AgriCharts Market Commentary
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Corn futures faded throughout the day, settling 2 to 3 cents lower as the US dollar continued to march higher and there was a shooting event at the Canadian Parliament. Weekly ethanol production rose to 896,000 bpd from 885,000 bpd, and inventories declined a half million gallons to 17.9 million gallons despite the larger production and somewhat smaller plant operating margins. Enough rain got into central Brazil to allow planting to resume.
Soybeans flipped from double digit gains at midday to losses of 1 to 2 cents at the close. Soy oil futures held 38 point gains, but meal was down $11.50 from the high of the day to settle at $338.00. USDA reported a sale of 419,000 MT to China for 2014/15 delivery under the daily reporting system, with another 113,000 MT sale to unknown destinations. That news gave the market an early boost, but the fade in meal dragged things down. Meal supplies are still tight following a very slow crush pace in September and a dip in DDG production. Crush plants were pushing basis a dime or more this morning to try to attract some bean sellers. Most producers want to see $10, at least in the futures.
Wheat futures settled 2 1/2 to 3 cents higher in Chicago, with KC up 1 1/4 to 3 cents. China reported official wheat imports for September were 133,647 MT (4.9 million bushels). Imports since January 1 have totaled 2.8 MMT. Feed wheat imports are being limited by abundant corn supplies in that country. London wheat futures (LIFFE) were up 2.50 BP/MT (11 cents per bushel). Paris was up almost 13 cents per bushel.
Cattle futures closed near the highs of the day, up $.45 to $1.57. Feeder futures were up $.50 to $1.25 as they followed the live cattle and the cheaper feed ingredients. The CME Feeder index was down 34 cents at $240.46, still a $1.01 premium to the October futures. Cash cattle trade has been quiet, without enough sales reported for a market trend. Asking prices are $168-170, with $260 or higher floating around in the north. Wholesale prices were higher this afternoon. Choice boxed beef prices were $1.16 higher, while Select boxes were on average 14 cents higher per hundred pounds. The USDA Cold Storage report was slightly bearish, showing an 8% jump in beef in storage during September. Stocks were still 16% smaller than year ago, so we’re not out of the woods yet.
Hog futures closed $.70 to $2.05 higher, with April the strongest. The CME Index was down $1.33 at $105.45. The USDA average pork carcass cutout value continues to leak lower, down $2.88 to $101.16 in the pm FOB plant report. Pork loins have been a disaster all month, down 22% since their peak on October 3. The average carcass base price was $1.99 lower in the ECB this afternoon. The WCB was $2.85 lower, with IA/MN quoted $3.34 lower on 2,558 head. After the close, USDA showed that total pork in Cold Storage on September 30 was 100% of August 2014 and down 4.1% from year ago. The 10 year average increase in September pork stocks vs. August is 6.0% vs. 0.02% this year.
Cotton futures gave back early gains to close 11 points lower to 1 point higher (March). Estimated futures volume was under 13,000 contracts, vs. 18,708 officially on Tuesday. Cotton futures on the Zhengzhou exchange were mostly lower this morning. The Cotlook A index this morning was at 69.95, up .25 from the prior day. Cert stocks for Dec futures delivery are currently at 15,928 bales, with 31 decertified on October 21. With one trading day still to go, the AWP for next week currently appears to be at least .50 lower than this week, with LDP correspondingly larger.