Corn futures started the week lower after ending 1.2% lower last week after a favorable weekend for continuing harvest of the near-record crop. Trade estimates for corn crop progress are 57-60% completed, compared to 40% last week. Corn export inspections data is due out at 10:00 a.m. China’s quarterly GDP data was reported better than expected, Monday, at 6.9% compared to the expectation of 6.8%. However, this also marks the country’s slowest growth since 2009. European stocks buoyed in response to this news Monday, but U.S. equity futures were pointing to a lower open. December the corn futures moved 2.75 cents lower to $3.74/bushel early Monday morning, while March edged 2.75 cents lower to $3.85.
The soy complex traded lower early Monday morning ahead of slower week for USDA reports. Trade estimates for soybean crop progress were 70-75% complete, compared to 62% last week. Brazil’s 2015/16 soybean crop was reported last Friday to be 13% completes, ahead of the 10% this time last year but behind the 10% historical average. Planting in Brazil’s top soybean-growing state was reported at 14.3% so far, exceeding last years’ pace of 9.3%. November soybeans moved 1.75 cents lower to $8.965/bushel early Monday morning, while December soyoil lost 0.25 cents to 28.35 cents/pound and December meal lost $0.4 to $311.60/ton.
Wheat futures resumed its descent to 4-week lows early Monday as forecast rains improve the outlook for the U.S. winter wheat crop. This improved outlook is poised to cause the 15/16 wheat stocks-to-use ratio to rise to six-year highs as the absence of drought fears in the Southern Plains will add to the already ample global supply picture. Australia’s wheat crop was reported Monday to be lower than expected due to dryness to an El-Nino weather patterns and above normal temps. Analysts revised the Australia wheat crop estimate from 25.28 million tonnes in their Sep forecast to 24.3 million tonnes in their Oct estimate. December CBOT wheat futures were 5 cents lower at $4.8725/bushel early Monday morning, while Dec KC wheat lost 5.25 cents to $4.7825, and December MWE moved 2.75 cents lower to $5.095.
Live cattle futures surged over 2% Friday, after falling Thursday. Cash cattle firmness continued to lift futures despite boxed beef cutouts correcting slightly lower Friday morning with choice down 0.01 to 211.21 and select down 1.06 to 206.17. Cattle slaughter for the week was 553,000 head, compared to 544,000 head last week and 547,000 head this time last year. December cattle gained 3.0 cents to 139.42 cent/pound Friday, while February cattle lifted 3.0 cents to 141.32 cents/pound. November feeder cattle moved 4.07 cents higher to 190.15 cents/pound, while January feeders gained 2.82 cents to 182.37 cents/pound.
CME lean hog futures tumbled again Friday as the early stages of seasonal demand weakness sets in, a shift the trade has been expecting. Hog processors expected substantial production Saturday due to the Monday holiday last week. Cash hogs were 1.50 lower to 70.04. Nearby hog futures continue to trade at a significant discount to cash but that spread is narrowing as demand wanes heading into winter, likely causing the lean hog index to move lower. Hog slaughter so far this week is 2.126 million head, compared to 2.166 million last week and 2.120 million this time last year. December hog futures lost 1.35 cents to 65.57 cents/pound Friday, while April hogs dropped 0.72 to 71.95.
ICE Cotton futures were lower to start the week after rising last Friday but gaining 3.3% for the week. Lower crop condition ratings from recent SE rains, lower than expected exports, and a lower U.S. production estimate have been bullish for the crop that, globally, still faces a bearish supply outlook. Last Tuesday, news of the increased Chinese demand in the soy complex also drove the rise in the cotton trade as demand fears regarding the largest cotton consumer in the world subsided. December cotton futures lost 0.20 cents to 63.65 cents/pound early Monday morning, while May cotton lost 0.23 cents to 63.81.