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Grain Futures Prices Close Higher

Thursday's Closing Grain + LIvestock Futures Prices.


» Corn373-4s+3-6
Feeder Cattle212.375s-0.325
Live Cattle147.350s+0.800
Lean Hogs95.250s-2.150

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Ag Market News and Commodity Comments

Soybeans were higher on technical and commercial buying. Weekly export numbers were pretty much neutral, but the supply is tight and demand is solid. Past that – beans continue to watch the weather. Soybean meal was higher on solid commercial demand, while bean oil was lower on a comparative lack and spillover from crude oil. August beans went off the board sharply lower, August bean oil was down, and August bean oil was sharply higher.

Corn was higher on short covering and spillover from beans and wheat. Weekly export numbers were bearish and there’s some rain in the forecast for the Midwest. Still, ethanol demand is solid and spot corn prices are at their lowest levels in several years. Ethanol futures were lower. Strategie Grain expects European Union corn production to be 68 million tons, up 1.6 million from their previous projection.

The wheat complex was higher on technical and commercial buying. Chicago led the way up, watching the rain in Europe and keeping an eye on what seems to be an improving situation in Ukraine. Weekly export sales were lower than expected, but it was a good week for shipments, leaving the numbers largely neutral. Jordan bought 50,000 tons of hard milling wheat and Israel picked up 25,000 tons of feed wheat, both optional origin. Strategie Grain estimates European Union soft wheat production at 144.1 million tons, slightly larger than the last guess and up 6% on the year. However, they did note that 59% of the crop may be milling quality, compared to 71% last year.

Cattle country remained quiet on Thursday afternoon, and it is possible that business is essentially done for the week. Trade volume totals are nothing to brag about, especially in the South. It is possible we could see another light round of trade develop on Friday, but such a reality may not develop. Asking prices on the balance of the showlists are around 246.00 plus in the North and 156.00 to 157.00 in the South. The slaughter was estimated at 114,000 head, the same as last week, but 6,000 less than last year.

Boxed beef cutout values were steady on choice and lower on select on light to moderate demand and moderate offerings. Choice boxed beef was down .14 at 256.74, and select was .98 lower at 248.57.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled 70 to 177 points higher. The trade bounced higher and lower throughout the session. Renewed buyer support was seen in the front months at midday. It was uncertain how much buyer support was under the market move, but the higher movement could help to spark additional support over the coming days. August settled 1.77 higher at 150.00, and October was .80 higher at 147.35.

Feeder cattle ended the session 75 points higher to 50 lower. The early support seen through the cattle complex was hard to maintain. The bearishness in the lean hog futures market created pressure through the complex. The front months held onto moderate gains, while other contracts held on to losses. Additional market softness was attributed to lower cash cattle values, struggling boxed beef prices and a lack of commercial buyer interest. August settled .75 higher at 215.12, and September was up .50 at 213.05.

Feeder cattle receipts at the Huss Platte Valley Auction in Nebraska totaled 2482 head. Compared to two weeks ago, steers over 800 pounds sold $10.00 lower. There was no comparison for light weight steers and heifers. Demand was good for most offerings even after cattle futures contracts closed lower for nearly a week. Feeder steers, medium and large 1 averaging 918 pounds brought 214.83 per hundredweight. 828 pound heifers averaged 204.66.

Lean hogs settled 37 to 215 points in the red. The reaction to October futures contracts moving to become front month contracts did not have the reaction many had expected. October futures led to the protection of limit down trade, but did rebound off the lows ahead of the close. There remains a lot of uncertainty in the market in the given there is still a lot of unanswered questions about production capability and supply numbers for the end of the year and early 2015 deliveries. August settled at 114.82 down .37 and October was 2.15 lower at 95.25.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed 2.77 lower with a weighted average of 104.68 on a carcass basis, the West was down 2.75 at 104.77, and there was no price comparison in the East at 105.21. Missouri direct base carcass meat price was 1.00 to 2 lower from 101.00 to 103.00. Midwest hogs were lightly tested from 72.00 to 85.00 live, 2.00 to 3.00 lower.

The pork carcass cutout value was 1.71 higher at 116.19 FOB plant. Bellies were over $14.00 higher.

For the week ending Aug. 9, Iowa barrows and gilts averaged 283.8 pounds. 0.2 pounds greater than the previous week and 12.2 pounds heavier than 2013. Seasonally, live weights should steadily increase over the next three months.

The hog kill was estimated at 406,000 head, 1,000 less than last week and down 21,000 from last year.

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