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Corn futures are trading 2 to 4 cents lower at midday. Slippage in old crop feed use and improved planting progress are the main drivers. USDA reported 1.294 MMT of corn was exported last week, up 21% from the previous week and also larger than the same week in 2014. Shipments YTD lag 1.45 MMT or about 57 million bushels. Expected US planting progress in tonight’s report is in the 19-20% vicinity. The weekly COT report from the CFTC showed managed money accounts made their net short position in Corn another 16,986 contracts shorter than they were last week. Their net position was reported as short -65,298 contracts.
Soybean futures are currently trading 3 to 5 cents higher, buoyed by a USDA announced 158,000 MT export sale to unknown destinations this morning. That was seen as possible discomfort with South American logistics. Brazilian truckers have been successful in blocking or interrupting some truck traffic on major arteries such as BR-163. The question remains the duration and scope of the blockage. The USDA Export Inspection report this morning showed shipments of 311,622 MT, more than double last week and also larger than year ago. Shipments YTD are 163 million bushels larger than year ago. The soy/corn ratio has been rising the past couple weeks, apparently trying to buy a few more soybean acres. USDA is expected to show 2-3% of the US soybean crop planted as of Sunday.
Wheat futures are trading double digits lower at midday as life of contract lows have given way in several contracts. Slow exports and suspected improvement in crop conditions are the main drivers. The trade is generally looking for 1-2% more of the winter wheat crop to be in good or excellent condition in tonight’s USDA Crop Progress report. The USDA Export Inspections report this morning showed 543,929 MT shipped last week, down 11% from the previous week. Year to date shipments are 282 million bushels below last year. Russian wheat exports since July 1 total 19.8 MMT vs. 16.6 the previous year. That is up 117 million bushels.
Cattle futures opened lower, rallied into plus territory, and are now down $.85 to $1.72. The Cattle on Feed report leaned bearish overall, but the charts were not. That caused some back and forth trade between the technical traders and the fundamental types. Wholesale prices were slightly lower in the morning report. The average price of Choice boxed beef dropped 26 cents, with the Select boxes down 21 cents on 102 reported loads. The Commitment of Traders Report from the CFTC showed managed money accounts lightening up their net long position in cattle by about 6.2%. They reduced their longs and added some shorts.
Lean hog futures care trading 5 to 60 cents higher at midday. The CME Lean Hog Index rose 21 cents to $65.39. The pork carcass cutout gained another 36 cents, rising to $70.30. Cash prices are 96 cents higher in the Western Corn Belt carcass market. The IA/MN market is quoted $1.16 higher. Terminal markets are steady to $1 higher. Managed money accounts increased their net long position in lean hog futures and options by a net 2,407 contracts, taking their net long position as of the Tuesday close to 12,645 contracts.
Cotton futures are trading 20 to 110 points higher at midday, with May the strongest on zero deliveries to data. The Cotlook A Index was up 2.40 at 72.15 today. April 23 certified stocks were 73,660 bales with 1,529 new certs. Managed money accounts took a net 14,992 contracts off of their net long position in cotton futures and options, making them net long 35,345 contracts at the end of the reporting period on last Tuesday night. That would have been right ahead of the big rally. They zigged when they should have zagged, using 20/20 hindsight!