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Corn futures closed 9 to 11 cents lower on the day. The trade was slightly lower across the board overnight and experienced further selling pressure after the March WASDE figures were released. Weekly export inspections were reported at 933,974 MT, which is 123,139 MT less than last week and 564,539 MT more than the same period last year. The average trade guess for US corn ending stocks in the USDA WASDE report was 1.488 billion bushels. USDA cut the actual figure to 1,456 Mb with a 25 million bushel increase in exports. USDA pegged the Argentina figure at 24.0 MMT and the Brazilian figure at 70.0 MMT (both unchanged from Feb and thus a little bearish). Tonight, the Texas corn crop was reported at 10% planted vs. 8% the previous week. The 5 yr average for this time of year is 18%. Texas sorghum crop was reported at 7% planted vs. e% the previous week. The 5 yr average for this time of year is 11%.
Soybean futures closed 27 to 39 cents lower on the day. The trade was 10 to 12 cents lower earlier in the session but succumbed to intense selling pressure after the Mar WASDE was released. Export inspections initially looked strong, but USDA issued a revised report which reduced the weekly total to 1.079 MMT from the original 1.505 MMT release. USDA put soybean ending stocks @ 145 MB, cutting crush use while raising both export and summer imports. Weaker biodiesel use of soy oil was noted, along with weaker domestic meal use. USDA pegged Argentina figure at 54.0 MMT (unchanged from Feb) and the Brazilian figure at 88.5 MMT (1.5 MMT lower than the Feb figure of 90.0 MMT).
Wheat futures closed 11/4 to 13 1/4 cents lower on the day. The Mar 14 KCBT contract displayed the most weakness of the front months and finished down a dime. Export inspections reported this morning showed 429,081 MT this week, compared to the 609,867 MT inspected last week, and the 780,887 MT inspected during the same week last year. USDA left wheat ending stocks UNCH at 558 MB despite trade ideas of an increase to 570 million. World wheat stocks were 183.81 MMT, up slightly from the Feb figure of 183.73 MMT. The Texas wheat crop was reported at 28% gd/ex.
Cattle futures settled $0.50 to $0.55 higher on the day. Feeders were $1.32 to $2.15 higher, with the May 14 contract displaying the most strength and posting a new high for the move at $176.57. Estimated Monday daily slaughter was reported at 105,000 head compared to 113,000 head last week. Boxed beef prices were higher with choice cuts up $2.88 at $238.90 while select cuts were up $3.12 at $235.99. The Choice/Select spread is at $2.91. Cash cattle trade is quiet to start the week but ran $146-150 in the South, and $237-240 in the North last week. The CME Feeder Cattle Index was up 0.86 at $173.34.
Lean Hogs settled with sharp gains on the day. Both the Apr 14 and June 14 contracts finished daily limit up $3 higher. The degree of death loss to PED is unknown, giving speculators free rein. The pork carcass cutout was up $2.95 at $114.94. Belly primals were up $4.36 at $162.90. Estimated Monday slaughter was reported at 413,000 head compared to 397,000 head last week. Cash hog prices from the ECB were up $1.67, while values from the WCB were up $0.91. IA/MN marketing areas were up $1.15 after lower numbers in the morning report. The CME Lean Hog Index was up $1.32 at $103.63.
Cotton futures settled 9 to 29 points higher on the day. Estimated volume was reported at 18,900 lots compared to 29,862 lots the previous day. USDA estimated US Cotton ending stocks at 2.80 M Bales, tighter than the 3.00 M Bales in February. Projected US exports were increased 200,000 bales. World ending stocks were reported at 96.75 M Bales, compared to 96.5 M bales last month. World consumption was trimmed. ICE Certified stocks were reported 259,581 RB, with 1,442 new certs, 0 decerts and 802 bales awaiting review. The Cotlook A Index was down 0.25 at 97.30.