Top Farmer Midday Commentary 4-30-19

Corn: corn futures are soft this morning following yesterday's weak closes. May corn is down 1-1/2 cents to 3.50-1/2, Jul corn is down 2 cents to 3.59-3/4, and new crop Dec corn is down 2-1/4 cents to 3.79. Yesterday afternoon's Crop Progress report was considered slightly bearish. U.S. corn plantings were seen at 15% complete vs. the trade estimate of 14%, 6% a week ago and 15% a year ago. On the average year, 27% of the corn is planted by now. This could be supportive in coming weeks, as forecasts for most of the U.S. show above normal precipitation which could keep planting pace behind. Notable planting delays were seen in MN, IL, IN, and OH. Yesterday's closes below nearby inside the 10-day moving average levels were very disappointing. Prices sold off into the end of the session and corn was only able to muster slightly positive closes. This opened the door for selling this morning after another test of the overhead 10-day moving average resistance levels. Funds bought about 6,000 contracts of corn yesterday and are thought to be net short about 309,000 contracts.

Soybeans: Soybean futures are moderately lower this morning, as prices fall to their lowest levels since mid-summer. May beans are down 6 cents to 8.41-1/2, Jul beans are down 6-1/2 to 8.54-1/4, and new crop Nov beans are down 5-1/2 to 8.75-1/4. Jul soybeans are making new contract lows this morning, while Nov beans are trading at their lowest levels since July 16. The slow corn planting pace thus far, and forecasts moving forward, have many traders currently seeing a shift of 1 to 1.5 mil acres of corn to soybeans. The U.S. farmer is said to have planted 3% of the allotted bean acres vs. the average trade estimate at 4%, 1% a week ago, 5% last year, and 6% on average. Still, spring is young. Technically, price charts look very bearish. Support for the new crop Nov contract comes in at current contract lows near 8.64-3/4. A break below that opens up new crop beans to painful price levels. Funds sold an estimated 7,000 contracts of soybeans yesterday and are thought to be net short about 145,000 contracts.
Wheat: Wheat markets are sharply lower this morning on solid crop conditions and lower trending prices abroad. Jul Chi wheat is down 8-1/4 cents to 4.27, Jul KC wheat is down 5 cents to 3.92, and Jul Mpls wheat is down 1-1/4 to 5.06-1/4. The U.S. winter wheat crop was rated 64% good-to-excellent yesterday afternoon. The trade was looking for 62% good-to-excellent vs. 62% a week ago, and 33% a year ago. A prominent satellite imagery firm raised their winter wheat yield to 50.1 bu per acre from 49 bu previously, and 49.3 bu per acre last year. This will be the second highest yield of all time. Russian wheat export prices were down 4.5%, their lowest level since late July. Wheat contracts in all three exchanges have made new lows today as traders continue to struggle with huge inventories and struggling demand. Funds sold about 6,000 contracts of wheat in Chi yesterday and are thought to be net short about 74,000 contracts.

Cattle: Cattle markets are slightly higher in some more stabilization trade. Apr lives are up 82 cents to 125.60, Jun lives are up 25 to 115.05, and Aug lives are up 15 to 112.70. May feeders re down 40 cents to 143.00, and Aug feeders are down 15 to 150.92. While live cattle futures have yet to challenge their overhead 200-day moving average resistance levels, the stabilization effort is a decent sign. Last week's break came very fast, and while new speculative ownership may be difficult to attract without a U.S./China trade deal, downside also seems somewhat limited from here considering strong retail beef prices. Jun live cattle traded at their lowest level today since December 7, and Aug feeder cattle traded at their lowest levels today since March 6.

Hogs: Hog markets are slightly higher today after finding support yesterday at the 50-day moving average levels. Jun hogs are up 37 cents to 88.42, Jul hogs are up 45 cents to 93.00, and Aug hogs are up 57 cents to 93.85. Trade negotiations between the U.S. and China have restarted today. While the exact status of the trade deal is of course unknown, rhetoric from both sides still seems optimistic. Some technical washout seems to have subsided with yesterday's successful test of nearby support. Hog markets are traded with low volume, and are thus extra susceptible to money flow swings.

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