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Corn futures ended the Thursday session slightly lower, after posting gains of more than 10 cents on Wednesday. Net export sales for the week ending October 23 came in on the low end of expectations at 534,500 MT. Total 2014/15 commitments as a % of total projected annual exports are 42%; they were 45% last year at this date. The International Grains Council revised its global corn production figure to 980 MMT, up 6 MMT from the previous projection, but WASDE was already over 990 MMT in the October report.
Soybean futures were mostly 18 to 19 cents lower by the end of the session; giving back about half of their gain from Wednesday when November posted a new high for the move. The DJIA was sharply higher today, making it easier for momentum traders to jump ship at the end of a strong week and a strong month in the soybean complex. Weekly export sales were in the upper range of the trade guesses at 1,326,000 MT. New soybean meal bookings came in on the lower end of the range of guesses at 152,900 MT. The largest buyer was Mexico. December meal futures lost more than $17 today after posting new highs yesterday, and again earlier today, touching $408.50. Bean oil followed up its 1.38 gain on Wednesday with another .13 cent boost today.
Wheat futures ended the day with all three classes in negative territory. The IGC raised its estimate for 2014-15 global wheat production to 718 MMT, which is 1 MMT higher than the previous estimate. The World Ag Outlook Board had global production over 721 MMT in the October WASDE report. Much of the trade is anticipating at least a slight reduction in that figure for the November report as weather concerns developed this month in Australia and Argentina. Weekly export sales came in above the high end of trade expectations this week at 459,100 MT. Total commitments as a % of total projected exports are at 60%, which is the same as the 5yr average for this week.
Cattle futures closed higher on the session, with October futures up $1.50 and closing above $170 for the first time ever. That contract expires tomorrow. October feeders went off the board today at $239.75, up 90 cents on the day. Beef export sales reported this morning were 20,100 MT, up 92% from the prior four week average and the largest since last spring. Wholesale beef prices averaged 28 cents lower for Choice boxes and 36 cents lower for Select boxes. Cash cattle trade is too thin to indicate a market trend. Asking prices appear to be in the $172-173 range. Estimated week to date FI slaughter at 439K head is 10,000 below last week and 46,000 less than the same point a year ago.
Hog futures took another triple digit hit in the nose today. December hogs lost $1.40 on the day, closing with an 85 cent discount to the April contract. The weekly USDA export sales report released this morning showed net sales of pork were 12,700 MT for the week ending October 23. The average pork carcass cutout value was $1.51 lower at $97.84 in the afternoon report. Bellies and hams were higher, but loins were under pressure. The CME Lean Hog Index was down $1.98 at $94.61. Estimated week to date slaughter at 1.712 million head is 4,000 more than a week ago, but still 13,000 behind the same week last year. Cash hog prices were 44 cents lower for the national base hog, but the IA/MN area was 44 cents higher and brought the WCB average up 29 cents.
Cotton futures finished the day with losses mostly between 17 and 85 points. The 2 day surge in the US dollar index did some damage to demand perceptions. In its weekly report, USDA had US export sales for the week ending October 23 at 203,900 RB, including 5,100 RB of pima. The largest buyer was Indonesia, in for 32,900 RB; China booked 22,700 RB. Total export commitments as a % of total projected annual exports are at 63% vs. the 5yr average of 56%. Cotton futures on the Zhengzhou exchange were mostly higher on Thursday, with the thinly traded front month slightly lower. The Cotlook A index is 0.15 higher at 70.45. Cert stocks are now at 15,926.