The looming WASDE release is likely to drive Wednesday trading. Traders are almost surely adjusting their positions ahead of today’s 11:00 AM CST release of the USDA’s monthly WASDE report. Nearby corn futures inched lower in early trading, possibly due to a modest upward revision to Brazil’s domestic production forecast (from 78.1 to 78.7 MMT). The latest USDA forecast is 75 MMT. March corn futures skidded 1.25 cents to $3.94/bushel Tuesday night, while July lost 1.5 to $4.0875.
The soy complex posted an across-the-board advance last night. Traders of soybeans and products expect today’s WASDE report to reflect torrid export demand and a sizeable drop in the predicted U.S. carryout, which probably explains the concerted rally posted overnight. Traders seemed to ignore the early-morning CONAB boost to its Brazilian bean production total from 90.5 to 95.8 MMT. The fact that the USDA was already at 94 MMT may explain the limited futures reaction. January soybean futures advanced 2.0 cents to $10.5125/bushel in early Wednesday action, while January soyoil climbed 0.09 cents to 32.08 cents/pound, and January meal gained $2.2 to $377.5/ton.
Wheat traders are probably expecting bearish WASDE numbers. Although Russian statements discounting recent talk of export restrictions may still be weighing on the wheat markets, underlying wheat fundamentals are not supportive. That is, the global market is very well supplied. Indeed, last night’s golden grain losses likely reflect suspicions that the USDA will publish more bearish numbers today. March CBOT wheat fell 5.75 cents to $5.80/bushel early Wednesday morning, while March KC wheat sank 5.0 cents to $6.17/bushel and March MWE wheat stumbled 4.0 to $6.04.
Rebounding beef prices sparked Tuesday’s cattle gains. Cattle futures seemed to end Monday at pivotal long-term support points on charts, which may partially explain bears’ inability to force prices lower yesterday morning. Midday news of rebounding beef prices, particularly in select-grade cutout probably added strength to the subsequent rebound. Conversely, choice cutout fell later in the day, which may bode rather ill for today’s opening. February live cattle jumped 1.17 cents to 163.05 cents/pound at Tuesday’s CME close, while April ran up 0.90 to 162.60. January feeder cattle futures gained 0.90 cents to 232.77 cents/pound, but January feeders dropped 0.87 to 227.35.
Hog futures posted mixed closes yesterday. The expiring December hog future edged upward Tuesday, a likely reaction to the anticipated uptick in the CME hog index this morning. Most other contracts were under pressure throughout much of the day, but signs of spot market firmness seemingly inspired a late-session rebound. Afternoon quotes confirmed that strength, which may spark an early CME rise. February hog futures settled down 0.52 cents at 84.60 cents/pound Tuesday, while June hogs skidded just 0.05 cents to 92.30.
Cotton futures remained firm Tuesday night. Despite industry suspicions that today’s WASDE and Crop Production reports will boost the U.S. cotton production estimate and the ending-stocks forecast, ICE futures continued inching upward overnight. That very likely reflects trader positioning, as well as technical influences ahead of the report. March cotton futures rose 0.11 cents to 59.99 cents/pound shortly after dawn Wednesday, and the July contract added 0.20 to 61.53.