French milling wheat, spring wheat and Dec corn make new contract highs overnight.
Grain futures are mixed in the morning session after overnight action found French milling wheat, spring wheat, and December corn making new contract highs on follow-through buying from yesterday’s friendly constructed WASDE crop report for wheat and corn. Soybean prices also firmed on the hope of renewed Chinese buying with lockdowns potentially unwinding next week, improving demand. Today is the day after a WASDE crop report, which statistically has seen aggressive selling. It may be muted this year with supplies becoming so tight.
US processors continue to push cash soybean and corn basis to spur movement. Central US farmers are busy getting seed in the ground and are not interested in moving cash even with pushes of $0.50 over reported for corn. Ethanol producers and soybean processors have strong margins and read big risk if the plants slow their daily runs with low inventories of corn/beans.
EU crop ratings continue to decline, with this week the score dropping 7% with 82% rated GD/TX. Heat and dryness are taking a toll with the winter wheat crop at the tipping point in rain desperately needed in the next 10 days. The forecast remains dry with only the only rainfall chance for France and a small portion of Germany, and this rain is not anticipated until next weekend, but it will be imperative to help final EU wheat crop yield estimates.
More rain fell across the Northern Plains/Minnesota in the past 24 hours adding to the flooding and keeping fields saturated. Corn is at the biggest risk due to the shortness of the growing season with someone-2.5 Mil acres of corn either heading to preventive plant or soybeans. North Dakota and Minnesota account for 11.4 million acres of corn in the March 31 acreage intentions report. It is likely that some other areas throughout the country may offset and find increased corn planting due to overall profitability. This has some considering that the corn acreage number could still find small net gains.
A Ridge of high pressure has pushed the jet stream northward into S Canada and has created a boundary zone for additional showers/storms across the N Plains and NW Midwest for another five days. One system is now leaving the N Plains but the strong jet stream will pull another one eastward through the Dakotas/Minnesota before break develops. Under the Ridge, the Midwest/Delta have sunshine and summerlike Midwest/C Plains temps that range from the 80’s and lower 90’s. Extreme heat continues in the S Plains with the drought is worsening. There is no indication of a return of meaningful rain there into May 21. The extended range 11-15 to forecast indicates new rounds of wet weather from N Plains, Delta and the Midwest with warm temps.
Cattle prices were under heavy pressure yesterday, with deferred live cattle and feeder cattle breaking to new weekly lows. Money flow via the sellers is still in charge of the market direction in the short term. Cash markets were quiet on Thursday, and it looks like business is done for the week with the South mostly $140 in the north $144 with dressed $227-230. Retail beef demand has seen choice values fall to an eight-month low this week, with Thursday choice gaining 2.12 to $2 57.20 and select was 2.18 higher at $2 44.36. The load count showed good movement at 137 loads. The firmer retail tone could support prices for a firmer opening today. The premium of the front-month feeder contract on the feeder cash index looks concerning with the August feeders trading at a $10 premium to the index. Feeder cash index yesterday was $0.37 higher to 156.61. August feeders closed yesterday at 166.40 but granted that is August and today is May 13.