), and Hong Kong (800 tons).

Net pork sales totaled 15,100 tons, an increase of 77% on the week and 83% more than the four week average. The reported purchasers were Mexico (4,100 tons), Canada (2,000 tons), South Korea (1,600 tons), Colombia (1,400 tons), and the Dominican Republic (1,200 tons).

Closing Grain and Livestock Futures: April 24, 2014

May corn closed at $5.01 and 1/4, down 2 and 1/4 cents
May soybeans closed at $14.72, up 3 and 1/2 cents
May soybean meal closed at $480.20, up $2.10
May soybean oil closed at 42.59, up 9 points
May wheat closed at $6.89, up 12 and 1/2 cents
Apr. live cattle closed at $144.25, up 32 cents
Jun. lean hogs closed at $125.55, down 70 cents
Jun. crude oil closed at $101.94, up 50 cents
Jul. cotton closed at 93.20, up 56 points
May Class III milk closed at $22.86, up 45 cents
Jun. gold closed at $1,290.60, up $6.00
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 16,501.65, up 0.002 points

Thursday midday cash livestock markets

There is not a lot of movement in the cash cattle trade on Thursday with just a few token bids renewed in the South at 142.00. One regional buyer in Nebraska has bid as high as 236.00 on a selective basis. Asking prices remain firm on the live basis at 147.00 to 148.00 and 238.00 plus dressed. It is possible significant feedlot trade volume may not surface until after the release of the monthly cattle on feed report at 2:00 p.m. Central Daylight time Friday.

Boxed beef cutout values are higher in the morning report. Choice boxed beef is up 1.42 at 116.53, and select is 1.57 higher at 222.24.

Feeder cattle receipts at the Huss Platte Valley Auction in Nebraska totaled 3870 head on Wednesday. Compared to two weeks ago, steers weighing less than 850 pounds sold 2.00 to 5.00 lower, over 850 traded steady in a light test. Heifers under 600 pounds were unevenly steady, over 600 pounds sold 2.00 to 5.00 lower. Demand was moderate to good on calves and feeders. 675 pound feeder steers averaged 194.23 per hundredweight. Heifers averaging 682 pounds brought 174.95.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota and Western direct trade are not reported due to confidentiality. Nationally the hog market is 4.84 lower with a weighted average of 110.49 on a carcass basis. The East is 4.49 lower at 109.26. Missouri direct base carcass meat price is steady from 105.00 to 107.00. Barrows and gilts on a live basis at Midwest markets are steady from 78.00 to 90.00.

The pork carcass cutout value FOB plant is .88 lower at 116.53.

Iowa barrows and gilts jumped to 286.4 pounds last week, 0.7 pounds bigger than the prior week and 9.3 pounds heavier than 2013.

Corn continues to watch planting conditions

Soybeans were mixed on old crop/new crop spread trade. There are more reports of U.S. soybean imports and a lot of uncertainty about Chinese demand. Past that – the trade’s watching South America’s harvest. Soybean meal matched beans and bean oil was weak on profit taking and the lower crude oil. ABIOVE lowered its 2014 Brazilian soybean export estimate to 43 million tons due to those concerns about Chinese demand. USDA’s weekly export sales report is out Thursday at 8:30 AM Eastern/7:30 AM Central. Old crop soybeans are pegged at -250,000 to 100,000 tons, with new crop at 300,000 to 625,000, old crop meal is seen at 25,000 to 175,000 tons, with new crop at 25,000 to 125,000 tons, and old crop oil is placed at 0 to 50,000 tons, with new crop at 0 to 10,000.

Corn is higher on fund and commercial buying. Demand’s the big factor for corn, from both the export side and the domestic side of the market. Additionally, the trade’s concerned about planting delays in some key growing areas. Ethanol was mixed, with May through September contracts up modestly. China may not be buying U.S. corn, but Beijing did pick up 120,000 tons of old crop U.S. sorghum. The EIA reports ethanol production for the week ending April 18 was an average of 910,000 barrels per day. Weekly old crop U.S. corn sales are estimated at 300,000 to 800,000 tons, with new crop at 100,000 to 250,000 tons.

The wheat complex was higher on fund and technical buying, in addition to spillover from corn. The complex is watching chances for rain in the Southern Plains, in addition to a potential cold snap. The trade’s also assessing freeze damage from earlier this year. Japan bought 29,700 tons of U.S. hard red winter and 21,800 tons of U.S. dark northern spring, along with 25,100 tons of Canadian western red spring and 32,200 tons of Australian standard white. Iran bought 60,000 tons of wheat from Russia. Weekly old crop U.S. wheat sales are projected at 100,000 to 450,000 tons, with new crop at 225,000 to 450,000 tons.

Lean hogs end with triple digit gains

There was limited activity in the cash cattle trade on Wednesday afternoon with just a few preliminary bids noted in parts of Nebraska at 232.00 to 233.00, and Kansas and Texas at 142.00. Asking prices are around 148.00 in the South and 238.00 plus in the North. Significant trade volume may not develop until Thursday or Friday. The kill totaled 115,000 head, even with last week, but 9,000 less than last year.

Boxed beef cutout values were higher on moderate demand and moderate offerings. Choice beef was up 1.43 at 232.64, and select was 1.05 higher at 220.67.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled 15 to 52 points higher. There was narrowly mixed trade for much of the session as traders exited the soon to expire April market and move into the June and August futures contracts. The April was able to sustain price levels above the 143.00 per hundredweight threshold. Higher boxed beef values were supportive to the summer contracts. April settled .22 higher at 143.92, and June was up .12 at 135.10.

Feeder cattle ended the session 17 to 32 points higher. The moderate gains held across the feeder cattle complex despite the firming tone of the corn markets and the lack of strong buyer interest in the live cattle market. Traders continue to look for additional direction from outside markets and potential additional insight into the upcoming cattle on feed report due for release Friday. May settled .27 higher at 178.62 and August was up .17 at 182.45.

Continue reading “Lean hogs end with triple digit gains” »

Closing Grain and Livestock Futures: April 23, 2014

May corn closed at $5.03 and 1/2, up 7 and 1/4 cents
May soybeans closed at $14.68 and 1/2, down 11 and 1/4 cents
May soybean meal closed at $478.10, down $1.70
May soybean oil closed at 42.50, down 24 points
May wheat closed at $6.76 and 1/2, up 3 and 1/2 cents
Apr. live cattle closed at $143.92, up 22 cents
Jun. lean hogs closed at $126.25, up $3.00
Jun. crude oil closed at $101.44, down 31 cents
Jul. cotton closed at 92.64, down 61 points
May Class III milk closed at $22.41, up 12 cents
Jun. gold closed at $1,284.60, up $3.50
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 16,501.65, down 12.72 points

Wednesday midday cash livestock markets

Cash cattle activity remains limited with just a few preliminary bids reported by private sources from 232.00 to 233.00 on a dressed basis in the North. Asking prices are around 238.00 plus in the North and 148.00 in the South. While attractive basis opportunities could spark scattered business, significant trade volume will likely be delayed until late in the week.

Boxed beef cutout values in the morning report are higher with the choice boxes up 1.14 at 232.35, and select is 1.28 higher at 220.90.

Feeder cattle receipts at the Philip livestock Auction at Philip, South Dakota totaled 2871 head on Tuesday. Sales have not been reported recently so no price comparison can be made. There was good demand for a long string and many part loads and packages of feeder steers. Feeder and replacement heifers sold on an active to very active market. 779 pound feeder steers averaged 180.01 per hundredweight. 179 head of replacement heifers weighing 779 pounds brought an average of 187.48.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade are .59 higher at 116.31 weighted average on a carcass basis, the West is up 1.56 at 116.05, and Eastern hogs are not reported. Missouri direct base carcass meat price is steady from 105.00 to 107.00. Midwest hogs are steady to 2.00 lower with an instance of 4.00 lower on a live basis from 78.00 to 90.00.

The pork carcass cutout value FOB plant is 1.37 higher at 118.46 on a negotiated basis.

While summer lean hog futures remain far below the highs of the first quarter, steadily growing premiums over spring cash clearly reflect friendly price expectations, both in terms of tightening seasonal supplies and improving pork demand.

On feed report should show increased placements

UDSA’s cattle on feed report Friday is expected to show an increase in placements.

According to Dow Jones Newswires, on average, analysts see March placements up 1.7% on the year thanks to better profit margins and cheaper feed costs.

Marketings are expected to be down 3.4% from a year ago, while the total number of cattle on feed could be up around a half a percent.

The report is out Friday at 3 PM Eastern/2 PM Central.