Top Farmer Closing Commentary 5-15-19
Stewart-Peterson Commentary - SPC - Wed May 15, 3:53PM CDT

CORN HIGHLIGHTS: A pick up in planting progress today and yesterday, along with farmers rushing to beat the next rain event may have the acres to be planted figure shrinking, yet it looks very challenging from many producers as a rain even for most of the Midwest dropping anywhere from 1 to 4 inches of rain is expected over the next several days. After a rally on the overnight trade and reaching a high of 3.80 before finally closing at 3.69-1/2 up 3/4 of a cent. A slide late in the session is a disappointment to bulls, but considering prices pushed through the 40 and 50-day moving average and uncovered buy stops and farmers selling likely picked up in earnest, we're not surprised if prices sag into the close. This occurred in beans and wheat as well. The focus in the day's ahead will continue to be on weather and rainfall totals. While conditions generally improve in late May due to a warmup and longer days, the case this year has been significantly different with 70% of the corn crop needing to be planted as of Sunday. Yes, farmers can work around the clock, but if conditions are not conducive, this is a moot point. Unfortunately, for many this could be the case over the next several days. Therefore, the growing likelihood of preventative plant acres increasing is looming larger.

SOYBEAN Highlights: Soybean futures edged higher with gains of 2-1/4 in Mar to 4 cents in July closing at 8.35-1/2. Like the corn and wheat market, prices rallied early in the morning session, but sagged late in the day, yet still managed to finish positive. New crop Nov finished down 3-1/4 to 8.59-3/4. Weather is the primary variable effecting prices and currently there are a lot of questions. Are beans in planting and wet weather system this week could further push planting behind schedule. More importantly, corn is very behind in planting and there is some thought that corn acres could either be prevented plant or switched over to beans. Yet, there is also talk that if corn prices continue to rally, they may in fact buy acres from beans, in particular if corn moves in the 4.25 Dec area. The bottom though through there is a lot of volatility in price potential ahead. If behind on sales, use rallies to get current.

WHEAT HIGHLIGHTS: Wheat futures, kind of like the corn and soybean futures, sagged into the close finishing mostly unchanged in Chi and down 4 to 6 in KC. Mpls finished with losses of 7 to 8 cents. Jul Chi closed at 4.48-3/4, down 1/4 after reaching a high of 4.64. Prices pushed through the 40 and 50-day moving average in the early session uncovering buy stop orders pushing prices to their highest level since mid-April. Yet, selling interesting to accumulate and buying interest dried up and prices sagged into the close. We wouldn't read too much into this other than the fact that last week's USDA reports did indicate ample world inventories and that price rallies are likely to be viewed as opportunities for farmers to become more aggressive sellers.

CATTLE HIGHLIGHTS: Cattle futures closed mostly mixed today, with Jun lives up 17 cents to 109.67, Aug lives were up 25 cents to 106.97, and Oct lives were up 27 cents to 106.75. May feeders were down 7 cents to 135.92, Aug feeders were down 22 cents to 142.27, and Sept feeders were down 35 cents to 143.22. Choice beef values closed 1.46 lower yesterday afternoon to 220.12. This is our lowest value since February 28. Choice beef did bounce this morning, up 41 cents to 220.53. Today's online fed cattle exchange had 280 head sold at 117.00 and cash cattle traded in Kansas, Nebraska and Texas at 117 as well today. President Trump and Chinese President Xi will be meeting at next month's G20 summit, but the market still does not believe that China's demand for U.S. beef will surge anytime soon. The live cattle contracts were sharply oversold coming into the session, likely some of the reason for today's bounce. Prices are still oversold, but new buyers are few and far between. Aug and Sep feeder cattle contracts made new lows for the move and new low closes.

LEAN HOG HIGHLIGHTS: Hog markets made triple digit gains today, closing just off of the highs today. Jul hogs were up 1.87 to 91.92, Aug hogs were up 1.45 to 92.62, and Oct hogs were up 1.07 to 84.30. The CME lean hog index was up 23 cents to 83.27. Carcass cutout values closed 40 cents higher yesterday afternoon to 88.64, and were up another 1.28 this morning to 89.92. All primal cuts were lower today besides bellies, up 12.25 to 143.62. News today that China's sow herd was down 22.5% from last April. China's overall pig herd was down 20.8% from a year ago. The Jun contract, up 2.70 today closed at 91.82, and above its 10, 20, and 50-day moving average support levels. This is the first close above these lines since April 5 and may open up some more room to rally. The deferred contracts closed right at resistance, with Jul testing, but failing to break through its 10-day moving average resistance level. With talk of improving U.S./China relations, speculative buyers may be looking to enter the market on a moment's notice.

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