USDA Crop Report out today at 11:00 AM.
This morning, grain futures have mixed results after a firm night session trade that saw November's new crop beans pushing a new contract high to 1429.6 before retreating this morning. It's crop report day today, and typically the February report on a scale of 1 to 10 would come in as a 5, but today, considering the importance of dwindling production in South America, it registers closer to an 8.
Corn and soybeans are within easy striking distance of the contract highs if the data today proves to be more friendly than what the estimates give the USDA credit for. Corn closing above 641 targets 6.60-6.80, while March soybeans would be challenging summer's highs of 16.23 and then 16.67, respectively. The new crop soybean/corn ratio is pushed out to 2.45:1 as the market is seeking extra 2022 US soybeans. It was almost common knowledge that market participants wanted to plant beans just four months ago. Now the market is paying you to do that as switching might be difficult for some with fertilizer already laid down last fall for corn.
Key numbers that will be watched for today are the carryout on corn to fall below 1.5 Bil Bu, with the prospects of soybeans crowding 300 Mil Bu or lower. Both on the prospects of increasing exports due to lower South American yields.
It's a rinse and repeat cycle forecast today for South America with an extended period of dryness and building heat across the southern third of Brazil and all of Argentina into February 21. Also, complete dryness is noted for the HRW winter wheat crop for the plains states through February 18.
It was a mostly firmer cattle trade yesterday, with live cattle closing back near prior highs on the deferred contracts and feeder cattle again in sharp recovery mode. Cash markets were untreated through Tuesday, with feedlots pricing their show lists $3-4 higher from last week at $142-143 across central and southern markets. Choice cutout fell $1.50 to $277.46 while select value was $1.20 lower at $273.84. What is still seen as record beef prices continue to keep the outlook bullish, with fed supplies now scheduled to decline in the last half of the year.