Grain markets are mixed overnight to begin trade of one of the most important weeks of the year. USDA data Wednesday will help set the tone well into spring planting. It will be very interesting to see what side of the pre-report estimates corn and soybean acres fall on as any sort of surprise could rock our markets one way or another. Dalian commodity markets were sharply weaker overnight. Soybeans on China’s Dalian Exchange were down 2.3% while soybean meal was down 0.27% and corn was down 1.51%.
Global equities traded mixed overnight while U.S. futures are pointing towards a lower open Monday morning. The big news overnight was engineers had partially freed the stuck container ship blocking the Suez Canal, partially refloating the vessel and restarting its engines. Officials are hopeful the ship could be completely freed in coming days as opposed to the several week delay some were fearing. Energy markets are mostly lower overnight although crude oil has retained the $60.00 per barrel level. The U.S. Dollar Index is higher overnight, looking to close up for the fourth session in the last five. Precious and industrial metals are weaker overnight.
Live cattle futures still need to prove themselves by making new highs. Last week was a strong week with further strength expected supported by strong cash. Packers payed higher prices for cattle with less resistance than anticipated. That is a good sign for this week as higher prices will be needed to obtain more supply. Box beef prices average $7.00 higher for the week, indicating strong demand. The seasonal delay of a spring price rally is being made up for rather quickly. Demand factors are strong and further advances of boxed beef should support a strong rally in the cash market.
Hog futures made new contract highs throughout 2021 contracts again of Friday. This has been nearly a daily occurrence. April through August contracts closed solidly above $100 with traders setting their sights on yet higher prices. April through August also left price gaps, which will be filled at some point. A price retracement will be needed to close those gaps and will likely take place before the end of the week. Packers remained aggressive last week, and there is no reason they will slow down this week. Projections for tighter supply and then confirmation of that tighter supply on the Hogs and Pigs report, will keep packers active.
Farm and Ranch Director Jesse Allen has the latest: https://lightningstream.com/ajax/GetODFile.ashx?call=MIDWEST&fileid=650