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Soybean Futures Close Higher End of Trading

Closing Grain and Livestock Futures Prices

Mar. corn closed at $4.41 and 1/2, down 1 and 1/2 cents
Mar. soybeans closed at $13.34 and 3/4, up 8 and 1/4 cents
Mar. soybean meal closed at $449.20, up $5.20
Mar. soybean oil closed at 38.85, up 12 points
Mar. wheat closed at $5.90 and 1/4, up 5 and 1/2 cents
Feb. live cattle closed at $142.80, up $1.30
Feb. lean hogs closed at $86.07, down 27 cents
Mar. crude oil closed at $99.94, down 12 cents
Mar. cotton closed at 88.67, up 130 points
Feb. Class III milk closed at $23.15, up 26 cents
Mar. gold closed at $1,289.90, up $15.10
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 15,994.77, up 192.98 points

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Soybeans were higher on technical and commercial buying. Contracts were down early but bounced back, so at least for now, the path of least resistance seems to be firm. Even with continued talk about cancellations by China, Beijing continues to be a buyer, picking up 116,000 tons of new crop U.S. beans. The near term supply does remain tight, but the cash basis is down and South America’s harvest is picking up steam in some areas. Soybean meal and oil followed beans higher, with gains in oil limited by the weakness in the crude pit. CONAB projects Brazilian soybean production at 90.1 million tons, compared to their previous estimate of 90.3 million tons.

Corn was lower on technical and fund selling. Monday’s USDA numbers were bullish for corn, but it looks like the improved export pace and unchanged ethanol number were already dialed in. At this point, the trade’s watching the export market and keeping an eye out for early planted acreage estimates. Ethanol futures were lower. According to CONAB, Brazil’s corn crop should be around 75.5 million tons, down from their prior projection of 79.0 million tons due to a smaller yield figure.

The wheat complex was higher on fund and commercial buying, in addition to spillover from the lower dollar and higher oats. Minneapolis led the way on good demand for high protein wheat and continued Canadian shipping problems, which also supported oats. Chicago and Kansas City are watching weather and the chance for winterkill on the dormant winter crops around the U.S. Plains and the Black Sea region. The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics estimates the Australian wheat crop at 27 million tons.

The cash cattle trade was slow on Tuesday afternoon with bids and asking prices poorly defined. Once again the country market seems to be torn between tight fed supplies and lack luster beef demand. Monday’s slaughter was revised even lower to 87,000 head and the Tuesday kill also reflected cautious packer attitudes. Given the short bought status of packers, buying interest should start to improve on Wednesday or Thursday. Some asking prices are around 145.00 plus in the South and 232.00 plus in the North.

The kill was estimated at 112,000 head, 4,000 below last week, and 9,000 smaller than last year.

Boxed beef cutout values were lower on light demand and light to moderate offerings. Choice beef was down 2.02 at 209.14, and select was .85 lower at 208.16.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle settled 45 to 130 points higher as cattle futures saw renewed support that took the livestock market by surprise once again. The aggressive buying interest quickly developed in the cattle complex with February and April leading the market higher. The nearby contracts closed with triple digit gains but off the day’s highs. February settled at 142.80 up 1.30 and April was 1.00 higher at 141.17.

Feeder cattle ended the session72 to 95 points in the black on the aggressive buyer support through the entire cattle complex. The focus on the live cattle futures as well as pressure in the corn market helped to draw moderate to strong support through all spring and early summer contracts. March settled .87 higher at 168.77, and April was up .85 at 169.65.

Feeder cattle receipts at the Joplin. Missouri Regional Stockyards on Monday totaled only 1496 head. Compared to a light test last week, steer and heifer calves weighing less than 500 pounds were steady to 5.00 higher, steers 500 to 800 pounds were steady. Feeder heifers weighing 500 to 800 pounds were steady to 3.00 lower, steers and heifers over 800 pounds traded steady to firm. Demand was moderate for a light supply. Snow and treacherous driving conditions curtailed the receipts. Feeder steers medium and large 1 averaging 679 pounds brought 175.76 per hundredweight. 666 pound heifers traded at 163.14.

Lean hogs settled mostly lower with only the fall 2014 and winter 2015 contracts higher. The lean contracts saw very little activity. It was quite possible some of the bullish notions seen in the lean hog market over the last couple of trading sessions are being drawn back to the cattle complex, thus allowing light to moderate pressure to develop in the nearby futures. February settled .27 lower at 86.07 and April was down .57 at 94.17.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed .18 higher with a weighted average of 83.54, the West was up .19 at 83.33, and the East was up.02 at 80.57. Missouri direct base carcass meat price closed steady from 77.00 to 78.00. Terminal hogs were steady to 1.00 higher from 55.00 to 60.00 live.

The pork carcass value FOB plant was down .33 at 92.59.

Concerned about the growing potential of death loss tied to PEDv, the USDA has lowered its projection of 2014 pork production to 23.437 billion pounds, 160 million less than January’s estimate.

Tuesday’s hog slaughter was estimated at 424,000 head, the same as last week, but 6,000 greater than last year.



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