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Grain Futures Prices Gain Ahead of Stocks Report

Monday's Closing Grain + LIvestock Futures Prices

Dec. corn closed at $3.25 and 3/4, up 2 and 3/4 cents
Nov. soybeans closed at $9.23 and 1/2, up 13 and 1/4 cents
Oct. soybean meal closed at $308.10, up 90 cents
Oct. soybean oil closed at 32.79, up 87 points
Dec. wheat closed at $4.81 and 1/4, up 7 cents
Oct. live cattle closed at $160.95, up $2.50
Oct. lean hogs closed at $107.32, up 80 cents
Nov. crude oil closed at $94.57, up $1.03
Dec. cotton closed at 61.47, down 42 points
Oct. Class III milk closed at $23.99, down 30 cents
Oct. gold closed at $1,217.50, up $3.40
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 17,071.22, down 41.93 points

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Ag Market News and Commodity Comments:

Soybeans were higher on short covering and technical buying. Traders were getting ready for the progress update and Tuesday’s quarterly stocks report. That said – beans are still looking at a bearish supply and demand outlook. USDA reports 69% of soybeans are dropping leaves, compared to the five year average of 71% and 10% is harvested, compared to 17% on average. 72% of the U.S. soybean crop is rated good to excellent, up 1% on the week. Soybean meal and oil followed beans higher.

Corn was higher on short covering and technical buying. Corn was also waiting for those USDA numbers, while watching the weather, with a good chance for rain in many areas this week. Still, the fundamentals do remain bearish. According to USDA, 96% has dented, compared to 97% on average, with 60% mature, compared to 70% on average, and 12% harvested, compared to 23% on average. 74% of U.S. corn is called good to excellent, unchanged from last week. Ethanol futures were higher.

The wheat complex was higher on short covering and technical buying. Along with the stocks update, wheat production numbers are out Tuesday, with modest changes expected. For spring wheat, 94% is harvested, compared to 96% on average, and for winter wheat, 43% is planted, compared to 36% on average, with 14% emerged, compared to 12% on average.

Activity in cattle country was extremely limited following the distribution of the new showlists. The offering appeared to be generally larger with only Texas showing fewer ready steers and heifers. Preliminary asking prices are around 161.00 to 162.00 in the South, and 250.00 to 252.00 plus in the North. It was a strange round of cattle market activity last week with packers trapped between tight fed offerings and discouraging beef business. The slaughter was estimated at 115,000 head, 1,000 below last week and 6,000 less than 2013.

Boxed beef cutout values were firm to higher on moderate to fairly good demand and moderate to heavy offerings. Choice boxed beef was up .36 at 238.02, and select was 1.35 higher at 226.83.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled 35 to 250 points higher on Monday. The triple digit gains developed in the nearby contracts as traders focused on renewed price support in boxed beef values in the morning report. New spec buying and ideas of historically tight fed supplies through the entire fall lent support to the market. October settled 2.50 higher at 160.95, and December was up 2.37 at 164.47.

Feeder cattle ended the session 155 to 290 points higher. Strong beef value support early in the week as well as the expectation additional cash market support will follow due to packers expecting to gain access to additional product over the near future, was supportive to the market. October settled 1.55 higher at 234.65, and November was up 2.90 at 234.50.

Feeder cattle receipts at the Oklahoma National Stockyards on Monday totaled 6700 head. Feeder steers and heifers opened mostly steady to firm. Buyers continued to discount un-weaned calves with fluctuating fall weather and temperatures causing health concerns. The greatest demand was recorded on larger packages of weaned cattle. 6 to 7 weight yearling steers brought 244.75 to 252.00 per hundredweight. 650 to 700 pound yearling heifers traded from 223.00 to 226.00.

Lean hogs settled 80 points higher to 50 lower. Initial pressure in the market was short lived as sell orders quickly subsided and prices bounced well of session lows. The focus now is not as much on Friday’s report and larger expected supplies, but potential short term shifts in pork values and cash hog trade. There is also expected to be some additional end of the month and end of quarter positioning over the next couple of trading sessions. This could allow markets to focus on additional market support over the next couple of days. October settled .80 higher at 107.32, and December was up .37 at 94.85.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed .46 lower at 108.44 weighted average on a carcass basis, the West was down .39 at 108.23, and the East at 101.52 had no price comparison. Missouri direct base carcass meat price was steady to 1.00 higher from 95.00 to 101.00.

The pork carcass cutout value was up 2.06 at 120.69 FOB plant. All cuts with the exception of ribs higher, and loins were up the most.

The expectation of additional growth through the industry is pegged at 4% increased farrowing intentions in both the fourth quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of 2015. Lower feed costs are likely to keep producers aggressively focused on more numbers over the next six months.

The Monday hog kill was estimated at 376,000 head, 34,000 less than last week and down 58,000 from last year.

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