Crop markets gear up for USDA reports

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Corn futures are trading higher at midday. Positioning ahead of the USDA reports due out on Thursday morning is supporting the market. Traders are looking for USDA report the size of the crop at 13.08 billion bushels, which would be down 2.9% from the July estimate due to the hot and dry weather last month. Gains are being limited by sharp losses in the stock market and crude oil futures. September is 3 3/4 cents higher at $6.82 and December is 3 1/2 cents higher at $6.92. 

Soybean futures are slightly lower at midsession. Sharp losses in the stock market and crude oil are weighing lightly on futures although losses are being limited by positioning ahead of the USDA reports due out on Thursday morning. Improved crop weather this week and non-threatening forecasts are also weighing on futures. Traders are looking for USDA to lower their crop estimate to 3.17 billion bushels, down 1.6% from the July estimate. September is 1/2 of a cent lower at $12.92 3/4 and November is 1 cent lower at $12.98 3/4.  

Wheat futures are solidly higher at midday. Position evening ahead of the USDA reports due out on Thursday morning are supporting the market. Some strength came from news that the Federal Reserve plans to leave interest rates near zero for the next two year. USDA is expected to peg the wheat crop at a four year low. However, the sharp decline in the stock market and the rebound in the dollar index from losses overnight are limiting further gains. CBOT September is 11 1/2 cents higher at $6.83 1/4, KCBT September is 10 cents higher at $7.73 and MGE September is 8 3/4 cents higher at $8.25 1/2.

Cattle futures are trading mixed at midsession. Further losses in equity markets are being offset with strength in beef prices and ideas of firm cash trade this week. Beef prices have strengthened recently and there is optimism that beef demand will improve seasonally. Generally smaller showlists and the firm beef prices are expected to push cash prices higher. But deferreds are mostly lower on the weakness in the stock market and continued global economic concerns. October is 8 cents higher at $117.90 and December is 28 cents higher at $120.18.

Lean hog futures are lower at midday. Expectations for increasing pork supplies seasonally and ideas that pork prices and the cash market are topping are weighing on futures. Pork prices were down 66 cents after hitting new record highs nine out of the past ten business days. Strong losses in the stock market again this morning are also weighing on the market. October is 53 cents lower at $88.60 and December is $1.35 lower at $84.50.



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