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Corn And Soybean Futures Prices Steady.

 Closing Grain and Livestock Futures
Mar. corn closed at $4.26 and 1/4, up 1 and 1/4 cents
Mar. soybeans closed at $12.81, up 1/2 cent
Mar. soybean meal closed at $419.40, up $2.90
Mar. soybean oil closed at 37.84, down 26 points
Mar. wheat closed at $5.61 and 1/4, down 1 cent
Feb. live cattle closed at $143.67, up $2.12
Feb. lean hogs closed at $85.55, down 42 cents
Mar. crude oil closed at $96.73, up $1.76
Mar. cotton closed at 87.84, down 29 points
Feb. Class III milk closed at $22.07, down 33 cents
Mar. gold closed at $1,238.50, down $3.30
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 16,373.34, down 41.10 points

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Market News Update

Soybeans ended mostly modestly higher, bouncing back late. The trade continues to watch forecasts around South America, with more rain expected over the next couple of days in Argentina and Brazil. Also, the cash basis has been heading lower, which is a sign that buyers are more than likely moving away from U.S. beans. Soybean meal was up on that bounce in beans and oil was lower on profit taking, with both pits also influenced by product spread trade. Celeres, via Reuters, reports Brazil’s farmers have sold around 41.7% of the 2013/14 crop, compared to 55.9% a year ago, primarily citing lower international prices. About 1% of Brazil’s total crop is harvested.

Corn was steady to firm, taking the path of least resistance. Domestic demand is good and there are some signs of increasing export demand with Japan buying 105,664 tons of new crop U.S. corn. That said – the supply remains fairly large, keeping the fundamentals bearish and probably limiting any attempts at an extended rally. Ethanol futures were lower. Hungary’s Central Statistics Office, via Dow Jones Newswires, states 2013 corn production was 6.7 million tons, up 41% from 2012 thanks, in part, to a 5% increase in planted area.

The wheat complex was mixed with Chicago down on a lack of follow through and Kansas City and Minneapolis up on the mostly lower dollar. Relatively speaking, U.S. wheat is competitively priced but the world supply remains large and in general, there just hasn’t been much new interest in U.S. wheat. Still, the feed wheat basis is up, which may be a sign of improving demand. According to Hungary’s Central Statistics Office, 2013 wheat production was 5 million tons, up 25% on the year, with very little change to planted area. DTN reports Algeria bought around 500,000 tons of optional origin milling wheat and Japan picked up 15,500 tons of feed wheat in a sell-buy-sell tender. China is tendering for 200,000 tons of Australian wheat.

USDA Mandatory reports cattle trading was moderate in the Southern Plains on moderate to good demand. Live sales traded mostly 5.00 higher at 147.00 with a few sales reported in Kansas at 148.00. Trading was moderate to active in Nebraska on good demand. Dressed sales are 11.00 to 13.00 higher at 239.00 to 240.00. Live sales in Nebraska were 4.00 to 5.00 higher at mostly 150.00. Trading in Colorado was light to moderate on moderate to good demand at 150.00, 6.00 higher than last week. There were a few live sales in Iowa 8.00 higher than last week at 150.00.The kill totaled 119,000 head, 3,000 more than last week, but 4,000 less than last year.

Boxed beef cutout values were firm on moderate demand and light to moderate offerings. Choice boxed beef was .33 higher at 240.05, and select was .29 higher at 237.44.

Live cattle contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange surged to new record highs again on Wednesday with the February contract at one point reaching 1.44 a pound, the highest intraday price for the spot contract ever. Sharply higher live cattle prices on Wednesday along with still appreciating beef values created encouragement to the futures contracts. February settled 2.12 higher at 143.67 and April was up 1.57 at 141.80.

Feeder cattle contracts surged to triple digit gains supported by the record gains in the live pit. Feeders traded lower much of the session partially due to higher corn prices.  January settled .67 higher at 170.47 and March was up 2.05 at 170.37.

Feeder cattle receipts at the Ozark’s Regional Stockyards at West Plains, Missouri totaled 4540 head. Compared to last week feeder steers traded 2.00 to 3.00 higher with the exception of 5 and 6 weight steers which were 2.00 to 5.00 lower. Feeder heifers weighing less than 500 pounds were 5.00 lower with heavier weights 3.00 to 5.00 higher. Demand was good on a moderate supply. Feeder steers medium and large 1 averaging 626 pounds traded at 181.44 per hundredweight. 520 pound heifers brought 181.55.

Lean hogs settled mixed from 60 points higher to 42 lower. Light pressure held both the nearby and deferred lean hog futures lower as traders were not convinced to follow the recent trend of cattle futures higher. There was moderate position squaring in the nearby contracts which created the bulk of the pressure in the February futures. February settled .42 lower at 85.55, and April hogs were up .60 at 92.97.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed .59 higher with a weighted average of 79.64 per hundredweight on a carcass basis, the West was .32 higher at 79.37, and the East was down .36 at 77.99. Missouri direct base carcass meat price closed steady to 1.00 lower from 71.00 to 72.00. Terminal hogs were steady to 1.00 higher from 51.00 to 56.00.

If early estimates of a Saturday hog kill close to 125,000 head prove to be accurate, this week’s slaughter once again stands to be 2-3% above 2013, more than the last quarterly inventory implied.

The pork carcass value was down .29 FOB plant at 87.09.

Wednesday’s hog kill was estimated at 414,000 head, 15,000 less than last week, and 10,000 less than last year.

 

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