Corn futures moved a little higher overnight on short covering, though there is little fresh news. Corn harvest was reported nearly complete at 96%. Export inspections disappointed again at 373,618 tonnes, compared to the expected 650,000-850,000 tonnes. The cash market remains strong as famer selling is well behind normal and end users need product. The DJIA gained 1.4% at the close Monday. The dollar was higher, edging toward the 7-month high, while crude was lower. December corn futures gained 1.5 cents to $3.615/bushel early Tuesday morning, while March climbed 1.25 cents to $3.68.
Soybean futures were quiet early Tuesday morning, just a little over a week from Thanksgiving. Oct NOPA crush came in near 159 million bushels, the largest Oct NOPA crush on record, exceeding the previous record of 157.960 million bushels in Oct of 2014. Soyoil stocks came in at 1.408 billion pounds, falling slightly below average expectations which were at 1.487 billion. Soybean export inspections were at 2.161 million tonnes, just above the expected 1.9-2.1 million tonnes. The Argentine presidential election is just 5 days away, Sunday Nov 22 and Marci, the opposition candidate is leading in the polls. January soybeans moved 1 cent higher to $8.605/bushel early Tuesday, while December soyoil advanced 0.05 cents to 27.34 cents/pound and December meal was $0.40 lower at $288.4.
Wheat futures were a little lower as rainfall around the Midwest has provided ideal conditions going in to dormancy. Wheat export inspections were reported at 279,013, missing the expectation of 300,000-450,000 tonnes. Winter wheat condition ratings jumped another point to 52% good to excellent, after also rising two points last week from 49%. Winter wheat planting was came in at 94% complete, compared to the 98% five-year average. The trade was expected 96%. December CBOT wheat futures lost 2.25 cents to $4.9175/bushel before dawn Tuesday, while Dec KC wheat lost 1.25 cents to $4.6625, and December MWE fell 2.25 cents to $5.025.
Live cattle futures forged new contract lows Monday after attempting to recover last week. Cash prices that were lower than expected last Friday weighed on futures. Boxed beef cutouts were down with choice down 0.26 to 209.04 and select down 2.06 to 196.99. Cattle slaughter so far this week was at 106,000 head, compared to 111,000 head last week and 111,000 head this time last year. The Dec contract hit a new low, near one cent lower than the low set last Tuesday. A shift lower in corn/bean prices last week combined with seasonal demand challenges is added resistance. December live cattle lost 3 cents to 127.67 cents/pound Monday, while February futures lost 3 cents to 129.65. January feeder cattle fell 4.5 cents to 160.10 and March feeders lost 4.27 cents to 156.92.
A bottom has yet to be found for lean hog futures as competition from other meats, a stronger dollar, and the sharply lower cost of corn/beans are all taking a toll on the protein. The lean hog index fell another 1.63% to 57.93. Dec hogs still sit 7 cents below the 20-day moving average. Hog slaughter so far this week was at 438,000 head, compared to 430,000 head last week and 428,000 head this time last year. The nature of the hog cycle means higher supply during the fall/winter while demand is under pressure during the holidays. December hog futures lost 3 cents to 51.80 cents/pound Monday and April hogs slid 3 cents to 59.32.
ICE cotton futures were up Tuesday morning. Last week, the US cotton production estimate came in at 13.28 million bales, vs the average estimate for US cotton at 13.13 million bales and the Oct estimate of 13.34 million. The Nov export estimate was steady with last month at 10.20 million bales, vs the average trade expectation of 9.97 million bales. 2015/16 US ending stocks were 3.1 million bales, vs the average forecast of 3.25 million bales. 2015/16 world ending stocks were 106.09 million bales, vs 106.97 million in Oct. December cotton futures gained 0.06 cents to 61.80 cents/pound, while May cotton gained 0.17 cents to 63.40.