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AgriCharts Market Commentary
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Corn futures settled 3 1/2 to 5 cents lower. The USD Index was sharply higher following the Memorial Day break. There is also a strong seasonal tendency for grains to close lower on the Tuesday after Memorial Day. Double digit losses in wheat also threatened corn from the feed use side. Weekly export inspections through May 21 were 1.006 MMT, vs. 1.008 MMT last week. The YTD shipments are 1.776 MMT behind year ago. After the close, USDA reported that 92% of the US crop has now been planted, ahead of the 88% average pace for this date. Emergence is 74% vs. the 5 year average of 62%. The first crop condition rating of the year showed 74% in good/ex condition. The initial Brugler500 reading is 383 vs. 386 in 2010.
Soybean futures settled 1 3/4 to 3 3/4 lower, with meal down $2.30/ton but soy oil up 50 points. November futures pressed as low as $9.02 before closing at $9.04 3/4. Weekly USDA export inspections showed 291,192 MT, down from last week but more than triple the same week in 2014. YTD shipments are 4.91 MMT (180 mbu.) ahead of year ago for this date. Generally wet weather has slowed planting, but trade estimates were in the 60% vicinity for the weekly USDA report this afternoon. USDA indicated that 61% of the crop was planted as of Sunday, ahead of the 55% average pace.
Wheat futures posted double digit losses in all three markets. The strong dollar threatened to stall already sluggish export sales. Export inspections from the USDA in the report this morning totaled 418,376 MT, up from 327,033 MT last week but trailing the 509,077 MT for the same week in 2014. There are 9 more shipping days remaining in the old crop marketing year. Heavy weekend rains and associated hail and winds were thought to have caused some damage. After the close, USDA reported that condition ratings were slightly better overall for Spring wheat and mostly steady for winter wheat. The crop continues to run ahead of average maturity with 77% headed vs. 67% average. Australia (BOM) confirms that the El Nino weather pattern is still strengthening. Russia has proposed a new export tariff schedule to come into effect in July. It has not been adopted yet.
Live cattle futures settled 32 cents lower to 2 cents higher. Feeder cattle were mostly higher with August leading the way, up 60 cents on the day, settling at $219.60. The CME feeder cattle Index was up another 48 cents at $222.01. Wholesale beef prices were higher on the day with Choice boxes up 82 cents and Select boxes up $1.58. Estimated week to date FI slaughter is 117,000 head, much lower than last week due to the holiday, but off 8K from the same period a year ago.
Lean hog futures settled 17 to 82 cents lower, with selling concentrated in the June contract. The CME Lean Hog Index was down 8 cents at $83.12. Pork carcass cutout values were up $1.09 at $86.67 on 348 loads. Ribs and picnic cuts were the only losers on the day. The negotiated carcass prices for the Western Corn Belt (WCB) were up 63 cents and IA/MN prices were up 51 cents, with no report from the ECB. The national average was only 8 cents higher. Estimated week to date hog slaughter is 433,000 head, up 11K head from the same period a year ago.
Cotton futures settled 1 point higher to 30 points lower today. A strong dollar and weak crude oil were bearish inputs. Total US commitments are 105% of the current USDA projection, also a couple points ahead of normal. Weekly COT data from the CFTC showed managed money accounts are still net long cotton futures and options, but they cut their net position by about 13.8% from the previous Tuesday. The Cotlook A Index is at 71.85, down -0.50. The US Crop Progress report tonight showed cotton planting progress slipping further behind normal with 47% of the crop planted as of Sunday night vs. the 5year avg of 61% for this date, and 60% for this date a year ago.