MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM ALL OF US AT TOTAL FARM MARKETING!
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 24: The CME closes at 12:15 CT, and Total Farm Marketing offices close at 1:00 CT. There will be no 4:30 update.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 25: The CME and Total Farm Marketing offices are closed.
Corn futures made new highs overnight while setting the pace to close higher for a ninth consecutive session. March corn got to 4.46 fueled by technical momentum and another round of double-digit gains in beans. Underlying support from shrinking production estimates for South America’s crop is also noted; and, approval of a stimulus aid package of around $900 billion includes U.S. agriculture benefitting with new aid of $13 Bil while the U.S. ethanol and biodiesel industries are expected to enjoy tax benefits and extenders to maintain production. Weekly Export Sales and Ethanol Stats will be out today in lieu of the holiday-shortened week of trade this week. Trade estimates for corn exports are 600,000 to 1.0 mil tons.
Soybean futures continued to forge new highs overnight with Jan reaching 12.58-1/4 on gains of 11 cents led by soyoil contracts that blew through Tuesday’s new contract highs overnight. The worker strike in Argentina enters its 14th day today halting commerce at the country’s main port of Rosario where about 80% of their nation’s Ag exports are shipped. The labor strike hinges on demands from workers and grain inspectors for higher pay. The turmoil increases U.S. export potential and has helped beans reach their highest level in six years. Trade estimates for this morning’s USDA Weekly Export Sales are 550,000 to 800,000 tons for 2020-21; Zero to 50,000 for 2021-22. Soymeal sales estimates range from 200,000 to 350,000.
Winter wheat futures were down 1 to 3 cents overnight, easing from a surge to the upper half of their trading ranges the past two days as Argentina’s worker strike provides support based on ideas of an increase in U.S. exports. March Chicago wheat, at 6.15-1/2 closed at its highest daily close in nearly a month on Tuesday. The dollar is weakening again, which will help limit selling pressure. Trade estimates for this morning’s USDA Weekly Export Sales are 300,000 to 500,000 tons.
Cattle calls are for steady to lower after front month cattle futures settled back into a test of support levels. Wednesday’s Cold Storage report showed total pounds of beef in freezers were up 2% from the previous month and up 7% from last year. This reflected heavy carcass weights and strong slaughter numbers. Cash trade is undeveloped, but should be established today ahead of the short trading schedule. Expectations are for $1-2 higher on the week, supporting Dec prices.
Lean hog calls are mixed following Wednesday’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report that showed total red meat supplies in freezers down 2% from the previous month and down 12% from last year. Total pounds of beef in freezers were up 2% from the previous month and up 7% from last year. Frozen pork supplies were down 7% from the previous month and down 28% from last year. Stocks of pork bellies were up 21% from last month but down 58% from last year. The data comes as no surprise with pork stocks down amid strong exports and solid U.S. retail demand. Look for choppy reaction in this morning’s market.