News out of China roiled the ag markets Wednesday morning

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News that China had cancelled a purchase of old crop soybeans badly undercut that market Wednesday morning and dragged nearby corn futures downward as well. Conversely, anticipated difficulties in getting the remainder of the new corn crop planted once again supported new crop prices. July corn dove 12.0 cents to $6.545/bushel Wednesday morning, while December rose 1.0 cent to $5.52.

The USDA announced early Wednesday morning that Chinese officials had cancelled the purchase of 147,000 tonnes of old crop U.S. soybeans, which clearly sent prices sharply lower. Traders worry about more of the same during the weeks ahead, since the old crop situation is expected to get extremely tight by late summer. Ideas that wet weather will force corn acreage into soybeans may also have weighed upon deferred futures. July soybean futures plunged 17.5 cents to $14.92/bushel by late Wednesday morning, while July soyoil dropped 0.77 cents to 48.77 cents/pound, and July soybean meal slid $2.7 to $439.6/ton.

Wheat futures proved much less vulnerable to selling spilling over from the soybean market Wednesday morning. Indeed, wire service reports cited potential excesses of moisture across the central Plains for the modest gains at the Chicago and Minneapolis markets. Kansas City prices were decidedly mixed. July CBOT wheat futures rose 5.25 cents to $6.99/bushel just before lunchtime Wednesday, while July KCBT wheat added 1.0 cent to $7.445, and July MGE futures gained 5.5 cent to $8.12.

News that a large Chinese firm is prepared to take over Smithfield Foods seemed to boost the whole livestock complex Wednesday morning. This does not directly affect the cattle market, but it does seem in increase the potential for rising pork exports to the country down the road, which in turn might reduce competition with cattle and beef. Otherwise, CME traders seem to think nearby cattle futures are somewhat underpriced in the wake of the cash strength seen late last week. June cattle rallied 0.40 cents to 121.15 cents/pound Wednesday morning, while December added 0.47 to 125.85. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures climbed 0.45 cents to 145.92 cents/pound, and November inched up 0.12 cents to 150.62.

The announcement that a large Chinese firm plans to take over Smithfield Foods boosted CME hog futures Wednesday morning, since it increased the possibility that the Asian giant will import more U.S. pork in the future. Traders obviously felt the increases would later rather than sooner, since deferred futures clearly outperformed their nearby counterparts. June hog futures surged 0.47 cents to 95.17 cents/pound late Wednesday morning, while the December contract jumped 0.90 cents to 80.47.



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