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Corn futures settled 1 1/2 to 2 cents lower today. Improving harvest weather had something to do with it, and so did a 14 month high in the US dollar index which is doing nothing to assist US competitiveness in the export market. Some crop estimators are reducing their harvested acreage figures, with Lanworth going to 83.5 million and Cordonnier reportedly at 83.33 million. Weekly ethanol production rose to 931,000 barrels per day last week, using about 99 million bushels of corn. Ethanol stocks rose to 18.8 million barrels. Trade estimates for US corn export sales last week are in the 450,000 to 800,000 MT range. The USDA update will be at 7:30 am CDT.
Soybean futures settled 1 1/2 to 2 cents higher this afternoon. Soybean meal was down $1.90 to pressure product value, but a 58 point pop in soy oil injected 6 cents back into that value. USDA announced 620,000 MT of new crop bean sales to China under the daily reporting system. Satellite firm Lanworth raised their projected US soy yield to 47 bushels per acre, but trimmed expected harvested acres to 82.4 million. Trade expectations for the weekly USDA Export Sales are 850,000 MT to 1.6 MMT for soybeans. Meal ideas are in the 150-300,000 MT range.
Wheat futures closed 3 to 4 cents higher in Chicago, but lost 1 to 2 3/4 in KC. MPLS was down 2 1/2 to 3 3/4 cents. Australian sources are indicating that wheat exports might only hit 18 MMT, a five year low and 1 MMT below the current USDA figure. Trade estimates for the Thursday morning USDA weekly Export Sales report are in the 350,000 MT to 650,000 MT range.
Cattle futures were 82 cents to $1.44 higher on Wednesday. Higher cattle and lower corn had feeders bouncing $.70 to $2.35. Wholesale beef prices were lower this afternoon. USDA reported the average for choice carcasses is down $1.73, while select boxes are down 64 cents per hundred from the previous day. The drop credit is still running $16.44 per hundred. Estimated week to date slaughter is 342,000 head 3K head smaller than last week, and 24,000 head smaller than the same point a year ago. The CME Feeder Cattle Index was up 1 cent at $230.05.
Hog futures were the mirror image of cattle, losing $.75 to $2.25 for the day. The CME Index was up another $0.96 at $103.22, firming the basis. The pork carcass cutout average price was down $0.46 this afternoon. Loins were notably week. Carcass based cash hog prices in the WCB were 24 cents higher in the pm report, with the IA/MN series 6 cents lower. Eastern CB hogs were quoted $1.84 higher but still lag the west. Estimated week to date slaughter was 1.237 million head, up 19,000 head from last week, but off 56K head from a year ago.
Cotton futures were up 13 to 162 points, with the thin October posting the triple digit gain as it comes up on delivery notices. December was only up 13. The US dollar rallied sharply after the Fed announced that the QE3 program will be ending next month and adjusted language about future rate hikes. Cash cotton prices on the Seam were up 2.49, with the average price 62.47 or 10.10 over loan value. USDA indicates that low corn prices are not stimulating cotton acres in Brazil. USDA expects Brazilian production to be down as much as 12%. ICE Certified stocks are down to 47,940 bales as we approach the October contract delivery period. Another 709 bales were decertified on Monday. The Cotlook A index is down .35 at 73.95.