After closing higher for the fourth straight session and reaching two-month highs Tuesday, corn futures remain higher early Wednesday morning. Managed money buying and traders positioning ahead of the WASDE has grains firmer. The average estimate for corn production, according to a Reuters poll, is 13.504 billion bushels, while the average yield estimate is 167.1 bu/ac, compared to the Sep WASDE yield of 167.5 bu/ac. The average forecast of harvested acres is 80.826 million acres, compared to 81.1 million in the Sep WASDE. December corn futures edged lower 0.25 cents to $3.9325/bushel early Tuesday, while March lost 0.25 cents to $4.035.
Soybean futures continued higher overnight, despite increased crop condition ratings and talk of higher yields. Fund buying has increased ahead of the Friday Oct WASDE report where the USDA will update soybean production values. The average estimate for bean production is 3.908 billion bushels, while the average yield estimate is 47.2 bu/ac, higher than the Sep WASDE figure of 47.1 bu/ac. The average harvested acres estimate is 82.914 million acres, compared to the Sep WASDE value of 84.3 million. The USDA reported Sep soybean shipments at 86.5 milion bushels, the second highest ever for Sep. November soybeans moved 5 cents higher to $8.93/bushel early Wednesday, while December soyoil gained 0.02 cents to 28.73 cents/pound and December meal advanced $2.7 to $306.2/ton.
The wheat complex continues to march higher in response to the Sep 30 Grain Stocks report. The report showed the final estimate of 2015 wheat production down 84 million bushels from the August crop report of 2.136 billion bushels to 2.025 billion, also lower than expectations. Dry weather in the Black Sea region as well as Australia is also helping the rise. The average trade estimate, based on a Reuters poll, for USDA Oct wheat ending stocks is 819 million bushels, compared to the USDA Sep value of 875 million bushels. The December CBOT wheat futures were 3.75 cents higher at $5.30/bushel Wednesday, while Dec KC wheat gained 3.75 cents to $5.195, and December MWE advanced 2.5 cents to $5.4325.
Live cattle futures climbed higher Tuesday, helped by a weaker dollar and a boost in wholesale beef prices after falling dramatically over the past several weeks. The rise in cattle came after a surprising jump in boxed beef cutouts, with choice up 1.39 to 205.36 and select down 0.77 to 199.82. Cattle slaughter so far this week is at 220,000 head, compared to 220,000 head last week and 230,000 head this time last year. December cattle dropped 1.55 cents to 130.22 cent/pound Monday, while February cattle slid 1.935 cents to 132.67 cents/pound. November feeder cattle moved 1.37 cents lower to 173.52 cents/pound, while January feeders lost 1.35 cents to 168.30 cents/pound.
Lean hogs posted a positive day along with most other ag commodities, helped in part by weaker dollar. Hog slaughter so far this week is at 868,000 head, compared to 854,000 head last week and 855,000 head this time last year. Wholesale pork prices were also up 1.4 cents to 87.31 cents/pound. Packers have met their needs for this week’s production and grocers are looking beyond October National pork month to increase beef features, likely leading to a slowing of pork demand as supplies of pork also rise toward the end of the year. Cash hogs also firmed as the lean hog index climbed .44% to 73.38. December hog futures gained 2.27 cents to 66.72 cents/pound Tuesday, while April hogs climbed 0.62 to 73.35.
Cotton futures continued to strengthen Wednesday, rising for the third day to two-week highs, powered by a two point drop in the cotton good-to-excellent condition rating, pre-WASDE fund positioning, and rains. ICE cotton fell last week due in part to Hurricane Joaquin moving away from the East Coast, easing fears that the rains associated with the storm could harm yields and quality in cotton-producing states. This week, despite the downgrade of the hurricane, rains have persisted in the U.S. southeast growing region, stoking concerns that crop quality will be damaged. December cotton futures gained .15 cents to 62.23 cents/pound Wednesday, while May cotton climbed 0.09 cents to 62.45.