The grain markets traded mixed Monday as the slightly improved weather outlook and nervousness on Greece seemed to largely keep a lid on futures. Weekly export inspections for corn were 839,824 tonnes, according to the USDA, compared to 1.041 million tonnes last week. The 6 to 10 weather outlook is calling for below average rainfall and above average temps for much of the Midwest, though parts of Indiana and Ohio appear to have more rain in their forecast. Corn crop ratings, due out this afternoon, are expected to be 1-2% lower the 68% rating last week.
It is a truism in the commodity markets that “rain makes grain.” This month, that old adage is bumping up against another equally-valid axiom that “too much of a good thing is a bad thing.” Persistent rains across the Midwest have had the combined effect of degrading the condition of the corn crop and also preventing the planting of the last of soybean crop. Both of these factors are supportive of prices across the entire grain/oilseed complex.
Higher numbers of hogs, cattle and broiler chickens are gobbling up animal feed, eating into supplies that were expected to grow due to the loss of 48 million chickens and turkeys in the worst-ever outbreak of bird flu in U.S. history.
Choice boxed beef prices dropped over the weekend, falling from $250.27 on Friday to $247.96 on Monday. The $2.31 drop resulted in the 27-day average price settling at $251.16. Select boxed beef prices saw a steeper fall of $3.16 to hit $245.26. The 27-day average now sits at $244.71.
Choice primal rib saw no movement over the weekend, staying at $350.19 on Monday. Chioce primal loin and choice primal chuck both saw large falls of $5.12 and $2.18, respectively. Chioce primal brisket was the only cut that saw an increase of $2.96 to hit $173.03.
By Ron Plain and Scott Brown, University of Missouri
The U.S. economy added 223,000 jobs in June and the number of people in the labor force declined by 432,000. This combination pulled the unemployment rate down to 5.3%. Overall the numbers indicate continuing slow growth.