Corn futures are mostly steady higher this morning. After essentially a three day decline following USDA’s Crop Production report, corn futures have attempted to bounce back. Firming cash prices are giving futures a firmer tone. Farmer selling has dried up on the price decline and commercials are anxious to get corn in position to move into export channels in advance of possible barge restrictions or even Mississippi River closure south of St. Louis. Dry weather in Argentina should help facilitate planting progress.
Soybean prices are trading 12 to 15 cents higher this morning as futures rebound from 4 1/2 month lows following last week’s USDA reports. The NOPA crush report will be released at 7:30 AM CST this morning. The U.S. soybean crush during October is expected 147.7 million bushels, up from 119.7 million in September and 141.2 million a year ago. October soyoil stocks are expected to edge up from last month to 2.04 billion pounds. Central and eastern growing areas of Brazil received additional rainfall over the last 24 hours with amounts ranging from 1/2 an inch up to 3 inches.
Wheat prices are 2-6 cents higher in early trade. Another decline in the U.S. winter wheat crop condition rating is helping spark a price bounce. Despite some weekend showers in the eastern Plains, the winter wheat condition rating continues to drop to historically low levels. The percent rated good or excellent fell 3 points to 39%. This compares to expectations for a 1 point decline. The forecast for the U.S. Plains remains dry.
Live cattle futures are 20-40 points lower this morning. Cash bids so far this week are undeveloped. Processors need to source fewer cattle to meet next week’s holiday shortened slaughter schedule. Beef prices were a little higher again Tuesday. Cattle futures continue to consolidate in a fairly narrow trading range. Trade estimates for Friday’s monthly Cattle on Feed report will be out soon. Placements are likely to be down sharply again in October.
Lean hog futures are mixed in early trading. Cash movement was light on Tuesday, suggesting packers may need to be more aggressive filling slaughter needs today. However, weak pork prices are seen as a limiting factor. Lower ham and belly prices led pork prices lower. Lean hog futures pulled back from early highs on Tuesday which has provided some negative momentum to early trade this morning.
Cotton futures are trading higher. Rumors remain rampant that Chinese buying is behind the sudden surge in commercial long positions revealed in last Friday’s CFTC Commitments of Traders report. China’s stocks are already huge, but the big jump in commercial long holdings was startling no matter what buyer was behind them.