Grain Stocks Report
The September 1 Grain Stocks Report was released last week, and held some surprises for the market.
Corn stocks in all positions, pegged at 2.11 billion bushels, was well below the average trade guess, and down 1 percent from this time in 2018. On-farm stocks were up 22% from a year ago, while off-farm stocks were down 10%. The market has reacted somewhat favorably, but so far December remains capped by resistance at $4 headed into harvest. To no one’s surprise, harvest is off to a slow start at only 15% harvested compared with a 5-year average pace of 27%. The weather forecast is somewhat favorable for the mid-west, but the northwest Corn Belt is facing the potential for a heavy snow storm into the weekend and hard freezes are expected as far south as Nebraska and Iowa.
Soybean stocks, on the other hand, are 108% higher from a year ago at 913 million bushels. And while that is a huge number, the average trade guess was 981 million. The report showed disappearance was up 11% in the June-August period, helping bring that total down a bit. Soybeans stored on farms are up 162% and off-farm stocks are up 92% from last September. November beans are still trending higher and working to hold above previous resistance at $9.20.
Rice futures trade has been erratic to say the least over the past couple of weeks. November is attempting to build off support at $11.60 and has climbed back above the key $12 mark this week. Recent exports have been disappointing. Yield reports from Louisiana and parts of Arkansas are also disappointing, however, which could impact the size of the crop. Nationwide, 76% of the crop is in the bins, while the total in Arkansas is 82%.
The quarterly USDA Hogs and Pigs report, which estimated the September 1 hog heard at a record-setting 77.678 million head, up over 2.5 million head from the same time in 2018. The December contact has reacted by failing at support at $72.50 and working lower over the past few days. However, the market did chart a bullish key reversal on Tuesday and then gapped higher on Wednesday to put the market back in position to test resistance at $70.
Cattle futures have staged an impressive recovery in recent weeks, closing chart gaps left in reaction to the Tyson plant fire on the way higher. November Feeders need to close above $144 in order to extend the rally, while December live cattle have resistance at $112. Indications of tightening market-ready cattle supplies are supportive, but the market is technically overbought, which could limit the upside potential of the market.