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Corn and Soybean Futures Prices Hold Firm

Closing Grain and Livestock Futures

Mar. corn closed at $4.32, up 1/4 cent
Mar. soybeans closed at $12.85 and 1/2, down 2 and 1/4 cents
Mar. soybean meal closed at $428.60, down $2.30
Mar. soybean oil closed at 37.40, up 34 points
Mar. wheat closed at $5.66, up 2 and 1/2 cents
Feb. live cattle closed at $142.55, down 60 cents
Feb. lean hogs closed at $85.27, down 30 cents
Mar. crude oil closed at $97.41, up $1.69
Mar. cotton closed at 84.35, up 10 points
Feb. Class III milk closed at $22.92, up 14 cents
Mar. gold closed at $1,250.60, down $12.90
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 15,928.56, up 90.68 points


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Market News Update

Soybeans were mixed on old crop/new crop spread trade. Widespread harvest is reportedly underway around Brazil and at least anecdotally, the crop is in generally good condition. The near term fundamentals remain solid thanks to the tight supply, but the trade is expecting a record South American crop. Soybean meal and oil were mixed on the adjustment of old crop/new crop spreads.

Corn was mostly, modestly lower. On the bull side, for the second day in a row, there was a big export sale with Spain picking up 110,000 tons of old crop and producers remain reluctant to sell around the current price levels. On the bear side, there’s a lot of corn available and South America’s crop is being helped by better weather. Ethanol futures were higher. Ukraine’s Ag Ministry reports corn exports since the start of the marketing year July 1 are 11.691 million tons, more than half of the 20.893 million ton total.

The wheat complex was mixed with Chicago up on weather concerns, but Kansas City unable to follow through on earlier gains. Even if both pits continue to keep an eye on the chance for winter kill in some key growing areas, we probably won’t know the extent of the damage, if any, until, the crop breaks dormancy. Egypt bought 240,000 tons of wheat, with 60,000 tons U.S. soft red winter and the rest from Russia. Japan’s tendering for 179,300 tons of U.S. and Australian wheat. According to Ukraine’s Ag Ministry, grain exports since the start of the marketing year are 20.893 million tons, 34% more than last year at this time, with wheat accounting for 6.951 million tons of the total, 5.626 million tons of that milling wheat.

The fed cattle market remained quiet on Tuesday with both bids and asking prices poorly defined. A few showlists have been priced around 150.00 in the South, and 243.00 plus in the North. Buying interest is expected to increase on Wednesday or Thursday. The kill was estimated at just 113,000 head, 6,000 smaller than last week and 10,000 below a year ago. Monday’s slaughter was revised downward 4,000 head to 107,000.

Boxed beef cutout values were significantly lower on light demand and offerings. Choice beef was down 2.24 at 235.80, and select was 3.39 lower at 233.67.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled 25 to 60 points lower. Cattle futures traded mixed for much of the session. Activity was sluggish and very little direction developed during the trade. There was long liquidation and suggestions the cash market has temporarily topped. Boxed beef cutout values were firm to higher in the midday report. February settled .60 lower at 142.55, and April was down .20 at 140.35.

Feeder cattle contracts ended mostly lower with the exception of the soon to expire January. Light trade limited active movement through most of the contracts. Traders seemed to be concentrating on the uncertainty in further beef support and light gains in the corn market. January was up .45 at 171.42, and March was down .42 at 168.37.
Feeder cattle receipts at the Joplin, Missouri Regional Stockyards totaled 9135 head on Monday, Compared to last week, steer and heifer calves less than 500 pounds were steady to 5.00 lower, calves over 500 pounds and yearling s were steady. Demand and supply was heavy. The calf trade was not as active as last week on a lighter offering. Feeder steers medium and large 1 averaging 670 pounds brought 178.63 per hundredweight. 682 pound heifers averaged 160.87.

Lean hogs settled 55 higher to 72 points lower. Moderate to strong pressure developed through the nearby contracts with April futures leading the downward price surge. The lack of support in the morning cash market and uncertainty about short term pork demand limited buyer interest through much of the session. Deferred contracts posted light gains, as the emphasis on tighter long term hog supplies still concerns traders. February settled .30 lower at 85.27 and April was down .72 at 93.57.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed .04 higher at 80.62, Western direct was down .05 at 80.21, and in the East the market was .65 lower at 77.27. Missouri direct base carcass meat price closed steady from 71.00 to 72.00 Terminal hogs were steady to 1.00 higher live from 51.00 to 53.00.

The pork value FOB plant was up .32 at 90.90 on a negotiated basis.

Soft country bids failed to attract sufficient market numbers Monday and Tuesday, a reality that should force hog buyers to quickly become more serious in terms of required country spending.

Hog slaughter was estimated at 407,000 head, 23,000 less than last week, and down 8,000 from last year.

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