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Soybean Future Prices Jump Up On Projections.

Closing Grain and Livestock Futures Prices

Mar. corn closed at $4.40 and 1/2, up 1/2 cent
Mar. soybeans closed at $13.44 and 1/4, up 21 and 1/4 cents
Mar. soybean meal closed at $452.80, up $9.30
Mar. soybean oil closed at 39.54, up 55 points
Mar. wheat closed at $5.95 and 1/2, up 8 and 1/2 cents
Feb. live cattle closed at $143.15, up $1.05
Feb. lean hogs closed at $86.35, down 15 cents
Mar. crude oil closed at $100.35, down 2 cents
Mar. cotton closed at 87.60, down 77 points
Feb. Class III milk closed at $23.12, up 2 cents
Mar. gold closed at $1,300.20, up $5.10
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 16,027.59, up 63.65 points

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Market News ReCap

Soybeans were higher on commercial and technical buying. Weekly export sales were lower than expected, but still more than what’s needed to meet USDA projections and it was a good week for shipments. Around ten to fifteen percent of Brazil’s crop is harvested with concerns about on/off hot, dry weather in some key growing areas. In any event, the near term supply remains tight and demand looks solid, keeping the fundamentals supportive. Soybean meal and oil were higher, following beans.

Corn was mostly lower on commercial and fund selling, with contracts basically taking the path of least resistance. Combined old and new crop corn exports were over 50 million bushels with unknown destinations the big buyer and shipments were above what’s needed to meet USDA estimates. However, there is a lot of corn available right now and the trade’s waiting for more early acreage numbers. Ethanol futures were higher. Strategie Grains projects 2014/15 European corn production at 65.1 million tons, compared to the previous guess of 64.8 million thanks to better harvest in Croatia and Germany.

The wheat complex was higher on commercial and technical buying, along with the mostly lower dollar. Weekly export sales were solid at 23 million bushels, but it was a slow week for the shipments. Still, wheat’s seen better than expected buying interest lately, especially in Kansas City and Minneapolis, thanks to high protein levels and slow shipping from Canada. According to Strategie Grains, 2014/15 European Union soft wheat production should be around 137.5 million tons, down 300,000 tons from their prior production due to decreased acreage in the Baltic Sea region.

USDA Mandatory reported a limited cattle trade in Kansas on light demand on Thursday. Compared to the latest established market two weeks ago, early live sales were 2.00 to 3.00 lower at 142.00. The country was quiet in most other regions. Higher asking prices of 144.00 plus in the South and 230.00 plus in the North have been fortified by impressive board strength and softening basis levels. The kill totaled 109,000 head, 2,000 below last week and 9,000 less than last year.

Boxed beef cutout values were steady on moderate demand and offerings. Choice beef was up .05 at 208.10, and select was .13 higher at 207.76.

Live cattle contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange settled 87 to 162 points higher as traders quickly stepped back into the market. The focus remained firmly planted on the ability to move additional beef products even though wholesale prices have faded. Tighter cattle supplies and the expectations that additional demand will surface through the Month of March and April kept traders bullish. The main features of the trade were pre cash short covering and technical buying. February settled 1.05 higher at 143.15, and April was up 1.62 at 142.40.

Feeder cattle ended the session 145 to 222 points higher. All contracts held triple digit gains as traders continued to focus on tighter short and long term supplies impacting the market. March settled 2.22 higher at 170.72, and April was up 2.20 at 171.60.

Feeder cattle receipts at the Huss Platte Valley Auction in Nebraska totaled 5,010 head on Wednesday. Compared to last week steers and heifers were unevenly steady. The demand was good from a large crowd of buyers from start to finish. There was a wide variety of cattle on hand, from light weight grass calves to heavy weight feeders. A few replacement type heifers also sold in the mix. 716 pound feeder steers averaged 176.04 per hundredweight. 679 pound heifers traded at 165.45.

Lean hogs settled 22 to 55 points higher. The front month was unable to break out of narrow losses. The lack of trade volume in February futures did not affect how aggressive buyer support developed in other contracts. While April finished stronger it was off the day’s highs. Strong triple digit gains in cattle futures had a strong impact in drawing additional lean hog buyers into the market. February settled .15 lower at 86.35, and April was up .55 at 94.92.

There was moderate hog market activity and demand on Thursday afternoon. Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed 1.97 higher with a weighted average of 85.43, the West was up 1.88 at 85.20, and the East was .43 higher at 81.29. Missouri direct base carcass meat price closed steady to 1.00 higher at 78.00. Terminal hogs were fully steady from 55.00 to 60.00 live.

The pork carcass value was 1.20 higher at 95.17 with loins and hams higher.

Iowa barrows and gilts last week averaged 281 pounds, 0.6 pounds lighter than the previous week and 5.3% heavier than 2013.

The Thursday hog kill was estimated at 382,000 head, 41,000 less than last week, and down 9,000 from last year.

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