News & Commentary
AgriCharts Market Commentary
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Corn futures closed 2 to 4 cents lower today. Prices are still mired in the trading range begun in July. Trading interest was very thin, with many extending the Labor Day weekend into a 4-day holiday. Old crop export commitments total 100% of the USDA forecast for the year, but would typically be 107% heading into the last week of the marketing year. The IGC raised its projected global corn production another 4 MMT, to 973 MMT. That compares to 982 MMT a year ago.
Soybean futures saw a comeback attempt in the September contract, but most of the rest were 4 to 5 cents lower. The delivery squeeze situation continues to unwind for the September beans and September meal futures as well. A weather firm boosted projected US average bean yield to 46.9 bpa, which nudged futures lower. New crop export bookings came in above expectations at 1,290,800 MT yesterday, but excess supply is the focus until we get further into harvest. Some inland crushers continue to pay huge pushes for old crop beans, as they are unable to access the imported stuff and there are currently zero beans registered for delivery vs. September futures. Southern harvest will be slowed by heavy rain totals over the next 7 days if the forecast proves accurate.
Wheat futures settled mixed in KC and MPLS, but were down 6 to 8 cents in Chicago. The Russians haven’t retreated out of Ukraine to the best of our knowledge, but bulls with money made were reluctant to risk it on developments over the long holiday weekend. While US export shipments have lagged, total export commitments are 45% of the full year forecast and would typically (5 year average) be only 43% by this week. The IGC hiked projected world wheat production a whopping 11 MMT, to 713 MMT, seeing increased production potential in several countries since last month.
Cattle futures settled $.77 to $1.32 higher today. August went off the board at $155.90 after a $2.70 intraday range. Cattle futures do have to converge with futures at expiration, as longs will hold for delivery if futures are below cash, and shorts will pay up for futures to get out rather than have to buy cattle on the open market at a premium basis to deliver at futures prices. Wholesale beef prices are lower again today. Choice boxes were 59 cents lower, and select carcasses were quoted an average 88 cents lower. Cash cattle trade was strong today, with most at $155-156 and northern carcass trades at $243-245. These were generally $3 higher than last week. Feeder futures were up $1.50 to $2.45 reflecting the strength in cattle and a lower corn market. The CME Index rose 28 cents to $218.51.
Hog futures ended the week $.25 to $2.65 higher. They were led by a gain of $2.65 in the October contract. The pork carcass cutout was quoted at $101.72 going home on Friday. That was a $1.88 loss for the week, or 1.81%. Weekly FI hog slaughter was estimated at 1.979 million head, down 0.6% from last week but 5.9% smaller than the same week in 2013. Cash hogs turned around on Friday, with USDA showing the national base hog at $91.05 and up 59 cents. The WCB carcass based quote was up $1.07, with IA/MN $2.07 higher. The ECB was not quoted due to lack of sufficient volume.
Cotton futures settled steady to 50 points lower. US export commitments (sales plus bales already shipped) are 50% of the full year forecast vs. the average of 41%. The US dollar posted the highest weekly close since July 2013, which means foreign buyers have to pay a bit more in local currency. The Cotlook A Index is quoted -.075, at 75.30. USDA shows the AWP for August 29 through September 4 at 54.71, vs. the national average loan rate of 52.00.