Slow planting pace supports corn

Soybeans were lower on fund and commercial selling. Brazil’s harvest is nearly over, Argentina’s about a quarter done, and U.S. planting could be a new record. Past that – there was no fresh news, especially from the demand side, and there are a lot of uncertainties about Chinese demand. Soybean meal and oil were lower on the bearish tone in the soybean complex.

Corn was higher on fund and commercial buying. As of Sunday, 6% of the crop’s planted, compared to 4% a year ago and 14% on average, which was a little slower than expected. Additionally, forecasts do show some cooler than normal temperatures and parts of the Midwest will see heavier than average rainfall. Also, Mexico bought 240,000 tons of new crop U.S. corn. Ethanol was mixed, with nearby contracts higher.

The wheat complex was higher on fund and technical buying. The trade continues to watch drought conditions in the Southern Plains, along with the potential for another cold snap, and planting delays in the Northern Plains. The trade’s also watching political tensions in the Black Sea region. According to Russia’s Ag Ministry, 11.5% of spring grains are planted, ahead of last year’s pace. DTN reports Japan has a pair of wheat tenders out: a sell-buy-sell tender for 120,000 tons of feed wheat and a tender for 108,800 tons of food wheat from the U.S., Canada, and Australia.

Cattle and hog futures end the day higher

Feedlot business was at a complete standstill on Tuesday afternoon with even token bids hard to find. Some showlists are priced around 148.00 in the South and 238.00 plus in the North. Significant trade volume will probably be delayed until Thursday or Friday. The cattle kill was estimated by USDA at 116,000 head 2,000 below last week and 6,000 short of last year.

Boxed beef cutout values were higher on moderate to fairly good demand and light offerings. Choice beef was 2.15 higher at 231.21, and select was up 1.55 at 219.60.

Live cattle contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange settled 25 to 82 points higher as firming support developed through the complex with buyers concentrating on summer contracts and the expectation of stronger beef demand. The aggressive gains in in the morning boxed beef values helped to sustain the initial buyer activity through the entire cattle complex. April settled .25 higher at 143.70, and June was up .42 at 134.97,

Feeder cattle ended the session 25 to 92 points higher as buyers returned to the complex following the building support in nearby and deferred live cattle futures. May settled .25 higher at 178.35, and August was up .37 at 182.27.

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Pork stocks much smaller than expected

USDA’s monthly cold storage report shows much stronger than expected pork demand during March.

At the end of the month, pork supplies totaled 575.223 million pounds, down 12% on the month and 11% on the year, and well below the average pre-report guess of 629.8 million pounds. Beef came out at 404.754 million pounds, 1% less than a month ago and 21% below a year ago, pretty much matching what analysts were expecting. Total red meat supplies were 1.011 billion pounds, down 8% on the month and 14% less than this time last year.

Chicken was reported at 588.173 million pounds, a 6% year to year decrease, and turkey came out at 335.898 million pounds, down 16% on the year, with total poultry at 925.853 million pounds, 10% lower than a year ago.

Closing Grain and Livestock Futures: April 22, 2014

May corn closed at $4.96 and 1/4, up 7 and 3/4 cents
May soybeans closed at $14.79 and 3/4, down 19 cents
May soybean meal closed at $479.80, down $5.90
May soybean oil closed at 42.74, down 26 points
May wheat closed at $6.73, up 4 and 3/4 cents
Apr. live cattle closed at $143.70, up 25 cents
Jun. lean hogs closed at $123.25, up 90 cents
May crude oil closed at $102.13, down $2.24
Jul. cotton closed at 93.25, up 104 points
May Class III milk closed at $22.27, up 45 cents
Jun. gold closed at $1,281.10, down $7.40
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 16,514.37, up 65.12 points

Tuesday midday cash livestock markets

Expect a typical Tuesday in cattle country, with little to suggest the cash market will be unusually energetic. Look for the bids and asking prices to remain poorly defined. A few showlists will be priced around 148.00 in the South and 238.00 plus in the North. Trade is not expected until at least midweek, but the showlists are larger and that could affect the early asking prices.

Boxed beef cutout values are higher in the morning report, choice boxes are up 2.26 at 231.32, and select is 1.23 higher at 219.30.

Feeder cattle receipts at the Joplin, Missouri Regional Stockyards on Monday totaled 4663 head. Compared to last week, steer and heifer calves traded unevenly steady, yearlings were steady to 2.00 higher. The demand was good on a moderate supply. There was a high percentage of fleshy new crop calves along with a good offering of yearlings in the mix. Feeder steers, medium and large 1 averaging 524 pounds averaged 208.58 per hundredweight. 527 pound heifers traded at an average of 196.42.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota and Eastern direct trade areas are not reported due to confidentiality. Western hogs are 4.90 lower at 110.50 weighted average on a carcass basis. Nationally barrows and gilts are 2.85 lower at 110.20. Missouri direct base carcass meat price is 1.00 to 3.00 lower from 105.00 to 107.00. The Midwest hog market on a live basis is steady to 2.00 lower from 79.50 to 94.000.

Pork carcass value is down .84 at 118.58 FOB plant.

As pork processors pull into the last half of April they should have fewer contracts to draw upon for slaughter needs. Such a reality will force hog buyers to become more aggressive in terms of negotiated procurement.

Rain pressures grains and oilseeds

Soybeans were lower on fund and speculative selling. Contracts backed down from last week’s highs due to widespread soil moisture recharging rainfall. In any event, there was no real fresh news to start out the week and there are continued concerns about long term Chinese demand due to a combination of previously purchased beans and credit issues. That said – the tight near term supply did help contracts close above session lows. China reports soybean imports for March were 4.623 million tons, 3.693 million of that U.S. beans, with year to date purchases at 15.346 million pounds, 13.738 million of that U.S. origin. Soybean meal and oil were lower, following the lead of beans.

Corn was lower on fund and speculative selling. Corn’s also watching that rainfall and expecting some solid planting progress, but, there are definitely delays in some areas. USDA reports 6% of corn is planted, less than what the trade had been expecting, compared to 4% last year and 14% on average. Since that planting figure was lower than expected, corn may be able to pull a Turnaround Tuesday session. Ethanol futures were higher. According to China’s Ministry of Commerce, corn imports for March were 48,131 tons, down nearly 80% on the year, with the U.S. supplying 11,942 tons, a 95% drop, and Thailand accounting for 34,500 tons. So far this year, Chinese corn purchases are 1.179 million tons, 15% ahead of a year ago, with the U.S. making up 859,561 tons of the total. Friday, unknown destinations bought 128,000 tons of 2013/14 U.S. corn.

The wheat complex was sharply lower on fund and speculative selling. The trade’s responding to rainfall in the Southern Plains, but the region will need a lot more. For the winter crop, USDA says 9% has headed, compared to 17% on average, with 34% of the crop rated good to excellent, unchanged, but with 1% moving from good to excellent, and for spring wheat, 10% is planted, compared to 7% a year ago and 19% on average. China’s Ministry of Commerce states March wheat imports were 538,950 tons, 86% larger than March 2013, with Australia accounting for 325,684 tons. For the year to date, Chinese wheat purchases are 1.843 million tons, 167% above this time last year, with most of that from Australia, followed by the U.S. The trade’s also keeping an eye on political developments around the Black Sea region.

Direct hogs in the west close higher

Cattle country was very quiet on Monday afternoon as packers limited their efforts to the collection of the new showlists. This week’s fed offering appears to be generally larger with only Texas showing fewer ready slaughter steers and heifers. A few asking prices have been floated around 148.00 in the South and 238.00 plus in the North. The slaughter totaled 103,000 head, 12,000 smaller than last week and 19,000 below 2013.

Boxed beef cutout values were higher on moderate to fairly good demand and light to moderate offerings. Choice beef was up 2.71 at 229.06, and select was 2.84 higher at 218.07.

Live cattle contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange closed 17 points higher to 75 lower. Aggressive pressure developed through the April contracts despite the initial attempt to keep the trade contained to a narrow trading range. The lead contract was as much as 1.57 lower and pushed below 143.00, a close at that level could have sparked additional pressure through the front month contracts. However the contract did see a rebound and closed off the low of the day. April settled .75 lower at 143.45, and June was up .17 at 134.55.

Feeder cattle settled 5 to 72 points higher on the moderate to strong losses in the corn futures market. May settled .05 higher at 178.10 and August was .50 higher at 181.90.

Continue reading “Direct hogs in the west close higher” »

Closing Grain and Livestock Futures: April 21, 2014

May corn closed at $4.88 and 1/2, down 6 and 1/4 cents
May soybeans closed at $14.98 and 3/4, down 15 and 1/4 cents
May soybean meal closed at $485.70, down $2.60
May soybean oil closed at 43.00, down 41 points
May wheat closed at $6.68 and 1/4, down 23 cents
Apr. live cattle closed at $143.45, down 75 cents
Jun. lean hogs closed at $122.35, down $2.47
May crude oil closed at $104.37, up 7 cents
Jul. cotton closed at 92.21, down 13 points
May Class III milk closed at $21.84, down 30 cents
May gold closed at $1,288.50, down $5.40
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 16,449.25, up 40.71 points

Monday midday cash livestock markets

The activity in feedlot country on Monday is limited to the distribution of the new showlists. Ready numbers are expected to be steady to somewhat larger than last week. Most packers should start the week still close to the knife. Asking prices are around 148.00 in the South, and 238.00 to 240.00 in the North.

Boxed beef cutout values are higher in the morning report. Choice beef is up 1.69 at 228.04, and select is 1.87 higher at 217.10.

Feeder cattle receipts at Missouri auctions last week totaled 28,804 head. Compared to the previous week, feeder steers and heifers were mostly steady around the state. Some six and seven weight steers were weak to 4.00 lower. Locally reporters noted uneven markets. Demand was good, supply was moderate. Feeder steers medium and large 1 averaging 576 pounds brought 214.29 per hundredweight. 570 pound heifers traded at 190.11.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota and Western direct trade areas are not reported due to confidentiality. Nationally the market is 2.91 lower with a weighted average of 110.33 on a carcass basis. Eastern hogs are 1.02 lower at 110.56. Missouri direct base carcass meat price is 4.00 lower at 108.00. Barrows and gilts in the Midwest on a live basis are steady with an instance of 3.00 to 5.00 lower from 81.50 to 92.00 with a top in Iowa at 96.00.

The pork carcass cutout value is .55 higher at 121.89.

After two weeks of significantly lower hog sales, many expect greater country spending now that Easter has come and gone, and the next major shift in ready numbers of barrows and gilts will be lower regardless of the exact level of PEDv death loss through the winter.

 

Big week for corn inspections

USDA reports corn export inspections for the week ending April 17 were larger than expected, while soybeans and wheat were within pre-report estimates.

Wheat came out at 495,250 tons, down 216,977 from the week ending April 10 and 223,097 lower than the week ending April 18, 2013. For the 2013/14 marketing year to date, wheat inspections are 27,762,995 tons, compared to 23,719,275 in 2012/13.

Corn was reported at 1,599,228 tons, up 119,388 from the previous week and 1,272,979 higher than this time last year. So far this marketing year, corn inspections are 26,800,734 tons, compared to 11,951,498 a year ago.

Soybeans were pegged at 138,777 tons, 129,652 less than the week before, but 686 more than last year. At this point in the marketing year, soybean inspections are 41,084,185 tons, compared to 33,674,804 a year ago.

Sorghum inspections totaled 270,549 tons. That’s an increase of 64,079 tons on the week and 254,371 on the year. 2013/14 sorghum inspections are 2,814,119 tons, compared to 1,356,957 in 2012/13.