Grains mostly higher at midday
Corn futures are 4-5 cents higher at midsession. After a sharp decline following USDA’s Crop Production report, corn futures are attempting to bounce back. Firming cash prices are giving futures a firmer tone. Farmer selling has dried up on the price decline and commercials are anxious to get corn in position to move into export channels in advance of possible barge restrictions or even Mississippi River closure south of St. Louis. Dry weather in Argentina should help facilitate planting progress. December corn futures are trading 5 cents higher at $7.28 1/2.
The soybean market is holding gains in mid morning trading. January was up about 15 cents. The market has been ready for a rebound following sharp losses after the release of the bearish USDA crop report on Friday. The market was greeted with fundamentally bullish news this morning. Finally there were some export sales announcements. USDA said China was the buyer of 120,000 tonnes of soybeans. Also, there was a very large soybean oil sale totaling 40,000 tonnes to an unidentified buyer, possibly China. NOPA released its crush report for October, and that implied the October crush was 5 million bushels more than expected.
Futures are having a hard time holding on to early gains after last evening’s weekly crop condition report showed winter wheat conditions dropping another 3 points, to just 36% rated “good” to “excellent.” CBOT December futures have even slipped to the minus side again. It reflects overriding bearishness gripping wheat futures after last week’s USDA WASDE update showed an unexpected reversal after months of paring projected global ending stocks downward. The trade saw another cut coming, but USDA raised it by more than a million tonnes instead and that apparently low wheat ratings because experts are reminding traders there’s little correlation between fall condition ratings and yields the next year. They are determined far more by winter and spring weather. At midsession, CBOT December wheat is down ¾ of cent at $8.50 ¼; KCBT December up 2 at $8.89 and MGE December up 2 ¾ at $9.34 ¼.
Live cattle futures are mixed at midmorning. Cash bids so far this week are undeveloped. Processors need to source fewer cattle to meet next week’s holiday shortened slaughter schedule. Beef prices were a little higher again Tuesday. Cattle futures continue to consolidate in a fairly narrow trading range. The monthly Cattle on Feed report will be out on Friday. The report is expected to show a sharp decline in placements during October with cattle on feed down 4%-6% from a year ago. December CME cattle futures are 20 cents higher at 126.00.
Lean hog futures are 15-40 cents lower. Cash hogs are steady to 50 cents lower in the west and 50 cents to a $1 lower in the east. However, weak pork prices are seen as a limiting factor for cash and futures. Lower ham and belly prices led pork prices lower on Tuesday. December CME lean hogs are 20 cents lower at $80.30.