Corn futures were neutral-lower early Tuesday morning after the USDA’s crop progress report Monday afternoon. The corn crop was reported at 85% harvested compared to 75% last week and the 79% five-year average; this was in line with expectations. A prominent firm released their WASDE estimates, pegging corn yields at 168.0 bu/ac versus 167.0 bu/ac last month. Drought conditions in South Africa are driving maize prices to new highs. Asian stocks closed lower Tuesday while U.S. stocks pointed to a lower open and the dollar and crude were both higher. U.S. manufacturing activing expanded at slowest pace in two years. December corn futures moved 0.25 cents lower to $3.7625/bushel before dawn Tuesday, while March lost 0.25 to $3.85.
The soy complex weakened in the overnight after also sliding Monday. Soybean crop progress came well above pace at 92% complete versus 82% last week and the 88% five-year average and this was about what the trade expected. USDA NASS reported September crush at 134.6 million bushels, putting ending stocks at 240,700 tons. Soybean export inspections once again beat estimates coming in at 2.561 million tonnes versus the expected 1.9-2.3 million tonnes. A well-respected firm has released their WASDE estimates for soybeans with their yield for Nov coming in at 47.5 bu/ac, above their Oct estimate of 46.9 bu/ac. January soybeans fell 2.5 cents to $8.7625/bushel early Tuesday morning, while December soyoil lost 0.04 cents to 27.81 cents/pound and December meal moved $0.7 lower to $301.50.
The wheat complex continued lower Tuesday after falling sharply Monday and after setting the largest weekly gain in four months last week. Poor wheat expect inspection data did not help the wheat market with inspections at 170,993 tonnes, much lower than the estimated 275,000-400,000 tonnes. Winter wheat was reported at 88% planted, compared to 83% last week and the 90% five-year average. TX was listed as only 71% planted vs 83% five-year average. Winter wheat conditions jumped 2 points to 49% good to excellent, compared to 47% last week and 59% last year. Some analysts expect the drought in Ukraine to cut their 2015/16 wheat production by 20%. December CBOT wheat futures lost 1.25 cents to $5.0675/bushel early Tuesday, while Dec KC wheat fell 2.5 cents to $4.8075, and December MWE moved 0.25 cents lower to $5.115.
Live cattle were mostly higher Monday as cash beef moved higher despite the trade continuing to work through heavy cattle which still have a ways to go. Cash beef was up with choice up 0.84 to 220.88 and select was up .79 to 212.86. Cattle slaughter so far this week was at 111,000 head, compared to 111,000 last week and 113,000 a year ago. December live cattle futures gained 0.025 cents to 141.75 cents/pound Monday, while February futures gained .35 cents to 143.77. January feeder cattle gained 0.175 cents to 183.37 and March feeders moved 0.50 higher to 179.67.
Nearby hogs fell 1.7% Monday on a follow-through trading after the plunge in wholesale pork belly prices last Thursday, pressuring futures lower as demand turns to competitive meats like poultry. This marked the lowest belly prices in three months. Increasingly, the pork market is faced with larger supplies just as demand takes as turn lower, yet the wild-card demand for seasonal hams may help limit the declines. Cash hogs fell 1.11 lower to 63.09. Hog slaughter for the week was a 2.253 million, compared to 2.312 million last week and 2.194 million last year. December hogfutures fell 0.90 cents to 58.22 cents/pound Monday, while April hogs lost 0.45 to 66.87.
Cotton futures moved higher early Tuesday morning, a day after 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. November from the December cotton futures gained 0.09 cents to 63.38 cents/pound Tuesday, while May cotton rose 0.15 cents to 63.91.