A mostly quiet night trade session overnight.
Grain futures put in a mild recovery overnight led by the May contracts, as two days of selling from contract highs is bringing in bottom picking. Today is the last day of trading for the May contract before they go deliverable on Friday. It's also anticipated that Friday afternoons Commitment of Traders report will show record ownership of grains by the funds. The May futures contracts have been liquidated considerably, as bid and offers have become thin and, at times, far in between. Be very careful if you want to trade the May contract in delivery, as it can move 10 cents on one tick.
The price rise into Tuesday had created more than an overbought market, but US wheat, corn and soybeans are expensive versus other world exporter prices with fob. Argentine fob corn is $.90/Bu cheaper than the US. Once May futures are deliverable and the short covering is largely completed, traders will have to understand the non-competitive position of US prices.
Monday's USDA progress reports are anticipated to show US corn seeding will likely near 40% through Sunday, spring wheat over 50% and soybean seeding near 20%. The coming weather pattern favors emergence and additional seeding progress. The ongoing concern is the acute dryness located over North Dakota, as indicated by this week's US Drought Monitor.
A progressive weather pattern is offered for the US over the next ten days. The forecast is like prior runs with enough rain to fall to spark seed germination outside of the Dakotas. Several spring storm systems will transverse the Central US over the next ten days to produce near to above normal rain. The rainfall even makes it into the drier areas of Nebraska/Iowa, but 10-day totals here will be in a range of .5-1.50″. There are signs of the jet stream shifting northward, so there will be rain chances for the Dakotas during the 11-15 day period. Whether the rains fall in the locations and quantities forecast will be closely followed. For now, a favorable weather pattern is offered for the Central US.
The Brazilian weather forecast is arid for the next two weeks as hope fades for winter corn. Brazilian corn has entered its reproductive phase, with half of Brazil's corn area in a flash drought. Mato Grosso corn yield prospects are still near average, accounting for half of Brazil's winter corn production.
Yesterday morning cattle futures had a sharp rally that ended up with a failed lower close. The cash cattle trade turned active on Wednesday. Live steers sold for $118-119 in Texas/Kansas, $1 lower for the week, while Nebraska sold cattle $2-3 lower at $119-120. This week's lower trade confirms a seasonal cash high and that any additional sales for the week are expected at similar prices. The boxed beef trade was mixed with choice gaining on select. Choice boxes moved $1.51 higher at $292.50, while select boxes were down $.53 at $279. The live cattle/lean hog spread fell to an 11-year low at a $7.675 cattle premium. June and August cattle/hog spreads are $25-30 below average, while October and December spreads are $10-15 below average.