Ahead of the Open: Crop Markets Firmer Overnight

Posted on 02/23/2018 8:04 AM

Crop calls

Corn: Steady to 1 cent higher
Soybeans: 1 to 3 cents higher
Wheat: 2 to 4 cents higher

Traders are pouring over USDA’s balance sheets this morning, which were released at its outlook forum. While USDA projects 2018-19 corn, soybean and wheat carryover down from the current marketing year, they are still projecting stocks to be ample.

This morning’s weekly export sales data showed corn sales higher than expected, with wheat sales within expectations. But net soybean sales reductions of 109,100 MT for 2017-18 are a big disappointment. The bulk of the soybean sales cancellations were for China, but even without those cancellations, soybean sales would not have met traders’ expectations.

Also this morning, USDA announced daily sales of 115,000 MT for Egypt for 2017-18 and soybean sales of 106,000 MT to an unknown destination, with 40,000 MT for 2017-18 and 66,000 MT for 2018-19.


Livestock calls

Cattle: Mixed
Hogs: Mixed

Buying in livestock futures will be limited to short-covering ahead of the weekend, as futures are expected to favor a lower tone following yesterday’s Cold Storage Report. The report showed pork and beef stocks at the end of January higher than expected. Additionally, traders will be evening positions for this afternoon’s Cattle on Feed Report that’s expected to show on feed and marketings up six to seven percentage points from year-ago levels, while placements are expected to be near year-ago levels.

This week’s gains in the boxed beef market are impressive, as Choice values rose to $218.40 per cwt yesterday. But movement has moderated this week, which raises concern prices have rallied too far too fast. Pork cutout values were just 6 cents firmer yesterday on 317.23 loads. The cash hog market is called steady to $1 lower this morning.

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