The grains and oilseeds had a breakout day Thursday as wet weather continues to dominate the narrative. Corn futures hit their highest level in two months as what had primarily been considered a soybean acreage dilemma has developed into a serious threat to corn yields. Storms crossing the Corn Belt in the last day have dumped over 7 inches of rain in parts of Iowa and Missouri, and another storm is expected to drench Missouri to Southern Ohio later this week. Acreage surveys released today showed an average estimate for corn acres at 89.173 million acres, compared to the USDA’s 89.199 March projection. July corn futures gained 10.5 cents to $3.77/bushel at the close Thursday, while December was up 11.75 cents to $3.9225.
Nearby soybean futures broke the $10 resistance level today as doubts persist about the ability to achieve the projected yields and planted acres amidst the cumulative downpour of rains. The average analysts’ estimate for soybean acres is 85.187 million acres, compared to the March USDA estimate of 84.635 million acres. Todays’ USDA export report showed sales of 149,965 tonnes which was in line with the trade estimate of 100,000 to 200,000 tonnes. July soybeans gained 18.5 cents to $10.0025/bushel at the closeThursday, while July soyoil rose .09 cents to 33.69 cents/pound, and July meal climbed $8.7 to $336.7/ton.
Wheat futures surged Thursday as wet conditions continue to prevail, bringing uncertainty to the winter wheat harvest. Plus, reports of the disease, head scab, “exploding” in north-central Kansas wheat crop appear to be adding a risk premium. Export sales for wheat were reported at 388,266 tonnes for the recent period, which is in line with trade estimates of 200,000 to 450,000 tonnes for new-crop wheat . The market will look to the planting progress report next Monday as the recent report stated the winter wheat harvest was 12% behind the average for this time of year. July CBOT wheat futures gained 14 cents to $5.32/bushel at the end of trading Thursday, while July KC wheat advanced 9.5 cents to $5.34/bushel, and July MWE climbed 10.75 cents to $5.73.
The livestock complex plunged today in what appears to be a technical shift likely spurred by the seasonal demand shift lower. Wholesale beef cutouts still have managed to maintain strength, presumably a result of capturing late margins from last minute retail buying ahead of the 4th of July. August cattle futures plunged 1.75 cents to 148.57 cents/pound at the close Thursday, while December futures dropped 1.70 cents to 152.37. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures dropped 4.50 cents to 219.05 cents/pound, and November feeders lost 4.40 cents to 213.80.
Lean hog futures fell Friday in what appeared to be a larger breakdown in the proteins. Traders remain cautious ahead of the upcoming report and, to a larger degree, may be preparing for the post-4th slowdown in demand. Friday, the USDA will release the quarterly hogs and pigs report at 2pm. The average estimates reported for the report are: 107.8 percent for all hogs and pigs, 102% for kept for breeding, and 108.6% for kept for market. August hog futures slipped .12 cents to 72.22 cents/pound, while December dropped .27 cents to 60.60.