Weekly Roberts Report

US - Agricultural US Commodity Market Report by Mike Roberts, Commodity Marketing Agent, Virginia Tech.
calendar icon 18 March 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

Michael T. Roberts
Extension Agriculture Economist,
Dairy and Commodity Marketing,
NC State University

LIVE CATTLE futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) finished mixed Monday. The AUG’09LC contract was up $0.100/cwt at $83.000/cwt. Seasonal fundamentals applied pressure while a better day for the DOW and a weaker dollar were supportive. Cash cattle were steady with USDA putting the 5-area price at $80.70/cwt. USDA on Monday put the Choice Boxed beef at $134.98/cwt, off $0.86/cwt. Packer demand was limited due to negative margins. June/April spreading weighed on the nearby at times.

FEEDER CATTLE at the CME closed off on Monday. MAR’09FC futures were down $0.250/cwt to $91.700/cwt. The APR’09FC contract closed at $92.050/cwt; down $0.025cwt. Profit taking and short were not supportive. Fundamentals are expected to weaken on lower packer and merchandiser demand. The CME Feeder Cattle Index for March 11 was placed at $91.38/cwt, down $0.21/cwt.

CORN futures on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) closed up on Monday. MAY’09 corn futures closed at $3.915/bu; up 3.0 ¢ /bu. The JULY’09 contract closed at $4.0175/bu; up 3.5 ¢ /bu. DEC’09 corn futures finished at $4.215/bu; up 3.25 ¢ /bu. Acreage battles, spillover from other markets, and a weaker U.S. dollar that helped exports were supportive. USDA placed corn-inspected-for-export at 29 mi bu vs. estimates for between 37-41 mi bu. Cash corn bids in the US Midwest were steady from merchandisers and stronger from processors. Funds decreased net bear positions buying over 8,000 contracts. It might be a good idea to get the ’08 crop out of the way, clean the bin out for the ’09 crop, and price up to 45 per cent of the 2009 crop if you haven’t done so already.

SOYBEAN futures on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) were up on Monday. MAY’09 soybean futures closed at $9.110/bu; up 34.5 ¢ /bu. The JULY’09 contract was up 32.25 ¢ /bu at $9.075/bu. The NOV’09 contract closed at $8.504/bu; up 26.75 ¢ /bu. Technical moves such as soy/corn spreading were supportive indicating a positioning of the market ahead of a looming “crop-acres” battle. Exports were better than expected with USDA placing soybeans-inspected-for-export at 27.2 mi bu vs. expectations for between 23-26 mi bu. Cash soybeans were mostly steady as funds decreased net bear positions buying as much as 5,000 lots. It is a good idea to sell all old crop soybeans and get up to 25 per cent of the ’09 crop priced now.

WHEAT futures in Chicago (CBOT) closed up on Monday. The MAY’09 contract closed at $5.442/bu; up 26.0 ¢ /bu. JULY’09 wheat futures finished up 26.0 ¢ /bu at $5.556/bu. Strong technical signs, short covering, stiff outside markets, dry weather in the US Plains, and a weaker U.S. dollar were supportive. USDA placed wheat-inspected-for-export at 12.6 mi bu vs. expectations for between 13-17 mi bu. Funds bought up to 4,000 contracts signaling an end to past levels of short positions. It is a very good idea to get up to 25 per cent of the 2009 crop sold at this time.

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