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Corn Futures Prices Steady; Soybeans, Wheat Lower

Tuesday's Closing Grain + LIvestock Futures Prices

Dec. corn closed at $3.43 and 3/4, up 3/4 cent
Nov. soybeans closed at $9.80 and 3/4, down 8 and 3/4 cents
Oct. soybean meal closed at $338.30, down 50 cents
Oct. soybean oil closed at 32.81, down 46 points
Dec. wheat closed at $4.96 and 1/4, down 4 and 1/2 cents
Oct. live cattle closed at $156.20, down 15 cents
Oct. lean hogs closed at $106.87, up 80 cents
Oct. crude oil closed at $94.88, up $1.96
Dec. cotton closed at 65.55, down 29 points
Oct. Class III milk closed at $24.19, up 32 cents
Oct. gold closed at $1,235.70, up $1.60
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 17,131.97, up 100.83 points

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Ag Market News and Commodity Comments

Soybeans were lower on fund and technical selling. As of Sunday, 72% of the crop is rated good to excellent, pretty much unheard of for this time of year, and long term fundamentals look bearish, with the trade expecting a record crop. Still, there are at least some concerns about muddy fields in parts of the Midwest, which is something to keep an eye on as we get closer to widespread harvest. Chinese soybean crushers signed a deal Monday to buy a large amount of U.S. beans, but there could be some cancellations in the near futures due to poor margins. Soybean meal and oil followed beans lower.

Corn was firm on oversold signals. 74% of corn is rated good to excellent, great for this time of year, and while late development and early harvest are a bit behind average, the trade’s not too worried, at least not yet. Corn also has a bearish long term fundamental outlook, but on Tuesday, the path of least resistance was up modestly. Ethanol futures were higher.

The wheat complex was lower on fund and technical selling. 74% of spring wheat is harvested due to delays in the Northern Plains and 12% of winter wheat is planted, with soil moisture in the Southern Plains getting recharged by recent rainfall. The overall fundamentals for wheat also look bearish, primarily due to the large available world supply. Egypt bought 180,000 tons of wheat from France.

The cash cattle market was at a standstill on Tuesday with no bids evident and very little interest seen through the trade. At this point, it is expected to be the last half of the week before active trade develops. Both sides are aggressively trying to advance their positions. Asking prices are around 164.00 in the South, and 253.00 to 255.00 plus in the North. USDA estimated the slaughter at 115,000 head, 1,000 less than last week, and 8,000 smaller than last year.

Boxed beef cutout values were weak to lower on moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings. Choice boxed beef was down 1.38 at 247.64, and select is .32 lower at 232.96.

Live cattle contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange settled 15 to 45 points lower, but did regain most of the morning losses as lack of follow through pressure in the lean hog and feeder cattle markets seemed to drive trade activity through most of the cattle contracts. There was very little direction available from market fundamentals over the last couple of days, prices may be unable to break out of the current market range, and may wander in this zone for a while. October settled .15 lower at 156.320, and December was also .15 lower at 158.87.

Feeder cattle ended the session 35 points higher to 22 lower after battling back and forth through the morning trade after holding strong triple digit losses. September settled .35 higher at 229.60 and October was up .02 at 225.87.

Feeder cattle receipts at the Oklahoma National Stockyards on Monday totaled 8100 head. Compared to last week, feeder steers and heifers trended steady to firm. Steer and heifer calves were mostly steady to 5.00 higher. There were very few true yearlings on offer with the majority of the supply consisting of un-weaned calves, as a result the most advances were recorded on larger packages of weaned cattle. Feeder steers medium and large 1 averaging 868 pounds brought 218.33 per hundredweight. 628 pound heifers traded at 230.26.

Lean hogs settled 80 points higher to 80 lower with wide separation between the October contracts and the rest of the complex. Early sharp trading losses softened as the session progressed, and that left the markets mixed at the close. The fear of weaker demand through the end of the year kept markets under pressure. October settled .80 higher at 106.87, and December was up .07 at 95.82.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed .92 higher at 104.66 weighted average on a carcass basis. The West was up .72 at 104.21, and the East was not reported due to confidentiality. Missouri direct base carcass meat price was steady from 90.00 to 97.00. Midwest hogs on a live basis closed fully steady from 65.00 to 74.00.

The pork carcass value was up 1.90 at 110.75 FOB plant.

Weights on the hogs moving to market remain well above year ago levels, almost large enough to offset the smaller head count. Over the next several weeks, hog kills should continue to trend seasonally larger and the gap to last year’s weekly kill volume will get smaller and smaller.

Tuesday’s hog slaughter was estimated at 417,000 head, 12,000 more than last week, but 15,000 less than last year.


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