Corn futures were lower early Thursday morning, remaining in a narrow trading range. Estimates for the corn export sales, which continue to lag behind last year’s pace, are 450,000-650,000 tonnes. Ethanol production came in at 969,000 barrels per day, up from 944,000. Ethanol stocks are 9% larger than a year ago. Stronger yield estimates are limiting gains with estimates for the November WASDE at 168.2 bu/ac, up from 168.0 in October, and production at 13.564 billion bushels, up from 13.555 billion in October. The results of the Nov 22 run-off election in Argentina could impact prices if their export tax is reduced, incentivizing farmers to sell corn they’ve been holding back- an estimated 21.4 million tonnes. December corn futures moved 1.5 cents lower to $3.79/bushel early Thursday, while March lost 1.5 cents to $3.8675.
Soybean futures were lower in the overnight session, pressured by a stronger dollar the expectation of higher yield estimates. The export sales data due out this morning and next Tuesday’s Supply/Demand report could move the markets. The results of the Nov 22 run-off election in Argentina could impact prices if their export tax is reduced, incentivizing farmers to sell soybeans they’ve been holding back- an estimated 19.7 million tonnes. Estimates for soybean export sales data are 1.4 to 1.8 million tonnes. The average of estimates for Nov WASDE were reported at 3.914 billion bushels for production, compared to 3.888 billion last month, and yields came in at 47.5 bu/ac compared to the USDA’s 47.2 bu/ac estimate in October. January soybeans lost 0.25 cents to $8.8375/bushel early Thursday, while December soyoil climbed .2 cents to 28.52 cents/pound and December meal moved $0.5 higher to $302.30.
Wheat futures were lower early Thursday morning, pulling back from the near one-month highs as U.S. forecast rains offset weather concerns in Australia. In Australia, heavy rains, as much as 3.9 inches, threatened their east coast wheat crop and could cause a cut in their production, supportive for global wheat prices. A strong global supply outlook and weaker exports may limit the upside from weather risks in pockets of the world like Ukraine and Australia. The UN’s FAO raised its 2015/16 world wheat forecast to a record 736.2 million tonnes, mostly on increases in the EU. Export sales estimates for the wheat data due out at 7:30 this morning are 300,000-500,000 tonnes. December CBOT wheat futures gained 9.75 cents to $5.13/bushel Wednesday, while Dec KC wheat lifted 4 cents to $4.9275, and December MWE moved 1 cent lower to $5.1975.
Live cattle fell sharply Wednesday, down for the fourth straight day and breaking below the 20-day moving average. Cash values have slid in an attempt to bring equilibrium to a market that still has a way to go to work through record-heavy cattle. Boxed beef cutouts were higher with choice up 2.18 to 220.58 and select was up .57 to 210.89. Cattle slaughter so far this week was at 333,000 head, compared to 332,000 last week and 333,000 a year ago. December live cattle fell 3 cents to 137.22 cents/pound Wednesday, while February futures lost 3 cents to 139.65. January feeder cattle slid 4.5 cents to 177.67 and March feeders moved 4.5 cents lower to 174.27.
Nearby hogs fell again Wednesday, down for the 10th straight session as part of a reversal lower that was signaled by pork belly wholesale prices diving last Thursday. The shift in lower demand moving into the fall has been anticipated by traders and the variable going forward will be how much holiday demand (hams) might offset the plunge in demand for BLT’s and other warm weather grilling items. While pressure will remain on futures in the months ahead also due to increased supply, seasonal features could limit the downside. Country hogs fell 1.55 lower to 57.72. Hog slaughter so far this week was at 1.303 million head, compared to 1.292 million last week and 1.286 million last year. December hog futures fell 0.77 cents to 57.37 cents/pound Wednesday, while April hogs lost 0.77 to 65.20.
ICE cotton futures lower overnight, still pressured by a rising dollar. Earlier this week, the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) launched the new World Cotton contract. Many hope it will fix price distortions and act as a mechanism to better facilitate the supply and demand issues world cotton faces. If successful, some industry sources expect this new contract (0#WCT) could replace the benchmark cotton contract (0#CT) that has set the price of T-shirts and socks make in Bangladesh to Vietnam and has affected the incomes of farmers from China to Egypt for 150 years. Cotton export data this week as well as November supply/demand estimates due out next week will help determine price action. December cotton futures lost .01 cents to 61.93 cents/pound Thursday, while May cotton dropped 0.08 cents to 62.70.