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Weaker Corn, Soy & Wheat Futures Prices.

Monday's Closing Grain and Livestock Futures Prices.

Mar. corn closed at $4.23 and 1/2, down 4 cents
Jan. soybeans closed at $13.28 and 1/4, down 3 and 1/4 cents
Jan. soybean meal closed at $450.30, up $4.60
Jan. soybean oil closed at 38.62, down 40 points
Mar. wheat closed at $6.00 and 1/2, down 8 and 1/2 cents
Dec. live cattle closed at $134.40, up 55 cents
Feb. lean hogs closed at $84.97, down 67 cents
Feb. crude oil closed at $99.29, down $1.03
Mar. cotton closed at 84.66, up 54 points
Jan. Class III milk closed at $19.26, down 22 cents
Jan. gold closed at $1,203.10, down $11.00
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 16,504.29, up 25.88 points

For additional futures prices

Market News and Review 

Soybeans were lower on fund and commercial selling. Near term weather forecasts for South America look generally non-threatening and there was some rain in parts of their soybean region over the weekend. Overall, trade will be fairly slow as traders square up the books ahead of the end of the year. Soybean meal was mostly lower, January was the exception, and bean oil was down with both squaring up and getting ready for the first notice day on January contracts Tuesday. Unknown bought 35,000 tons of 2013/14 U.S. soybean oil.

Corn was lower on commercial and fund selling. Corn was also watching that weather in South America, especially the portions of Argentina, while getting everything evened up on the next to last trading day of 2013. Farmer selling has also increased and cash prices are way below this time last year, but traders may be reluctant to sell off too far. Ethanol futures were lower.

The wheat complex was lower on fund and technical selling. There was no real fresh news for the complex and the market’s structure continues to look very bearish with prices dropping sharply over the past two months. Temperatures in U.S. winter wheat growing areas are cold, but probably won’t lead to winterkill. Japan is tendering for 120,000 tons of optional origin feed wheat and India now has a total of 475,000 tons of wheat up for offer on the global export market.

The cash cattle trade was very quiet on Monday afternoon following the distribution of the new showlists. Ready numbers appear to be generally larger than last week with only Nebraska showing a few more market ready cattle. Some showlists have been priced around 136.00 plus in the South and 216.00 to 218.00 in the North. The kill was estimated at 130,000 head, 9,000 more than last week, and 46,000 greater than a year ago.

Boxed beef cutout values were sharply higher on moderate demand and light offerings. Choice beef was up 2.72 at 199.71, and select was 4.16 higher at 195.46.

Live cattle contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange settled 17 points lower to 55 higher. Any sense of support surrounding the strong gains in futures prices last week eroded some on Monday. Buyers and sellers search for interested parties ahead of the New Year’s holiday. Trade was sluggish for much of the session despite the significantly higher boxed beef values with a combination of end of year positioning and cash market anticipation. December settled .55 higher at 134.40, and February was up .15 at 135.10.

Feeder cattle ended the session 5 to 27 points higher after experiencing narrow to moderate losses earlier in the session. Trade was sluggish and may remain that way until traders return from the New Year’s break. January settled .27 higher at 167.27, and March was up .15 at 167.95.

There was a Holiday Cow Classic sale at the Burwell, Nebraska Livestock Market on Friday. Receipts totaled 4110 head. The offering consisted mostly of Black Angus cows and heifers bred to Black Angus bulls to calve in February and March. Demand stayed strong through the entire auction. 704 to 714 pound heifers to breed traded at $1450.00. Young 952 pound bred cows brought $1900.00. Middle aged 1112 to 1174 pound cows brought 1700.00 to 1900.00.

Lean hogs settled 65 higher to 67 lower. The early support that developed following Friday’s hogs and pigs report was short lived. Moderate gains in the front months gave way to losses at midday due to a lack of support in the cash hog values and overall light activity. The fact that deferred futures are holding near $1.00.00 per hundredweight through the middle of the year is limiting any long term direction in the complex. February settled .67 lower at 84.97, and April was down .52 at 90.45.

There was slow hog market activity with light demand on Monday. Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed 1.11 higher at 77.39 on a carcass basis, the West was up .94 at 77.10, and the East ended .27 lower at 76.13. Missouri direct base carcass meat price was steady from 71.00 to 74.00. Terminal hogs closed fully steady on a live basis from 49.00 to 62.00.

The pork value was up 1.22 FOB plant at 84.07 on a negotiated basis.

Although the December H&P report was generally supply friendly in terms of a smaller breeding herd and no growth in the fall pig crop, the premium structure of lean futures suggests that such news is already built into the markets perhaps overbuilt.

Monday’s hog slaughter was estimated at 439,000 head, the same as last week, but 20,000 less than last year.


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