Corn futures were firm overnight within Monday’s new higher trading ranges. July corn is up 8 cents to 6.87-1/2. Dec is up 3-1/2 cents to 5.66-1/2 while making a push to the 5.93 contract high and successfully staying ahead of the contract’s moving averages. Prices appear to be trying to stabilize, or consolidate as traders brace for increased price limits in grain and oilseed markets. However, the trend is clearly higher and any further signs of less-than-ideal growing weather will likely keep the market in search of its highs. First next key for corn prices could be the USDA May 12 report. Continued talk of strong domestic corn basis and good weekly corn exports, including thoughts of China rolling 160 mil bu of open sales forward, suggesting final U.S. carryout closer to 1.20 bil bu vs USDA’s last estimate of 1.352 bil buoy the price outlook. There is also talk that a lower Brazil 2021 crop could increase U.S. 2021/22 corn exports 400 mil bu. On the flipside, the market looks vulnerable as corn plantings accelerated to 46% complete as of Sunday, a 29% increase from last week. The average for this time of year is 36% completion. U.S. corn emerged was 8% versus 3% a week ago, 7% last year, and 9% average. U.S. weather has also improved greatly, as the heart of the corn belt is expected to receive above normal precipitation over the next 10 days. With great planting conditions for many across the country and corn prices continuing to trend higher since March, there is plenty of talk for higher corn acres versus the USDA’s March estimate.
Soybeans were higher overnight after giving up strong overnight gains from Sunday night to settle mixed on the day yesterday. July beans are up a dime to 15.34. Nov is up 8-1/4 cent to 13.53. Declining momentum studies point to lower price action if follow-through buying fails to materialize. The bell weather soyoil market is settling into a neutral zone this morning after making new highs to begin the week and new month. U.S. soybean planting was 24% (trade estimate was 25%) versus 8% a week ago, 21% last year, and 11% average. Yesterday, USDA reported 5.65 mil tons (188 mil bu) of U.S. beans crushed in March versus 164 mil a month ago and 192 mil last year. Soyoil stocks were 2.245 bil lbs vs trade estimates for 2.317 bil lbs. Last month was 2.306 bil and 2.337 bil a year ago.
Wheat futures were choppy overnight. July Chicago and KC contracts are 1 to 2 cents higher this morning at 7.20 and 6.90, respectively. July MPLS wheat is up 3 to 7.61-3/4. The dollar rebounded sharply overnight (41 basis points) while putting in a volatile showing to start the new month. U.S. Winter Wheat headed was 27% versus 17% last week, 30% a year ago, 34% average. Winter wheat was rated 48% good-to-excellent (trade estimate was 48%) versus 49% a week ago and 55% a year ago; 33% fair (32% last week, 31% a year ago); 19% poor-to-very poor (19% last week, 14% a year ago). U.S. Spring wheat planted was 49% (trade estimate was 48%) versus 28% last week, 27% a year ago, 32% average. U.S. Spring Wheat emerged was 14% versus 7% last week, 6% a year ago, 10% average.
Cattle calls are mixed after choppy action yesterday highlighted by selling pressure in the front end of the market. The deferred contracts past August saw some mild buying strength in a bear spread market. Technically, the June contract is weak, closing the month of April with a negative reversal, and with cattle supplies being heavy, may have a difficult time getting a bid, despite the strong demand. Cattle trade finished lower last week, and no trade has developed yet this week. Cash will likely hold off until Wednesday or later again this week, with expectations of steady to lower. Beef retail carcasses are pricing in the spring holidays, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day, helping push retail carcass values higher. Choice carcasses gained an additional 2.80 to 299.30, and Select was .74 higher to 283.79. The load count at midday was light at 77 loads. Feeders are struggling to find a bottom as well, and will be tied to the action in the grain markets.
Hog calls are for steady to higher trade on follow-through. The cash market remains strong helping support the futures market. The lean Hog Index traded unchanged to at 106.89, shaking off two days of weakness. The index has traded higher for 13-consecutive weeks, and looks to hold that trend. China’s on-going battle with ASF has kept the demand optimism well into the second half of 2021, and the strong product movement has bolstered pork product prices. Pork carcass value finished higher, gaining 1.22 to 112.29. Movement was moderate at 288 loads. The hog market remains strong, closing into new highs and bolstering the monthly technical charts. Fundamental support will help keep the market in search of a high.