Friday, October 1, 2010

USDA report sends cattle prices up

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Thursday there are 300 million more bushels of carryover corn from 2009 than it had reported previously.

The report drove down corn prices but gave a boost to the cattle market.

The surplus number was raised to 1.7 billion bushels.

December corn plunged during the morning on the Chicago Board of Trade, down almost 25 cents per bushel before recovering to close down 9 cents per bushel at $4.96. A drop in the carryover corn stocks earlier had helped corn rise from a yearly low of $3.45 in June to above $5 this month.
Soybean stocks came in at 151 million bushels, right on expectations. Continued strong export demand from China helped soybeans to a gain of 8 cents per bushel, to $11.07, for the November contract.

While corn sagged, live cattle were up $1 per hundredweight, to $99. Feeder cattle rose $2.35 per hundredweight, to $112.

"The grain stocks report was good for the cattle market because feeders were worried that corn prices might go higher," said trader Kevin Penner of Commodity Services Inc. in Des Moines.
Analyst Arlan Suderman said the USDA report "provides the excuse the market needed to correct overbought conditions, possibly testing corn support at $4.50. Such a break is healthy for the market by rebuilding the underlying demand base."

Corn has surged in recent weeks on worries that this year's crop will fail to reach the national yield estimate of 164 bushels per acre and 182 bushels per acre in Iowa.

Those concerns appear justified based on the first returns from the harvest. Many Iowa farmers are reporting corn yields as much as 25 percent below last year's in their first takings from the fields.

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