Weekly Roberts Market Report

by 5m Editor
10 August 2011, at 6:43am

US - Monday was a "sell-everything" kind of day as US equity markets declined and crude oil took a 6.4 per cent dive to $81.31/barrel after Standard & Poor's cut the US' top-tier credit rating from AAA to AA+. Commodities were pressured by ideas that a global economic slowdown will limit demand, writes Michael Roberts.

In other news, the 2011-12 corn and soybean marketing year begins on 9/1/11. Corn and soybean consumption are slowing as the 2010-11 year wind down.

Many think USDA’s next World Agriculture Supply Demand Estimate (WASDE) report due out 8/11/11 will show larger-than-expected ending stocks.

Estimates from 12 analysts for ending stocks for 2010-11 for corn averaged 0.923 bi bu for corn vs. USDA’s 0.88 bi bu and 0.223 bi bu for soybeans vs.

USDA’s 0.200 bi bu. Ending stock average estimates from 20 sources for 2011/12 were: Corn – 0.741 bi bu vs. USDA 0.870; Soybeans 0.172 bi bu vs. USDA 0.175 bi bu; and Wheat – 0.671 bi bu. vs. USDA 0.67 bi bu.

  • For 2010-11 the market is bearish corn and soybeans
  • For 2011-12 the market is bullish corn and neutral for soybeans and wheat.

LEAN HOGS on the CME finished down on Monday. AUG’11LH futures closed at $104.925/cwt; even with last Friday’s close but $1.825/cwt over last report.

The DEC’11LH contract closed at $87.100/cwt; down $1.650/cwt and $2.150/cwt lower than this time last week. MAY’12LH futures closed at $96.400/cwt; off $0.300/cwt but $0.30/cwt over last report.

The August contract found support from a record high USDA pork carcass composite value, a measure of wholesale prices. USDA on Monday put the pork cutout at $110.19/cwt, up $1.32/cwt from Friday; $5.55/cwt higher than last week and $11.25/cwt higher than two weeks ago!

It should be noted this is this was the eighth straight day for a record pork cutout. However, floor sources say sentiment in the pits is that recent strength in fresh pork prices may be near an end as supplies of live animals grow this fall when cooler temperatures make for better hog-raising weather and producers gear up for bigger production schedules from meat packers.

According to, the average packer margin was raised $2.70/hd from last week to a three positive $2.55/head based on the average buy of $77.71/cwt vs. the average breakeven of $78.69/cwt. The latest CME lean hog index was placed at $106.55; up $1.04 and $5.04 over last report.

CORN futures on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) closed down on Monday. SEPT’11 futures closed at $6.752/bu; down 17.75 ¢ /bu and 6.0 ¢ /bu lower than last Monday.

The DEC’11 contract closed at $6.860/bu; off 17.0 ¢ /bu but 0.5 ¢ /bu higher than last report.

Grain futures fell for the fourth day on Monday as investors ran to less-risky positions in gold. Traders set aside all fundamental thinking for safer havens.

Corn exports were neutral with USDA putting corn-inspected-for-export at 31.748 mi bu vs. estimates for 30-35 mi bu. USDA late Monday placed the US corn crop in good-to-excellent condition at 60 per cent; two per cent lower than last week and nine per cent lower than this time last year.

SOYBEAN futures on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) closed down on Monday. The AUG’11 contract closed at $13.092/bu; off 22.25 ¢ /bu and 49.5 ¢ /bu lower than a week ago.

NOV’11 soybean futures closed 24.5 ¢ /bu lower at $13.114/bu and 50.75 ¢ /bu lower than a week ago.

Hot weather was supportive as it is seen as hurting yield potential. Exports were neutral-to-bearish with USDA confirming a large shipment of soybeans contracted for delivery to China this year was put off until late next year.

USDA put soybeans-inspected-for-export at 5.642 mi bu vs. estimates for five to 10 mi bu. USDA late Monday raised the US soybean crop rating in good-to-excellent condition one per cent from last week to 61 per cent.

Ample global stocks are expected to keep soybean supplies sufficient for 2011-12 as long as the US crop doesn’t get hammered with major weather damage.

WHEAT futures in Chicago (CBOT) closed down on Monday. SEPT’11 futures finished 22.5 ¢ /bu lower at $6.564/bu and 20.0 ¢ /bu lower than a week ago.

The DEC’11 contract closed at $6.946/bu; off 28.25 ¢ /bu and 26.0 ¢ /bu lower than this time last week.

JULY’12 wheat futures finished at $7.586/bu; down 26.0 ¢ /bu and 25.75 ¢ /bu lower than last report.

European wheat futures also fell sharply on concern about a weakening global economy, pushing investors to sell risky commodities. Exports were supportive with USDA putting wheat-inspected-for-export at 25.238 mi bu vs. expectations for 17-22 mi bu. Funds increased net bear positions by 4,379 contracts.

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