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Corn futures rallied late in the session to close around 2 cents higher on the day, capping a nearly 24 cent (6.73%) gain on the week. The US Dollar index was sharply higher all day, but corn closed higher anyway. Export sales reported this week were the slowest of the marketing year thus far, but accumulated exports as a percent of total projected exports are currently at 15% vs. 9% for this week last year, and the 5 yr average of 13%. In the weekly Commitment of Traders report, managed money accounts added 14,836 contracts to their net long position, bringing them to net long 141,788 contracts.
Soybean futures were sharply higher on the day. November closed more than 22 cents higher, and was up 69 cents for the week; a weekly gain of more than 7%. Congestion on the rails, and crushers who need the soybeans, was a big driver of the price increase. Weekly US export sales for soybeans were solid again this week, confirming strong competition for the few beans that farmers are willing to part with at these prices. December bean meal futures were up $38.80 for the week; that is more than 11%! Palm oil futures in Malaysia hit the highest readings since July, providing support to soy oil. The weekly Commitment of Traders report from the CFTC showed managed money accounts are now net long 8,382 contracts; a net change of 24,719 contracts from last week.
Wheat futures were lower on the day, but closed several cents off their lows in the front months of all three major classes. For the week, KC was flat, MPLS picked up more than 7 cents, and CHI wheat was up nearly 18 cents. The more than 700 point rally in the US dollar index was working against the idea of increasing projections for US wheat exports today. Aussie sources report disappointing yields in southern Australia. The US ag attaché lowered projected production to 24 MMT and cut projected exports. Private estimates for production are as low as 22 MMT. In the weekly report from the CFTC, managed money accounts were shown with a net short position of 43,280 contracts, which is less-short 7,767 contracts compared to the report from last week.
Cattle futures posted triple digit losses today. October futures expired with a $3.45 premium to the Dec contract after Oct posted another new high at $171.30 shortly after trading resumed this morning. Cash cattle trade is still not well defined, with some trade in Kansas at $168 down $1-2 from last week. Asking prices appear to be in the $170-172 range elsewhere. Estimated week to date FI slaughter including Saturday estimates is 553K head, which is 23,000 below last week and 70,000 less than the same point a year ago. Choice beef prices lost $2.15 today, but were still up $3.79 for the week. Select boxes were 78 cents lower today, but $5.87 higher than they were last Friday. The Commitment of Traders report showed managed money accounts reduced their net long position by 1,161 contracts. They are still net long 108,195 contracts.
Hog futures were 75 cents to more than a dollar higher on the day, but December hogs lost $2.30 on the week. The average pork carcass cutout value was choppy this week, ultimately ending the week with a loss of only 74 cents. Bellies, Hams and Picnic cuts were winners for the week. The CME Lean Hog Index was down $1.58 at $93.03. Cash hog prices were not being reported by USDA this morning, but this afternoon they were 44 to 45 cents lower according to reports from the WCB and the IA/MN marketing areas. The weekly report from the CFTC showed managed money accounts lightening up on their net long position by about 7% from the previous week. They were net long 51,359 contracts as of the Tuesday close. Weekly slaughter including Saturday estimates is 2.193 million head, that is 52,000 head more than a week ago, and 77,000 head less than the same week a year ago.
Cotton futures were mixed on the day, down as much as 10 points in the March contract, and up 7 points for the July 15 contract. December picked up 64 points on the week. The 3 day surge in the US dollar index did some more damage to export demand ideas. The dollar is at the highest level since 2010, which makes imports cheaper but exports more expensive in third party currency terms. Total US export commitments as a % of total projected annual exports are at 63% vs. the 5yr average of 56%. Cert stocks are now at 15,574 bales this morning with 352 bales decertified. First notice day for December futures deliveries is November 21. The Cotlook A index is down 45 points at 70.00. The Commitment of Traders report from the CFTC showed managed money accounts adding a net 5,085 more contracts to their net long position this week, making them net long 9,633 contracts.