Monday, March 24, 2014

Countdown Begins To USDA Reports

By: Paul Georgy

Good Morning! Paul Georgy with early morning comments for March 24, 2014 at 4:35 am. 

Grain futures are higher due to lack of fresh news stories. The week ahead should provide for some volatile markets.

Grain traders are looking for confirmation of soybeans cargoes switched from Brazil to the US. Late in the week we were getting talk of 10 or more cargoes being imported on the East Coast.

Catch up on Meteorologist Ryan Martin’s daily weather forecast

Headlines will be a market mover ahead of the USDA reports next Monday.

Informa will release their planting estimates on Tuesday.

The CFTC report showed managed money increasing long positions in corn by 18,299, soybeans by 6,024 and wheat by 13,521.

I attended the "Exchange of Ideas" Conference and R J O’Brien’s 100 Years in business celebration over the weekend. They had analysts present on several key topics affecting the agricultural markets. We also got to talk with other industry leaders about the future of agricultural. The bottom line was they were friendly on outlooks but suggested we should be prepared for some very volatile price swings.

The macro markets will be watching the Ukraine situation as we wait to see if Russia will announce retaliatory sanctions to those levied by the U.S. and Europe late last week and whether Russia will move its military into eastern Ukraine. President Obama has a busy week as he will be in The Hague for a 20 nation summit on how to curb nuclear proliferation.  He will also attend a G7 summit designed to forge a response to Russia’s military takeover of Crimea and will attend a US-EU summit in Brussels.  Later in the week, Mr. Obama will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican. Watch for comments and headlines that will move the market.

The Cattle on Feed report was a little bearish for the late summer/early fall period. Placements of calves and feeders entering the feedlots were 14.7% over last year. This was above the average guess of a 9.2% increase. February placed cattle are marketed as fats from July through early October. This will weigh on the June and August contracts on the opening. Marketing’s ran 3.4% under last year. This was pretty close to the average guess of -3.3%. We don’t see too much of a problem on Monday’s open for the April contract. Early calls are lower to slightly lower. Beef cutout values are lower with choice down 1.41 and select down 1.11. The CME Feeder Index is 173.93.

PEDv and herd rebuilding is the driver on the supply side of the balance sheet. Consumer demand is being watched closely for indication that prices are too high. Pork cutout values were up .24 on Friday. Call the hogs mixed on the opening.

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