Corn futures were unchanged overnight and are finally settling in just above 10 and 20-day moving averages after posting modest gains on Tuesday featuring Managed Money buying back an estimated 3,000 corn contracts. Corn planting, at 88% complete, was below expectations of 90%, but well ahead of the 5-year average of 74%. First crop ratings for corn marked this year’s crop at 70% good-to-excellent. This strong start will keep pressure on the corn market. For the outside markets, crude and the dollar stabilized overnight; Stock index futures are up another 350 points to the 100-day moving average for the first time since succumbing to Covid-19 news in late February.
Soybean futures were firm overnight, eclipsing Tuesday’s daily highs as the complex tries to build some semblance of upward momentum supported by Chinese buying interest and potential bottoming action in meal. Another sale to China was published yesterday totaling 258,000 metric tons, with the majority to be delivered in the 2020-21 marketing year. Malaysian palm oil prices were also up. U.S. soybean planting gained 12% last week to 65% complete, below market expectations of 68%, but ahead of the 57 percent 5-year average.
Wheat futures were up 3 to 4 cents overnight while trading mostly inside Tuesday’s ranges. Rainfall totals across the southern plains and overseas put pressure on wheat prices Tuesday, thus negating the potential for spillover support from strength in row crops. Weekly winter wheat crop ratings moved to 54% good-to-excellent, up 2% on the week with the improved rainfall in the southern plains. However, a heat wave may be building in the western United States later this week that will move to the Great Plains next week and temperatures could soar more significantly above average at that time. Mpls wheat was unchanged overnight. HRS Wheat plantings were 81% complete versus 90% average; Emergence 51% versus 65% average.
Live cattle futures are called higher. Cattle-on-Feed data was inline with estimates, and prices recovered on short covering on Tuesday. Strong closes in live and feeder cattle markets open the door for additional gains today. Stress for livestock due to heat will begin in the western states this weekend, but will be greatest in the Great Plains early to mid-week next week. Expanded limits are in effect for feeders. Cash was undeveloped on Tuesday, and retail prices softened, but product movement was good at 222 loads.
Lean hog futures are called steady to higher after stellar closes to begin the week, supported, in part by spillover strength from the cattle complex. Strength in retail values also supported the market on Tuesday, and deferred contracts posted technical reversals, which could lead to additional short covering. Front months will remain supported by the discount to the lean hog cash index.