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Grain Futures Prices Mostly Lower

Friday's Closing Grain + LIvestock Futures Prices

                 Last   Change

Corn       338-4s  -2-4

Soybeans  985-2s  +3-6

Wheat     502-4s  -7-0

Feeder Cattle  225.925s  +0.325

Live Cattle  159.250s  -0.450

Lean Hogs  96.300s  -0.900

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Ag Market News and Commodity Comments

Soybeans were higher on technical buying. Contracts saw a modest bounce after Thursday’s losses and unknown destinations bought 131,000 tons of new crop U.S. beans. Parts of the region did see a freeze, but it likely won’t be enough to break the long term trend, and, unless something changes drastically, we’ll see a record crop this year. Soybean meal was lower and bean oil was higher, adjusting product spreads.

Corn was lower on fund and technical selling, hitting another round of new contract lows. Corn was digesting the USDA numbers and watching weather developments in areas of the northern Midwest. The trade’s also keeping an eye on early yield numbers from some of the key producing states. New FSA acreage data is out Tuesday. Unknown destinations picked up 116,000 tons of U.S. corn. Ethanol futures were lower.

The wheat complex was lower on fund and technical selling. Rain in the Plains is slowing down winter planting, but more importantly, its recharging soil moisture. Past that – the fundamentals remain bearish, mostly due to the world supply, which was just reinforced by Thursday’s USDA report. DTN reports Tunisia picked up 100,000 tons of optional origin durum, Algeria bought 400,000 tons of wheat, and France purchased 100,000 tons of German milling wheat.

Cattle trading was limited on Friday in the Texas Panhandle and moderate in Kansas on light to moderate demand. Live sales were 1.00 to 2.00 lower from 161.00 to 162.00. Trading was light in Nebraska with a few live sales from 160.00 to 162.00, but not enough to establish a market. Dressed sales were 2.00 lower than last week from 248.00 to 250.00. There were a few live sales in Iowa steady from 158.00 to 160.00, and dressed sales 2.00 lower 248.00 to 250.00.The weekly cattle slaughter at 592,000 was 74,000 more than last week, but 23,000 less than last year.

Boxed beef cutout values were lower on light demand and light to moderate offerings. Choice beef was down 1.61 at 249.43, and select was 1.81 lower at 234.54.

Live cattle contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange settled 5 to 112 points lower. Futures bounced above the morning lows. The significant shift lower in the weekly chart across all live cattle contracts will be hard pressed in drawing additional buyer support into the market over the immediate future. Traders will need to be able to gain additional confidence that beef values still have upward market potential in order to step back into the market. October closed 1.10 lower at 156.27 and December was down .45 at 159.25.

Feeder cattle ended the session 142 higher to 57 lower. Feeder cattle battled back from triple digit losses to hold onto mixed price levels into the close. Some of the support may have been attributed to end of the month profit taking, but overall there seemed to be little additional support to push prices aggressively lower due to expected demand support through the end of the year and tight supplies in both live cattle and feeder cattle numbers. September settled 1.42 higher at 229.47 and October was up .32 at 225.92.

Feeder cattle receipts at Missouri auctions this past week totaled 32,147 head. Compared to last week, feeder steers and heifers sold steady to 5.00 higher with instances of 10.00 higher. Several barns got the full gain of the last two weeks after being off the previous week and saw markets 15.00 to 20.00 higher. The feeder supply was moderate. Feeder steers medium and large 1 averaging 576 pounds averaged 262.78 per hundredweight. 573 pound heifers averaged 240.52.

Lean hogs settled mostly lower. The ability to pull the nearby contracts off early market lows did not create any buyer support but focused on traders squaring positions and taking profits ahead of the weekend. Traders will need to find some additional direction early next week as cash and pork values seem to be moving in opposite directions at the end of the week. October settled .67 lower at 105.70 and December was down .90 at 96.30.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed .24 higher at 102.99 weighted average on a carcass basis, the West was up .42 at 102.92, and the East is .16 higher at 96.78. Missouri direct base carcass meat price was steady from 87.00 to 94.00. Barrows and gilts at Midwest markets were lightly tested live, 2.00 to 5.00 higher from 64.00 to 66.00.

The pork carcass cutout value was .96 lower FOB plant at 106.57. All cuts except bellies, butts and picnics were lower.

Between mid-September and late October last year, weekly hog slaughter exploded by more than 200,000 head. Many of DTN private sources in the country seriously doubt the current finishing floor population can fund such an aggressive acceleration.

The weekly hog kill was estimated at 2,053,000 head, 373,000 more than last week, but 118,000 less than last year.

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