** OPENING GRAIN CALLS **
Corn: 2 to 3 cents lower; profit-taking, political unrest.
Wheat: 4 to 6 cents lower; traders fearful of economic slowdown.
Soybeans: 8 to 10 cents lower; rising South American estimates.
Meal: $3 to $4 lower; spillover from beans.
Soyoil: 20 to 30 points lower; strength in crude oil may limit pressure.
Grain futures started the overnight session firmer on followthrough from yesterday's gains and positive outside markets, but slipped amid profit-taking and fear rising crude oil prices will result in an economic slowdown. Additional pressure in the bean pit came from beneficial weather across South America, which has some private analysts increasing their production estimates for the region.
This morning's Census Bureau crush data for January showed soybean
crush below expectations at 149.17 million bushels. However, meal and
soyoil stocks were also below expectations. Traders say the crush figure represents price rationing on the domestic front.
USDA Chief Economist Joe Glauber, at USDA's Outlook Conference this
morning, said USDA currently expects 2011 corn acreage at 92.0 million (up 3.8 million), soybean acreage at 78 million (up 600,000) and wheat acreage at 57 million (up 3.4 million). These figures are identical to the baseline figures released last week by USDA, which are being viewed as price-negative since conditions have changed since the baseline figures (based on the November Supply & Demand Report) were formulated.
** OPENING LIVESTOCK CALLS **
Live cattle: Steady to weaker; pressure from stock market.
Feeder cattle: Steady to weaker; spillover from live cattle.
Lean hogs: Steady to firmer; pork cutout improvement.
Despite yesterday's recovery from a weaker start, live cattle are
expected to be pressured by spillover from the U.S. stock market.
Investors worry rising gasoline prices will slow the economy, leaving less disposable income for consumers to spend on high-quality meat cuts. Meanwhile, expectations are still for at least steady cash cattle trade with last week's $110 prices, with many expecting $1 to $2 higher trade due to this week's smaller showlist.
Feeder cattle futures are expected to be steady to weaker on spillover from live cattle, but weakness in the corn market should limit pressure.
Lean hog futures are expected to rise on ideas recent losses are
overdone given positive fundamentals. While Tuesday's Cold Storage Report, which showed more pork in frozen storage than expected, is still on traders' minds, this week's cash fundamentals are positive. Cash bids are expected to be steady to $1 firmer again this morning, with demand for hogs improving due to continued strength in the pork cutout market.