Corn futures were mostly neutral overnight but are on pace for the fourth straightly weekly decline as ideal weather creates conditions for corn production that is potentially higher that was expected last month. Average trade estimates for corn yield and production ahead of the WASDE, are 164.5 bushels/acre and 13.327 billion bushels, respectively. The average trade estimate for harvested corn acres is 81.017. The French corn crop rating worsened again this week, due to dryness, with their good to excellent rating falling to 58%, compared to 59% last week and 85% a year ago. September corn futures firmed 0.5 cents to $3.7025/bushel Thursday, while December was up 0.25 cents to $3.8075.
The soy complex was mostly stronger in the overnight session with beans and meal higher and oil a little lower. It appears that the better than expected new-crop export sales may have outweighed the news of worse than expected old crop sales yesterday, though a detailed look at last week’s export data reveals that the old crop export numbers reported yesterday were not a surprise. Average trade estimates ahead of the WASDE next week, according to a Reuters poll, are 44.7 for yield, 3.724 for production, and 83.271 for harvested acres. September soybeans gained 4.5 cents to $9.605/bushel early morning Friday, while September soyoil lost .04 cents to 29.71 cents/pound and September meal gained $2.9 to $342.1/ton.
Wheat futures continue to rise early Friday morning after rising yesterday on strong weekly export sales. Still, the narrative for wheat to a large extent continues to be weak U.S. export demand and ample U.S. and world supplies, which may limit upside potential in the near term. India’s Finance Minister reportedly will impose at 10% import duty on wheat effective March 13, 2016, to spur more domestic consumption with the ample supplies. September CBOT wheat futures gained 2.5 cents to $5.095/bushel early Friday, while Sep KC wheat stayed at $4.895/bushel, and September MWE firmed 2 cents $5.205.
Significant increases in the cash market for cattle seems to be adding momentum to the reversal higher that occurred on July 27 when nearby futures hit 143 cents/pound. While the 100-day moving average is still higher than the nearby contract by 4 cents, pre-holiday demand is expected to strengthen and, as one report suggests, historical data shows an average rise of prices during fall, assuming a bottom was reached, of 13% before topping in the fourth quarter. If this proves true this year, cattle may reach 161 cents or higher. October live cattle gained .67 cents to 148.85 cents/pound at the close Thursday, while February futures rose .32 cents to 149.87. Meanwhile, September feeder cattle futures rose .80 cents to 211.47 cents/pound, while November feeders advanced 0.57 to 207.12.
Lean hogs corrected for the second straight day Thursday, despite steady to firmer cash and pork values. One factor that may explain this divergence could be the expectation of surging supply in the next week or so that could boost hog slaughter numbers, thereby putting pressure on the cash market. The October contract still remains at a steep discount to the cash index. The nearby contract has risen steadily in recent weeks after bottoming on July 13. October hog futures closed 2.27 cents lower to 64.45 cents/pound Thursday, while February lost 1.72 cents to 66.60.
The cotton market weakened again Thursday and is lower for the fifth straight day as funds appear to be selling ahead of the WASDE next Wednesday, on the basis of a great outlook for the U.S crop on top of already ample supplies. Good cotton crop ratings and broader supply issues are converging to form a bearish outlook for the cotton market. Traders await the WASDE next week to see if the USDA will revise the July production forecast of 14.5 million bales. December cotton futures lost 0.21 cents to 62.03 cents/pound Friday, while May lost 0.22 cents to 62.58.