The grain and oilseed markets bounced overnight on what appears to be short covering after the huge tumble yesterday on higher than expected USDA forecasts. The USDA forecast 2015/16 corn ending stocks at 1.713 billion bushels, nearly 300 million bushels above the average trade expectation. Ethanol production grew this week from 961,000 barrels per day to 965,000, also a 4% increase from last year. Estimates for today exports sales report are 50,00-250,000 tonnes for old crop and 300,000-500,000 tonnes for new crop. September corn futures fell 19.25 cents to $3.5725/bushel just after dawn Thursday, while December dropped 19.5 cents to $3.68.
Soybeans futures were up overnight by 1% after dropping over 60 cents, or nearly 6% yesterday in response to the bearish USDA report. The report forecast 2015/16 soybean ending stocks of 470 million bushels, compare to the what the average trade had in mind: 301 million bushels. Trade expectations for today’s exports sales data are -150,000 to 250,000 tonnes for old crop beans and 450,000-750,000 tonnes for new crop beans. September soybeans gained 9 cents to $9.2825/bushel early morning Thursday, while September soyoil lost 0.04 cents to 29.06 cents/pound and September meal rose $5.60 to $329.3/ton.
Short covering lifted Chicago wheat futures higher by almost 1% early Thursday after dropping yesterday close to 3%. Trade estimates for this morning’s export sales data are 400,000-600,000 tonnes for 2015/16 wheat. Accoringding to Reuters, the leading farms groups in Argentina announced a five-day suspension on grain sales including wheat, corn, and beans starting in Aug 24, presumably tied to their primary election last Sunday night and the upcoming presidential election in October. September CBOT wheat futures advanced 4.75 cents to $4.9675/bushel early Thursday morning, while Sep KC wheat gained 5.75 cents to $4.81/bushel, and September MWE lifted 7.5 cents $5.17.
Live cattle futures added to Tuesday’s loss by plunging Wednesday despite its significant rise in recent weeks. The move lower may be related to the sharp fall in the grain and oilseed markets, as feed costs and producer balance sheets change with the price of corn, beans, and wheat. The drop still seems counterintuitive in lights or sharply rising cash beef values and a steady pick up of pre-holiday demand. Cut-outs were higher with choice cuts up 3.09 to 244.02 and select up .65 to 235.45. October cattle lost 2.3 cents to 146.60 cents/pound Wednesday, while February futures fell 1.32 cents to 148.50. Meanwhile, October feeder cattle futures gained 0.27 cents to 208.02 cents/pound, while January feeders lost 0.12 cents to 200.05.
Lean hogs traded mostly higher Wednesday and seemed to be one of the few commodities unscathed by the Supply/Demand report and China’s currency devaluation. One reason for support may be futures trading at a steep discount to the current cash hog index. Carcass values shot 1.07 cents higher to 74.66, suggesting the increase in holiday buyer interest has yet to taper. Ideas about hog production and supply being too high did not keep October, December, and February futures from gaining. October hog futures closed 1.62 cents higher to 63.37 cents/pound Wednesday, while February gained 0.22 cents to 65.35.
Cotton futures were higher in the overnight session after also rising yesterday in response to the bullish report while most other ag commodities fell on bearish production forecasts. The USDA 2015/16 U.S cotton production estimate much lower than expected at 13.08 million bales (480 lb), compared to the July projection of 14.50 million and the average trade expectation of 14.78. The global cotton ending stocks estimate also came in much lower at 105.19 million bales, compared to the 108.15 million bale estimate. December cotton futures edged 0.01 cents higher to 64.70 cents/pound early Thursday, while May rose 0.16 cents to 64.40.