Ahead of the Open: Quiet Finish to the Week Waiting for Next Week's China Talks, Fresh Weather Forecasts and WASDE Report

Posted on 05/03/2019 7:57 AM

Grain Calls

Corn: Down 1 cent to up 1 cent
Soybeans: Up 1 to 3 cents
Wheat: Down 3 to 5 cents

General Comment: It was quite overnight with mixed trends in the corn, soybean and wheat markets with volumes restrained by holidays in Asia and lingering vacations in Europe and the Black Sea region. It would not be surprising to see a firming trend into the weekend develop with wet weather still seen into mid-May and the potential for a U.S./China trade deal announcement next week. Fund shorts expanded to another record in beans this week and were reduced in corn. Next week will be dominated by the weather forecasts and positioning ahead of the May 10 USDA first estimates on winter wheat production and U.S. and global supply and demand for the 2019-20 season. 
The U.S. economy remains strong, creating 263,000 new jobs in April, higher than expected and pushing the unemployment rate down to 3.6%, the lowest since 1969. Hourly wages were up 3.2% in April from a year ago, that good news for meat demand this summer.

Consumer prices in the euro area rose 1.7 percent in April, the strongest since November, with core inflation, which strips out volatile food and fuel prices, jumping to 1.2 percent. Both readings beat economists’ estimates and coupled with other recent more-positive-than-expected economic data for the region is good news for Europe and may help to weaken the dollar.

The wet weather looks to continue next week after some warmer, drier weather this weekend for much of the Corn Belt. The heavy rains and resulting flooding pushed the Chicago Board of Trade has declared a Force Majeure at all corn and soybean shipping stations along the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers as high water made barge load oust impossible.

The U.S. Midwest weather forecast had no major changes with rainfall for the southeast region over the weekend; a widespread system returns to the region Monday thru Wednesday of next week with moderate to heavy amounts of precipitation to keep corn planting slow except in the few dry spots in the west. The Southern U.S. Plains will continue to see above-average rain the next 10 days with temps running average to below average, positive for HRW yields. The Northern U.S. Plains is mostly dry until late Sunday into Monday when a system returns to the area. Cool temperatures will slow drying and planting progress. The U.S. Delta and the Southeast will see rainfall expand today beginning a week of wet weather in much of the Delta while rain is lighter and less frequent in the Southeast.

USDA  daily export sales reporting services said private exporters sold  293,922 metric tons of soybeans for delivery to Mexico during the 2019-20 marketing year.

Corn market is seen mixed this morning. July futures rose to $3.71 ¾, the highest since April 15. Prices have slipped back into the red this morning on profit taking after rising more than 20 cents in the past six sessions on delayed planting. 

Soybean seen slightly higher on fund short covering before the weekend after falling nearly 65 cents since April 15. Still, prices are only paring a fourth straight weekly decline

Wheat futures are under pressure from confirmation of big HRW crops in the making, ignoring the potential losses for SRW crops from too much rain and slow spring wheat planting progress. The annual Wheat Quality Council crop tour found record yield potential in Kansas while larger crops also measured in Oklahoma and Colorado. Since emerging from its winter dormancy, Kansas wheat has flourished, with above-average moisture and mild weather fostering development. But most of the crop was still weeks away from reaching full maturity and vulnerable to hot weather the next six weeks. Saskatchewan farmers have been able to seed 5% of the 2019 crop, compared to the five-year average of 3%. Many producers have indicated that seeding will begin in the coming weeks once weather conditions improve. Field conditions across the province have improved with recent moisture

Livestock Calls:

Cattle: Steady to weak

Hogs: Mixed

 futures expected to see some short covering after pushing to new swing lows this week. Cash cattle prices softened in some locations as negotiations extended later in the week.   Choice and Select boxed beef values tumbled $1.42 and $2.42, respectively, on Thursday, though this did encourage good sales for a second day.

Hog futures seen opening mixed with a firm undertone. The national cash hog markets fell $1.50 on Thursday, but Iowa/Minnesota average prices were only 4 cents lower. Wholesale pork prices jumped $1.93 yesterday, providing underlying support heading into the weekend. It does look like the belly market has bottomed and that will provide support going into the summer. U.S./China trade talks get going again next week in Washington and reports this week have suggest a deal could be completed by the end of next week.

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