Ahead of the Open: Crop Markets Quiet Overnight

Posted on 01/17/2018 8:01 AM

Crop calls

Corn: Narrowly mixed
Soybeans: Fractionally to 1 cent lower
Wheat: Narrowly mixed

Price action in the crop markets was quiet overnight, with futures generally holding within 1-cent trading ranges as traders reevaluate positions and keep an eye on the weather in South America. While conditions the next week to 10 days are expected to be mostly favorable for Brazil, erratic rains are expected to contribute to net drying in Argentina.

While the U.S. dollar index is at its lowest level since early January 2015, traders are waiting for signs that export demand has improved. Ample global supplies have kept many countries buying on an as-needed basis. On a positive note, USDA announced an unknown buyer has purchased 130,000 MT of 2018-crop soybeans.

Livestock calls

Cattle: Lower
Hogs: Higher

Following yesterday’s gains, cattle futures are expected to start the day under pressure as traders anticipate lower cash cattle trade amid tightening packer margins. Choice beef values dropped $2.45 yesterday, although this encouraged strong movement of 148 loads. February live cattle hold around a $2 discount to last week’s $120 cash cattle trade, which should limit pressure on nearby futures.

Meanwhile, attitudes are bullish in the hog market, as reflected by yesterday’s round of fresh contract highs. Packer demand remains strong, although they are also faced with tighter margins. The pork market has not kept pace with the quick rise in the cash hog market.


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