Ahead of the Open: Soybeans Lead Grain Markets Higher to Start the Week

Posted on 02/12/2018 6:00 AM

Crop calls

Corn: 2 to 3 cents higher
Soybeans: 10 to 15 cents higher
Wheat: 3 to 6 cents higher

Soybean futures led price gains in the grain and soy markets overnight amid weather concerns in Argentina. Weekend rains weren’t as widespread or heavy as anticipated. Plus, forecasts call for mostly hot and dry conditions across the country this week. That will further stress crops. There is a rain event expected by late this week, though traders will watch its development closely since the rains have tended to dissipate as the systems develop.

Corn and wheat were pulled higher by soybeans overnight. Argentine weather concerns are supportive for corn futures. In fact, the corn crop in Argentina has been hurt by dryness more than soybeans, but traders haven’t been as responsive in the corn market. The Central and Southern Plains could be in line for precip later this week, but amounts are expected to be light and not reverse drought in the region.

USDA announced China cancelled 455,000 MT of soybeans for 2017-18. But sales of 314,000 MT of soybeans to an unknown destination were also announced -- 198,000 MT for 2017-18; 116,000 MT for 2018-19.


Livestock calls

Cattle: Steady to higher
Hogs: Two-sided trade

 Light cash cattle trade was reported around steady $126 prices late Friday, with unconfirmed reports of prices in the $127 to $128 range. That should mildly support live cattle futures, though attention will quickly turn to expectations for cash cattle trade this week. Boxed beef prices faced heavy pressure Friday and packer margins have tightened, so interest in bidding up for cash cattle may be limited depending on how many cattle packers bought last week.

Hog futures closed poorly Friday, which points to followthrough selling. But with February and April hogs at a discount to the cash index, we anticipate some corrective buying to surface. The cash hog market showed weakness at points last week, but the cash index is modestly trending higher – a trend that we expect to continue. Though packer margins have tightened, they remain in the black, giving them incentive to push as many hogs as possible through kill lines.


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