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Corn Futures Prices Lower to End the Week

Friday's Closing Grain + LIvestock Futures Prices

Sep. corn closed at $3.59, down 2 and 3/4 cents
Sep. soybeans closed at $10.89 and 1/2, up 15 and 3/4 cents
Sep. soybean meal closed at $439.50, up $6.30
Sep. soybean oil closed at 32.04, down 60 points
Sep. wheat closed at $5.50 and 1/4, down 6 and 1/4 cents
Aug. live cattle closed at $155.90, up $1.25
Oct. lean hogs closed at $98.12, up $2.65
Oct. crude oil closed at $95.96, up $1.41
Dec. cotton closed at 66.57, down 1 point
Sep. Class III milk closed at $23.95, unchanged
Sep. gold closed at $1,285.80, down $2.90
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 17,098.38, up 18.81 points

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Ag Market News and Commodity Comments

Soybeans were mixed on commercial buying against speculative selling. Unknown bought 123,000 tons of new crop U.S. and overall demand remains strong. Still, the longer term fundamentals are bearish and traders expect a record crop. Soybean meal was higher and bean oil was lower on the adjustment of old crop/new crop spreads. First notice day deliveries were largely as expected.

Corn was lower on fund and technical selling. Traders continue to watch the weather, with more scattered rainfall expected over the next few days in key growing areas. Corn’s also looking at bearish fundamentals and expecting a record crop. Ethanol futures were higher. The 2014/15 marketing year for corn and soybeans starts September 1.

The wheat complex was lower on fund and technical selling. The trade’s watching the situation in Ukraine and the domestic spring wheat harvest delays. Past that – there was no real fresh supportive news and world fundamentals are bearish. First notice day deliveries on large on Kansas City, relatively light on Chicago and small on Minneapolis. South Korea bought 63,000 tons of optional origin feed wheat.

USDA Mandatory reported cattle trading was light in Kansas on moderate demand, compared to the previous week, live sales were 2.00 to 3.00 higher at 155.00. Trading was light in Nebraska on moderate to good demand. Compared to a week ago, a few live sales traded steady to firm at 155.00, and dressed sales 3.00 higher at 245.00. Trading was light in Iowa on moderate demand, dressed sales were 1.00 higher at 243.00. The weekly cattle slaughter was estimated at 584,000 head, 6,000 less than last week, and 49,000 head smaller than 2013.

Boxed beef cutout values were weak on light to moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings. Choice boxed beef was .59 lower at 246.30 and select was .88 lower at 234.39.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled 50 to 132 points higher. The fact that strong late week support quickly flooded back into the lean hog futures market changed the overall tone of the cattle market. Follow through buyer support quickly redeveloped, seemingly out of thin air, with moderate to strong gains holding. Word of cattle trading in the North at higher prices was also supportive late in the session. August went off the board at 155.90 up 1.25 and October was 1.32 higher at 151.42.

Feeder cattle ended the session 150 to 245 higher. Feeders shook off the early pressure as traders looked for additional support coming from both the lean hog and live cattle futures market. Trade mentality seemed to be focused on closing the week higher given the light trade volume and lack of additional fundamental pressure seen in the market. September settled 1.50 higher at 218.65, and October was up 1.95 at 216.72.

Feeder cattle receipts at Missouri auctions this week totaled 14,923 head. Compared to the previous week, feeder steers and heifers trended steady to 5.00 lower, although some southern markets did see instances of fully steady to firm markets on light weight feeders suitable for grazing wheat pastures. The supply of feeders offered at auctions was light as the August heat kept many producers at home. Feeder steers medium and large 1 averaging 624 pounds traded at 245.27 per hundredweight. 619 pound heifers averaged 227.43.

Lean hogs settled 25 to 265 points higher. End of the week buying flooded back into the market with front month October futures trading at or near the $3 trading limit at times.  The focus was on the potential fundamental support seen through early September which could lead to another round of active commercial and investment support stepping into the complex. October settled 2.65 higher at 98.12, and December was up 1.62 at 92.00.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed 2.07 higher with a weighted average of 92.60 on the carcass basis, the West was up 1.07 at 91.53, and Eastern markets at 90.50 with no price comparison. Missouri direct base carcass meat price was steady at 88.00.

The pork carcass value was 1.10 higher at 101.72 FOB plant, bellies were nearly 11.00 higher.

Barring a huge surprise in country numbers, weekly hog kills will steadily climb from September through November. By Thanksgiving, pork demand will be challenged to handle an additional 300,000-plus heavy hogs on a weekly basis.

The weekly hog kill at 1,979,000 head is 12,000 less than last week and 229,000 less than last year.

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