Grain markets trade lower at midday

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Corn futures are lower at midday. USDA reported corn export sales to Mexico and South Korea for 2012/13 delivery. Spot basis levels are strong amid solid demand and slow farmer selling. Tight old-crop stocks are helping support nearby futures, but favorable new-crop prospects are weighing on December futures. The December contract fell to the lowest level in more than a year. Outside markets are sharply lower with crude oil down more than $4.00 per barrel. July corn is 4 ½ cents lower at $6.10. The December contract is 7 ½ cents lower at $5.22.

Soybean futures are trading lower at midsession. Soybeans opened slightly higher after a strong decline in prices on Thursday. Outside factors such as good rains in the US Midwest, sharply lower crude oil, and a discouraging U.S. jobs report may be placing downward pressure on prices. Additionally, USDA reported export sales of 120,000 tonnes of soybeans deliverable to unknown destination during the 2012/2013 marketing year. This should encourage soybean prices. The July contract is down 10 1/4 cents at $14.63 1/4, and the November contract is up 11 3/4 cents at 13.56 1/2.

Wheat futures are trading lower at midday. The higher-than-expected Kansas Wheat Tour production estimate is only a minor factor. The larger factor is more negative economic reports that have the outside markets down sharply; especially crude oil. Another factor is weakening corn prices on improving weather and rapid planting progress. With wheat competitive as a feed grain, it is frequently joined-at-the-hip, you might say, to trends in corn prices. CBOT July is 11 cents lower at $6.04 ½; KCBT July is 8 ½ cents lower at $6.24 ½; MGE 4 1/2 cents higher at $6.36, and MGE July is 6 ¾ cents lower at $7.38 ¾.

Cattle futures are lower at midday. Futures turned lower on profit-taking amid weakness in the outside markets and as traders await action in the cash cattle markets. The monthly jobs report showed a disappointing level of job creation in April. The economy only added 115,000 new jobs compared to expectations of 160,000. The stock market is down along grains and livestock generally. June cattle futures are 47 cents lower at $115.40 and August is 77 cents lower at $117.77.

Lean hog futures are mostly lower at midday. Weakness in cash hog prices and wholesale pork prices on Thursday are putting pressure on futures prices Friday morning. The June contract is down by well over a dollar but deferred contracts are showing some signs of strength. October and December contracts are posting small gains at midday. The June contract is down $1.77 at midday, falling to $83.15.



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