Corn futures are trading moderately lower today as traders take risk off in front of what could be a volatile USDA report. Jul corn is down 5 cents to 4.10-3/4, Sep is down 4-3/4 cents to 4.19-1/4, and new crop Dec corn is down 4-1/2 cents to 4.30. U.S. corn plantings were said to be 83% complete yesterday afternoon vs 67% a week ago and 99% on average. Corn was rated slightly better than anticipated, said to be 59% in good to excellent vs the average trade guess of 54% good to excellent. Corn has been lower for the majority of the day’s session, with Dec futures trading as low as 4.27-1/2. Near-term support comes in at 4.22-1/2 at the 20-day moving average, and Dec corn still has a gap between 4.20 and 4.22-1/2. Funds bought 3,000 contracts of corn yesterday and are thought to be net long about 57,000 contracts.
Soybean futures are drifting lower this morning, with Jul, Aug, and Nov futures all down 4-1/2 cents. Jul is trading at 8.54, Aug at 8.60-3/4, and Nov at 8.81-3/4. U.S. soybean plantings are said to be 60% complete vs 39% a week ago and 88% on average. 6-10 and 8-14 day forecasts are still showing above-normal precipitation and below-normal temperatures which could slow the remaining 40% of plantings. Nov beans traded as low this morning as 8.77-3/4, testing and holding their 20-day moving average for the second session in a row. Funds bought 5,000 contracts of soybeans yesterday and are thought to be net short about 116,000 contracts.
Wheat markets are soft headed into today’s Supply and Demand report, with Jul Chi wheat down a penny to 5.06-1/2, Jul KC wheat is down 7-1/2 to 4.45-1/2, and Jul spring wheat is down 5 cents to 5.63-1/2. The Jul Chi contract is testing its 200-day moving average level again while the Jul KC wheat is testing and holding its 20-day moving average support level for the second session in a row. Despite dryness in Canada and late planting in the Dakotas, futures may be a bit overbought and momentum may be turning lower. The U.S. winter wheat crop was rated 64% good to excellent yesterday afternoon vs 64% a week ago and 38% a year ago. Spring wheat was rated 81% good to excellent vs 83% last week and 70% a year ago. Funds bought 4,000 contracts of Chi wheat yesterday and are thought to be net short about 18,000 contracts.
Cattle markets are mixed to slightly higher in early trade, with Jun live cattle up 60 cents to 110.30, Aug live cattle are up 7 cents to 106.37, and Oct live cattle are down 10 cents to 107.05. Aug feeders are up 22 cent to 140.05 and Sep feeders are up 37 cents to 140.17. Yesterday’s price action in the live cattle markets was impressive, though follow through today is surprisingly light. The Aug live cattle contract closed just below its 20-day moving average support and moved higher this morning though buyers have quickly dried up. The day is young, but this could prove to be an unsuccessful test and may attract more sellers in the near term. Feeder markets are trading in very tight ranges compared to recent sessions and are so far making inside days. Average weights have been coming down lately, but domestic retail demand will need to pick up before futures can collect themselves and move higher.
Hog markets are lower this morning, with Jun down 27 cents to 79.00, Jul is down 1.12 to 85.07, and Aug hogs are down 1.02 to 83.82. Jul hogs are retesting their 200-day moving average level yet again. This line has been a major technical objective over the past two weeks. Cash fundamentals are still choppy, with the index lower and carcass values higher. Exports have been very strong lately, but poor weather in the U.S. stifled a lot of seasonal meat demand. Trade progress with Mexico is a supportive factor but we will need to see exports to Mexico pick up.