Ag commodities seemed directionless Wednesday morning

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After having declined Tuesday in reaction to the surprisingly fast planting pace indicated on the Monday afternoon Crop Progress report, corn futures bounced modestly overnight. There seemed to be little substantive news, so the rise seemed to be motivated by technical factors. July corn futures were unchanged at $6.40/bushel Wednesday morning, while December added 3.25 cents to $5.235.

Soybean futures followed their strong showing Tuesday with a mixed performance early Wednesday. For example, the nearby July contract set back from the four-month high hit yesterday. Asian palm oil strength seemed to support the oil market, whereas nearby meal futures dipped (and deferred futures posted modest gains). Traders are apparently looking for pertinent news. July soybean futures slipped 1.75 cents to $14.765/bushel in early Wednesday trading, while July soyoil gained 0.11 cents to 49.59 cents/pound, and July soybean meal lost $2.4 to $436.3/ton.

Wheat futures recovered somewhat overnight from their weak Tuesday performance. Talk of a firm bid at an Indian wheat tender may have signaled support under the international market, while the strong showing posted by Minneapolis wheat yesterday seemed to indicate domestic firmness. July CBOT wheat futures surged 4.0 cents to $6.845/bushel early Wednesday morning, while July KCBT wheat climbed 3.5 to $7.42, and July MGE futures inched up 0.5 cents to $8.14.

Persistent beef gains have seemingly boosted cash market prospects for this week, which in turn are supporting nearby cattle futures. The fact that most 2013 live cattle contracts are trading at discounts to recent cash values is probably encouraging traders as well. June cattle gained 0.10 cents to 121.20 cents/pound as the sun rose over Chicago this morning, while December was steady at 125.20. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures increased 0.15 cents to 146.62 cents/pound, whereas November skidded 0.20 cent to 151.80.

Anticipation of seasonal strength through mid-June seemed to support CME lean hog futures Tuesday. Moreover, news that the cash and wholesale markets had performed better than expected earlier in the day very likely translated into continued strength overnight. Swine futures could continue rising until traders see signs of cash and/or wholesale weakness. June hog futures advanced 0.30 cents to 92.70 cents/pound Tuesday night, while December futures added 0.10 cents to 78.70.

The Tuesday cotton breakdown seems somewhat overdone this morning, which may partially explain the rebound posted overnight. The drop posted yesterday very likely reflected trader concerns about the strength of futures Chinese buying, potentially improved U.S. plantings and U.S. dollar strength. Only time will tell if those worries are overdone at this point, but the technical consequences of the decline are not very promising. July cotton futures rebounded 0.74 cents to 84.60 cents/pound in early Wednesday trading, while December jumped 0.96 cents to 85.11.



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