The grain markets were a bit firmer overnight, up fractionally just as stock futures indices edged higher. In percentage terms, the Shanghai stock exchange was lower by the same amount Thursday as the Dow Jones fell Wednesday, 1.45%. The average trade estimate on the eve of the WASDE is, according to Reuters, 167.6 bu/ac, compared to the August USDA forecast of 168.8 bu/ac. Absent a weather story or the usual drop in condition ratings, traders are finding it more and more difficult to see how the USDA could revise lower. December corn futures were 0.25 cents higher to $3.6925/bushel early Thursday, while March was unchanged at $3.8025.
The soy complex was higher early Thursday morning on indexes that suggest a higher stock market open. As the two largest economies in the world see their stock exchanges vacillate, the uncertainty is largely affecting the trade. Even so, investors are poised to find the right side of the trade on the eve of the September Supply/Demand report. The average trade estimate for soybean yields is 46.7 bu/ac, according to Reuters, compared to the August USDA forecast of 46.9 bu/ac. Talk of problems arising with Chinese soybean buyer’s letter of credit issues have highlighted another impact of the broader financial markets. November futures were 1.75 cents higher to $8.7375/bushel early Thursday, while October soyoil gained .32 cents to 27.00 cents/pound and October meal was $0.3 lower at $309.40/ton.
The wheat complex was lower overnight as the macro markets are weighing commodities to start the week. STATS Canada will issue their all-wheat stocks report Thursday with trade estimates falling to 6.5 million tonnes, down 37% from a year ago. The trade awaits the release of export inspections data released mid-morning Monday as well the September WASDE due out a week from this Friday. September CBOT wheat futures lost 3 cents to $4.74/bushel early Monday, while Sep KC wheat fell 1.25 cents to $4.565/bushel, and September MWE dropped 0.5 cents to $4.90.
Live cattle futures traded lower Wednesday, resuming what has been a downward trend helped by weaker equities and a stronger dollar. Boxed beef cutouts were lower, with choice down .91 to 239.16 and select up .26 to 228.65. Cattle prices during the first week in September fell below July for the first time in eleven years. So far this week, cattle slaughter was estimated at 230,000 head , compared to 328,000 for the same period last week, and 344,000 a year ago. October cattle were .60 cents lower at 142.95 cents/pound Wednesday, while December cattle were 0.82 cents lower at 145.07. October feeder cattle were 1.10 cents lower at 198.57 cents/pound while January feeders lost 0.85 at 189.92.
Nearby hogs were firmer and the deferred months slid Wednesday. Cash hogs values were .32 cents lower to 66.65 cent/pound, as buyer interests slows until the next uptick for National Pork Month: October. Packers prepared to ramp up for Saturday’s slaughter that will make up for plants that were closed for Labor Day. One dealer predicts Saturday’s kill at 305,000 head, compared to 63,000 over the three-day weekend and possibly making it the biggest post-holiday slaughter since the Jan 3 slaughter of 326,000. The October contract is now trading well above both the 50 and 100 day moving averages and only 1.5 cents below the 200-day, suggesting a possible resistance level. October hog futures gained 0.37 cents at 68.92 cents/pound Wednesday, while Dec hogs raised .15 to 63.55 and May fell 0.30 cents to 76.45.