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Grain Futures Prices Up on Slow Harvest.

Thursday's Closing Grain & Livestock Futures Prices

Dec. corn closed at $3.52 and 1/4, up 4 and 3/4 cents
Nov. soybeans closed at $9.66 and 1/2, up 14 and 3/4 cents
Dec. soybean meal closed at $334.60, up $7.30
Dec. soybean oil closed at 32.36, up 30 points
Dec. wheat closed at $5.17, up 11 cents
Oct. live cattle closed at $165.25, up $2.30
Dec. lean hogs closed at $90.32, down $1.60
Nov. crude oil closed at $82.70, up 92 cents
Dec. cotton closed at 63.56, down 15 points
Oct. Class III milk closed at $24.13, unchanged
Oct. gold closed at $1,240.50, down $3.60
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 16,117.24 down 24.50 points

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Ag Market News And ReCap:

Soybeans were higher on short covering and technical buying. Demand is solid and contracts did buy back Wednesday’s losses, with some uncertainty about upcoming weather forecasts. However, the longer term fundamentals remain bearish with the trade expecting a record crop. Soybean meal and oil followed beans higher. USDA’s weekly export sales report is out Friday.

Corn was higher on short covering and technical buying. Unknown destinations bought 120,000 tons of 2014/15 U.S. corn and corn’s also concerned about further harvest delays. Past that though, like beans, fundamentals are bearish, mostly due to the supply side of the equation, and the trade expects a record crop. Ethanol futures were higher.

The wheat complex was higher on short covering and technical buying. Winter wheat planting has been slowed by rain with some uncertainty about the upcoming forecast. Wheat’s also looking at a bearish fundamental picture, largely due to the available world supply. Japan bought 65,600 tons of U.S. food wheat, along with 30,400 tons from Canada and about 21,100 tons from Australia. Turkey picked up 200,000 tons of milling wheat.

Cattle country was quiet on Thursday afternoon following moderate to active business on Wednesday. Nebraska and Iowa traded cattle at 258.00 dressed and 163.00 live. In Kansas and Texas the live trade was at 164.00. Feedlot operators in Colorado received 165.00. The balance of the showlists are priced around 165.00 live and 260.00 plus dressed. It is starting to look like the cash business is complete for the week. The cattle slaughter is estimated at 109,000 head, 1,000 more than last week, but 7,000 less than last year.

Boxed beef cutout values were weak to lower on light demand and light to moderate offerings. Choice beef was down 1.57 at 248.92, and select was .52 lower at 234.92.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled 145 to 282 points higher. The strong gains in the complex were supported by the development of cash cattle trade at midweek and at steady prices with a week ago. This helped to stem the price pressure in the cattle market over the last week or so. Although there continues to be signs of uncertainty in beef markets, the recent buyer interest is encouraging, and could help to draw additional support back into the market at the end of the week. October settled 2.30 higher at 165.25, and December was up 2.82 at 165.30.

Feeder cattle settled 150 to 300 points higher as the market bounced back with limit higher gains in several contracts. Although the main supportive factor was the renewed buying interest in live cattle trade based on steady cash cattle markets, traders also concentrated on short covering opportunities following the aggressive losses earlier in the week. However, long term concerns remain about maintaining buyer support in the cattle complex at current price values. October settled 2.80 higher at 240.20, and November was up the 3.00 limit at 237.15.

Feeder cattle receipts at the St. Joseph, Missouri Regional Stockyards totaled 1950 head on Wednesday. Compared to last week, steer and heifer calves under 550 pounds sold 5.00 to 8.00 lower, with instances on heifers of 10.00 to 12.00 lower. Yearling steers sold firm to 3.00 higher, with heifers trading on a light test with a firm undertone. Feeder steers medium and large 1 averaging 681 pounds averaged 266.51 per hundredweight. 676 pound fleshy heifers brought 234.00.

Lean hogs ended the session 40 to 275 points lower as the market moved into full bearish market mode through the second half of the week. Expectations of growing supplies combined with sharp losses in cash hog and pork cutout values in the morning report created even more uncertainty in the market. December settled 1.50 lower at 90.32, and February was down 2.75 at 86.45.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed 2.25 lower at 100.11 weighted average on a carcass basis, the West was 2.65 lower at 99.71, and the East was down 1.06 at 108.80. Missouri direct base carcass meat price was steady to 2.00 lower from 96.00 to 98.00. Midwest hogs on a live basis closed steady to 2.00 lower from 72.00 to 78.00.

Pork carcass cutout value FOB plant closed .24 lower at 116.99.

Iowa barrows and gilts averaged 284.5 pounds last week, 0.3 pounds lighter than the previous week and only 7.5 pounds larger than 2013. 

The Thursday hog kill at 429,000 head is 6,000 more than last week, but 3,000 less than last year.

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