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Corn futures closed around a penny lower on the day, with some pressure from harvest yield reports. After the close, the USDA released its weekly Crop Progress Report showing a slight improvement to the overall condition which bumped up the Brugler500 Index to 388, up 1 point from last week. US harvest progress came in at 7% in the weekly report, vs. 4% last week and the 5yr average for this week of 15%. The crop is 42% mature, still 12 points behind the 5yr average. The weekly Export Inspections Report from the USDA released this morning showed 1,018,858 MT inspected this week, compared to 456,768 MT during the same week last year.
Soybean closed sharply lower, with November off more than 18 cents on the day. October meal futures were down $4.70. The overall condition rating of the US crop is actually lower this week than last week in the Crop Progress Report from the USDA. NASS took one point from excellent and put it into the very poor category. This took the Brugler500 Index 4 points lower, in the largest single-week reduction shown this year. This is a delayed reaction to frost and freeze damage, along with localized flooding and damage from heavy rains. Approximately 45% of the crop is now dropping leaves, and 3% of the crop has been harvested, compared to the 5yr averages of 53% and 8%, respectively. Weekly export inspections reported this morning were 467,684 MT vs. 457,257 MT during the same week last year. The YTD total is 36% ahead of the previous year.
Wheat futures settled steady to 3 cents lower, with KC close to UNCH. Nearby Chicago December was up 2 1/4 due to export business. Egypt bought 55,000 MT of US SRW for shipment 10/21-10/31 according to GASC. The US winter wheat crop is now 25% planted, according to the weekly Crop Progress Report from the USDA; that is 3 points ahead of the 5yr average. Approximately 14% of the Spring wheat crop is still in the fields at the start of this week, vs. the typical 8% according to the 5yr average. USDA reported export inspections for the past week totaled 506,612 MT, vs. 644,818 MT during the same week last year. The YTD inspections total is 34% less than it was at this point a year ago. Higher Russian prices have just recently made the US competitive again in world markets.
Cattle futures ended the day mixed in the first day of trading after the Cattle on Feed report showed slightly more cattle than the trade was expecting. Cattle on Feed on September 1 were reported at 99.2% of year ago. Placements were 97.1% of year ago, and marketings came in at 90.4%. USDA issued the monthly Cold Storage report this afternoon, showing beef stocks at 79.88% of a year ago, and 93.76% of the previous month. Wholesale beef prices were reported lower in the PM report, with Choice boxes off 69 cents, and Select boxes down $1.14. Estimated Monday slaughter was 1K head larger than the previous week, and 6K head smaller than the same week a year ago.
Hog futures closed 45 cents to $1.32 higher to start this week. The CME Index was up another $0.40 at $105.14 with the futures rallying well beyond that level. USDA issued the monthly Cold Storage report this afternoon, showing pork stocks at 99.22% of a year ago, and 102.45% of a month ago. The month over month build-up in Hams was 233% of the build-up in total pork; fall-out from the large Russian cancelation for orders of mostly Ham cuts. The pork carcass cutout was more than $2 higher in the PM report. Carcass based cash hog prices were up today. They were 98 cents higher in the WCB and 17 cents higher in the ECB. Prices out of the IA/MN area averaged $1.00 higher today. Estimated Monday slaughter was 12K head smaller than the same week last year.
Cotton futures closed sharply lower, with most contracts trading more than 200 points lower during the session. December settled down 180 points. The sharp decline follows China restricting import quotas for 2015 to 894,000 MT (4.1 million bales), which is the WTO minimum. The current USDA estimate for imports is 8.0 million bales. They are serious about working down excessive stocks. The US Dollar Index was higher again today, and crude oil was lower. The Cotlook A Index is at 72.85, down 0.65 from the previous day. ICE Certified stocks are down to 20,461 bales as deliveries against the October contract begin Wednesday.