Corn yield slashed…again
Despite the further reduction in the nation’s corn crop, futures prices for corn have taken the news in stride, for the most part. As noted above, the initial reaction to the report created a temporary rise in prices to new record levels but the impact was short lived. December contract prices have been fairly steady since mid-July, trading in about a $0.50/bu range between $7.70 and $8.20. Cash prices, on the other hand, have not shown the same resiliency. Corn basis in Omaha was $0.40 to $0.60/bu above normal levels through June and early July as futures prices slowly adjusted to the complications of the drought. Those levels returned to a more normal state during late-July but following the USDA reports, cash prices at Omaha were at a 15 cent premium to the nearby September contract, which was 34 cents/bu above normal basis levels. The story has been similar in the Southern Plains where basis has been running about 40 to 60 cents above normal in Dodge City and about 20 to 40 cents above normal in the Texas Panhandle.
Cash fed cattle moved higher again this week. Trade movement was low enough that no trends were called this week for individual states, but the five-area, regional, price was higher by$1.58/cwt at $119.16/cwt. In Oklahoma, feeders were steady to $2/cwt higher, while calves were steady to $4/cwt higher. Boxed beef prices moved higher this week after last week’s leveling off which curtailed seven weeks of negative movement. Choice wholesale beef finished with a weekly average of $181.46/cwt, up $3.57.