Corn, wheat futures skyrocket on bullish USDA reports

Corn futures are trading sharply higher at midday. Corn futures turned substantially higher on a bullish USDA stocks report. Corn ending stocks for 2011/12 were estimated at 988 million bushels, approximately 132 million bushels below trade estimates and nearly 200 million bushels below USDA's September 2011/12 ending stocks projection. And as a result, corn prices trading limit up reversing losses incurred over the previous trading sessions.

Soybean futures are 6 to 8 cents higher at midday. USDA's stocks report was not particularly friendly for the soybean market today. In fact the report was somewhat bearish for soybeans versus expectations with ending stocks reported at 169 million bushels. This figure was above the September WASDE projection as well as higher than the upper range of pre report estimates. Nevertheless, it is a low ending stocks figure and the 2012 crop remains substantially below normal. However gains in the corn and wheat markets are supporting soybean prices.

Wheat futures are trading sharply higher at midday. USDA's stocks report was price friendly for wheat. Ending stocks were reported at 2.10 billion bushels, this figure was on the low end of range estimates and below the average of analysts' estimates. The small grains summary was price neutral. Planted and harvested acres were close to August WASDE estimates with final wheat pegged at 2.269 billion bushels only 1 million bushels above the August WASDE estimate. December wheat at CBOT is up 43 cents; KCBT is trading 47 cents higher; and MGE is 43 cents higher.

Live cattle futures are trading moderately lower at midday. Prices are trading defensively, weighed down by sharply lower cash prices this week and weakening demand for beef. Cash prices are reported down by as much as $3 to $4 dollars while wholesale beef prices declined $1 for select cuts and 41 cents for choice cuts on Thursday. October is trading down 60 cents while December is trading 53 cents lower.

Lean hog futures are trading mixed but mostly higher at midday. The sharp jump in corn prices moved some traders to sell positions in the October contract and buy into deferred on the expectations that rising corn prices will cause producers to cut back on herd numbers. USDA will release its quarterly hogs and pigs report this afternoon at 2pm CDT. Analysts are predicting total hogs in the U.S. to be up 0.7%, the breeding herd down 0.3% and marketings up 0.8%. October is trading 23 cents lower while December is trading 30 cents higher.


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