Corn futures are called lower. In overnight trade, at 6:55 a.m. CT December was down 10 cents at $5.88. Outside markets are negative, especially for the stock market. Interest rates for Spain, a basket-case economy much larger than Greece and too big for the EU to bail out, hit record highs again in overnight trade. It’s so alarming now that even demand for German bonds, the strongest economy in the EU, was muted. Stocks are poised for a 6th straight losing session.
Soybean futures are called lower. In overnight trade, at 6:55 a.m. CT January was down 15 at $11.37. Concern about sagging export demand is still the big drag on beans. And that demand worry is rooted in a deteriorating global economic outlook. China is the big dog in U.S. soybean exports and overnight there were reports that Chinese manufacturing shrank to the lowest level in 32 months this month. China is considered the engine for global economic recovery and now even that engine is sputtering.
Wheat futures are called lower. In overnight trade, at 6:55 a.m. CT December was down 11 at $5.83 at the CBOT; in the KCBT down 8 at $6.54 and at the MGE down 13 at $8.47. Fierce and relentless competition for exports from the Black Sea region and Australia is keeping U.S. wheat “overpriced” despite the sharp decline in our own prices the past two weeks. And with the Congressional SuperCommittee now a super FAILURE, there’s increasing worry about the Eurocrisis becoming contagious for U.S. banks as well.
Cattle futures are called steady to higher in pre-holiday position squaring by traders. Since key chart support held recently despite what traders are calling a “murky” fundamental outlook and futures are still at a discount to cash cattle and packer losses are shrinking, there’s not much of a case for selling just yet. The biggest threat is to cash market bids on the slightest drop in retail demand. Even though packer margins have improved sharply the past week, the packer margin index is still negative by $25 per head. (A week ago packers were losing nearly $88 per head).
Lean hog futures are called higher on overnight improvement in cash markets. Nationally bids are 73 cts per cwt higher after evidence yesterday that recent declines in cash bids may have bottomed out. Hogs are looking stronger on the charts with a clear pattern of higher highs and higher lows that broke the downtrend from mid-October highs last Thursday. Exports are firm and there’s talk China may need to keep importing aggressively to control inflation in pork prices in that country that are causing social unrest with pork the staple meat for Chinese.
Cotton futures are called steady to mixed in pre-holiday profit-taking after the series of severe price declines this week. News that China had met its import requirements for stocks rebuilding was a shock to the market that precipitated this week’s plunge and overnight news of a worsening economic outlook for China won’t help any. The chart damage is severe and any rebound we see today as short traders claim quick profits ahead of the Thanksgiving break may prove only temporary at best.