Ahead of the Open: Weaker Dollar Supportive for Crop Markets

Posted on 02/15/2018 8:03 AM

Crop calls

Corn: Steady to fractionally higher
Soybeans: Fractionally to 1 cent higher
Wheat: 1 to 3 cents higher

While corn and soybean futures saw two-sided trade overnight, a weaker tone in the U.S. dollar index provided support at times and futures ended the session favoring the upside. Traders in the corn market could easily extend gains based on this morning’s weekly export sales data from USDA. Corn sale for the current marketing year the week ended Feb. 8 topped expectations at 1.974,500 MT. Wheat and soybean sales were within expectations.

Traders are also, of course, keeping a close eye on weather forecasts for South America. Overnight weather models reduced rainfall changes for northeastern Argentina for the weekend. A weak frontal boundary is expected to bring only isolated relief to the country.


Livestock calls

Cattle: Mixed
Hogs: Mixed

Cattle futures are expected to see a mixed tone as traders wait on active cash trade to begin. While showlists are smaller this week, packers’ margins are tight, which could lead to a delay in cash trade until tomorrow afternoon.

Hog futures are called mixed on a combination of followthrough buying from yesterday’s gains and the possibility of some profit-taking as traders reevaluate positions. However, there is more room to the upside for April futures, which are now the lead-month contract and hold around a $4 discount to the cash index. This could lead to spreading.

For the week ended Feb. 8, USDA reports beef export sales of 10,400 MT were down 44% from the prior week. However, pork sales of 21,300 MT were up 68% from the previous week. A weaker dollar is a plus for export demand.

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