Corn futures were unchanged overnight after settling mid-range on Monday. Concerns over U.S. and China trade tensions are helping keep a lid on the market’s ability to sustain the recent break-out to the upside. In addition, 93% of the corn crop is seeded versus the 89% 5-year average, and weekly crop ratings jumped to 74% good-to-excellent, which was above market expectations. That could lead to some selling pressure in the corn market today. Outside markets do offer support though, with crude at a 2-1/2 month high and the dollar at a 2-1/2 month low this morning.
Soybean futures were up 4 to 5 cents overnight. Export traders announced China had secured 3 to 5 cargoes of U.S. soybeans from the Pacific Northwest for new crop delivery despite headlines touting the major importer scaling back on U.S. purchases. Reading the tea leaves of future Chinese trade relations with the U.S. is difficult. President Trump is changing the trade status of Hong Kong but his actions need further governmental support before they become official. Technically, Nov beans, at 8.57 are holding moving average support which could influence a move higher if the sideways trading pattern fails to contain prices. The soybean planting pace was behind projections at 75% completed, but still well ahead of 5 year pace.
Wheat futures continued to retreat from last week’s late rally overnight. July Chi was down 2-1/2 cents to 5.12-3/4 and KC was down 7 to 4.55-1/2. Sept Mpls was down 2-3/4 to 5.29-1/4. Global competition and overall global wheat supplies along with reports that Chinese officials were telling state-run companies to pull back on purchases of U.S. commodities limits rallies. Improved weather forecasts for Europe and the Black sea region are also noted. On the flip-side, there was a drop in U.S. winter wheat condition ratings to 51% good-to-excellent which was down 3% from last week, with warm and dry conditions predicted for southwestern plains.
Live cattle futures are called steady to higher. June cattle futures stay at a discount to the cash market and the wide basis from cash to futures provides support but, cash trade will be the key to market strength or weakness ahead. Money flow has been supportive of the market as funds have been slowing growing a long position around 15,000 contracts with the market in a technical uptrend.
Lean hog futures are called mixed to lower after the complex showed signs of breaking into new lows recently . China demand concerns highlighted by instructions for state firms to halt purchases of U.S. pork, and large supplies of slaughter ready hogs weigh heavily on the market with prices on shaky ground, technically. Reports of on going cases of African Swine Fever in China offer support for the back months that could lead to early, choppy trade today.