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Corn & Wheat Futures Prices Higher

Thursday's Closing Grain + LIvestock Futures Prices

Sep. corn closed at $3.61 and 3/4, up 5 and 3/4 cents
Sep. soybeans closed at $10.73 and 3/4, down 12 cents
Sep. soybean meal closed at $433.20, up $16.70
Sep. soybean oil closed at 32.64, down 3 points
Sep. wheat closed at $5.56 and 1/2, up 9 and 1/4 cents
Aug. live cattle closed at $154.65, up $1.45
Oct. lean hogs closed at $95.47, down 45 cents
Oct. crude oil closed at $94.55, up 67 cents
Dec. cotton closed at 66.58, down 88 points
Sep. Class III milk closed at $23.95, down 3 cents
Sep. gold closed at $1,288.70, up $6.80
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 17,079.57, down 42.44 points

For more futures prices and charts click http://www.farms.com/markets/

Ag Market News and Commodity Comments

Soybeans were mostly higher on technical buying and position squaring ahead of the first notice day. Contracts look a little oversold and the weekly new crop sales were strong at 1.3 million tons. Past that – the fundamentals look bearish and early yield numbers have been solid. Soybean meal was higher and soybean oil was lower on the adjustment of product spreads.

Corn was higher on short covering and technical buying, along with spillover from wheat. Corn pretty much just saw a bounce off of the recent lows. The weekly export numbers, fundamentals, and early yield numbers are all bearish. Ethanol futures were higher. Allendale reports South Korea’s Major Feedmill Group is tendering for 280,000 tons of optional origin corn.

The wheat complex was higher on commercial and technical buying. The trade’s watching the renewed tensions in Ukraine and the domestic spring harvest delays. Weekly export numbers were just about neutral, with good sales and slow shipments. The trade’s expecting light deliveries against the September CBOT contract. Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology notes dry weather around the eastern coast of Australia could threaten production this year.

The cash cattle trade remained pretty much dead in the water on Thursday afternoon. Buying interest could surface late in the day if packers are serious about getting procurement complete before Friday, There were a few bids on the table from 151.00 to 152.00 live, and 240.00 to 241.00 dressed. Asking prices are around 155.00 plus live and 245.00 plus dressed. Bullish feedlot managers have been obviously cheered by the higher cattle futures prices. The kill totaled 114,000 head, 1,000 below last week and 11,000 down from last year.

Boxed beef cutout values were weak on choice and sharply lower on select on light to moderate demand and offerings. Choice beef was down .52 at 246.89 and select was 2.33 lower at 235.27.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled 90 to 227 points higher. The live issues gained momentum through the morning trade with October futures leading the surge higher. This turn around in the market is likely to draw more attention to cash cattle prices at the end of the week. There could also be some additional interest by noncommercial traders stepping into the deferred contract months through Friday. August settled 1.45 higher at 154.65, and October was up 2.27 at 150.10.

Feeder cattle ended the session 37 to 270 points higher. The feeder trade moved quickly from the lead market to show more comfort in tagging along as the live futures market seemed to be doing the heavy lifting through the session. The focus on October live cattle reaching above 150.00 per hundredweight was the main incentive to get buyers to jump back into the game. August settled .37 higher at 218.52, and September was up 2.67 at 217.15.

Receipts at the Creston, Iowa feeder cattle auction totaled 3213 head on Wednesday. There is no price comparison as the sale has not been reported for three months. Trade was active and demand was very good for the special customer appreciation BBQ auction. 89% of the cattle weighted over 600 pounds. Feeder steers, medium and large 1 averaging 832 pounds averaged 215.28 per hundredweight. 816 pound heifers averaged 205.56.

Lean hogs settled mostly lower. But the limited price range created some underlying support and could help to draw some additional open interest into the market at the end of the week. It appears the overall lean market is focusing on rebuilding its strength with the potential to maintain support levels at or around $90.00 per hundredweight over the short term. October settled .45 lower at 95.47, and December was down .12 at 90.37.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed 1.91 lower at 90.60 weighted average on a carcass basis, the West was down 2.00 at 90.50, and Eastern hogs were not reported due to confidentiality. Missouri direct base carcass meat price closed steady at 88.00. Barrows and gilts at Midwest markets were steady to 1.00 lower from 61.50 to 70.00 on a live basis.

The pork carcass value was .44 higher at 100.62 FOB plant with loins and bellies higher and ribs and hams lower.

For the week ending August 23, Iowa barrow and gilts averaged 282.1 pounds, 0.4 pounds lighter than the previous week, but still 10.5 pounds heavier than 2013.

Thursday’s hog slaughter was estimated at 410,000 head, 4,000 more than last week, but down 21,000 from a year ago.

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