Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Overnight Highlights from CHS Hedging's Tregg Cronin 3-26-2013

Outside Markets: Dollar Index up 0.0780 at 82.908; NYMEX-WTI up 0.48 at $95.29; Brent Crude down $0.12 at $108.05; Heating Oil down $0.0032 at $2.8740; Livestock markets are mixed/better led by hogs; Softs are rallying this morning; Gold is down $6.70 at $1597.70; Copper up $0.0135 at $3.4585; Silver down $0.060 at $28.755; S&P’s are up 2.00 at 1549.00, Dow futures are up 17.00 at 14,403.00 and Treasuries are weaker.   

A relative calm over the financial world this morning as investors continue to digest the recent Cyprus bailout and the implications it could have for Italy, Spain and Portugal.  An executive board member on the European Central Bank said overnight the ECB will do everything it can to preserve the common currency which is giving support to the euro.  The EURUSD is +0.155% and the EURJPY is up +0.412%.  A fair amount of economic data this morning with durable goods forecast up 3.9%.  The S&P/Cash Shiller 20 City housing index for January is forecast up 0.75%.  Consumer Confidence for March is seen at 67.2, down from 69.6 in February.  New home sales are forecast at 420,000, down 3.9% from last month.  Argentine 5-yr Credit Default Swaps are up 437.22bp to 3,634bp this morning.

A little additional moisture in the last 24 hours, but mostly east of the MS-River.  Dry everywhere west of there.  Light snow falling in the east this morning.  Dry in the Midwest until Friday at which time another 0.10-0.50” is forecast in AR/MO/SE-KS/OK.  This starts the system, and then Friday through Sunday brings a total of 0.50-1.75” to the same border area of the aforementioned states.  Early next week sees more moisture fall west of that area covering more of N-TX and OK.  KS should see a general 0.25” of water moisture.  Northern Plains is mainly dry.  Wet and cold persists in the 6-10 and 8-14 according to NOAA last night.  The above normal precip is mainly focused in the mid-south and south.  Little snowpack melt seen for MN/ND/SD.

***Note Attachment from the CME Group related to margin changes***

Despite the CME Group raising margins on swaps, new crop corn futures and old/new spreads, margin induced selling pressure didn’t take hold last night and markets chopped inside very tight ranges.  As of this writing, the corn overnight range is 2.5c, beans is 6c and wheat at 4c.  This shouldn’t surprise given one of the four biggest USDA reports of the year is two days away.  As noted yesterday, don’t try and read too much into the pre-report chop.  More chatter about spring planting and the acreage pie overnight, but nothing substantive.  Cash markets were quiet yesterday, mostly unchanged from Friday although corn looked a tad firmer.  Row crop spreads remain in general uptrends.  We should all go home and come back Thursday at 11:00…

Overnight news was sparse.  Reuters carried articles about Egypt’s dire wheat stock piles and their inability to source additional supplies.  Due to the economic and political turmoil of the last two years, Egypt’s hard currency reserves have eroded by about $1 billion a month, raising questions about its ability to pay cash at open tenders.  Sources say they have enough wheat to get to new crop in June, but Egypt will remain the largest wheat importer in the world with the inability to pay.  NASS released updated wheat condition ratings with KS and TX showing slight declines while OK improved.  KS saw its G/E unchanged at 29%, but it’s weighted index declined from 292 to 284.  See table below.  There were articles out overnight also talking about the level of abandonment rising to >20% this year.  This has been talked about in the trade before, but few have probably thought about the full implications.  Also below is a table showing southern corn planting progress.  As one can see, three of the four states are ahead of the 5-yr average for this week.

Other articles included IMEA reducing its forecast for Mato Grosso soybean production to 23.6MMT from 24.1MMT due to the dry spell earlier this year.  The state’s harvest is estimated at 92.6% vs. 85.2% a week ago and 94.4% a year ago.  China’s state owned researcher Grain.Gov.Cn said China’s major ports had 1.25MMT of palm oil stocks, down 30,000MT from a week earlier, but up from 850,000MT a year ago.  Inventories remain high, pressuring crush margins. South Korea’s NOFI is tendering to buy 140,000MT of corn for August delivery and 70,000MT of wheat for August 25th.  United Arab Emirates purchased 40,000MT of corn from South America.

Open interest changes yesterday included wheat up 860 contracts, corn up 1,670, beans down 1,120, meal up 730 and soyoil down 500.  The string of huge open interest increases in corn looks like it is finally over, but over 100,000 contracts has been added since March 1, at the same time as funds were adding close to 100,000 contracts of net length over the same time.  Chinese markets were quiet with beans unchanged, meal up $1.60, oil down 15c, corn down 0.75c, palm down 51c and wheat down 2.25c.  Paris Milling Wheat is up 0.31%, Rapeseed up 0.42%, UK feed wheat up 0.30%, Corn up 0.44% and Canola is up 0.65%.

Call things mixed to get started, but it might be worth noting how the pit likes the margin increases at 9:30.  Locals are the ones really affected by margin changes.  Otherwise expect more chop and slop ahead of Thursday with no major reports or data sets due out until tomorrow.  Corn is holding recent gains well, but the strength has been mainly about specs adding length while the farmer sold physical.  End users seem well supplied unless the perception about stocks changes Thursday.

Tregg Cronin
Market Analyst
651-355-3723 fax
CHS Hedging, Inc.
The Right Decisions for the Right Reasons

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