Grain prices plunge amid second day of adjustment to USDA reports

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Corn futures are trading sharply lower at mid-session. After moving to the plus side early, corn futures have come under increased selling pressure from soybeans and wheat, carrying corn futures to more than 20 cent losses. Technically based selling accelerated as the December contract fell below a well-defined chart support level at $7.32, driving that contact to a six week low. On the support side for prices, weekend rainfall in Argentina will add to planting delays which are prompting some private forecasters to dial down production estimates. December corn futures are trading 21 3/4 cents lower at $7.17.

The soybean market is experiencing a second consecutive trading day of large losses with mid-morning setbacks of over 40 cents per bushel. The selling is in direct response to the monthly crop report issued Friday morning which found USDA revising upwards its soybean production forecast by 111 million bushels. That is the largest November revision on record. With many more soybeans available, the job of rationing supplies via higher prices is not as critical as it appeared to be two months ago. In South America, dry areas of the northern Brazil Soybean Belt picked up needed rains over the weekend. January soybeans are 46 1/2 cents lower at $14.05.

Wheat prices are sharply lower in midday trade. Futures remain under pressure after USDA surprised the trade on Friday with lower global consumption and higher ending stocks. Similarly, USDA cut U.S. exports and raised projected ending stocks. Prior to that report, traders had been expecting only a slight increase in U.S. ending stocks and another reduction in projected global ending stocks. So it’s taking more than a single trading session to factor all that into the market. And in addition, the eastern one-third to one-half of the Plains received beneficial moisture over the weekend. At midsession, CBOT December wheat is down 27 cents at $8.59 ½; KCBT December is down 30 cents at $8.92 ¼ and MGE December is down 25 ¼ cents at $9.33 ¼.

Live cattle futures are trading slightly lower at mid-morning. Cash cattle were mostly $1 lower last week, trading from $126-$127. Cattle slaughter for the week was down 2.3 percent from the previous week, but was fractionally higher than a year ago at 631,000 head. Beef prices were lower on Friday on light volume, a sign of weakening demand. However, December futures continue to hold above chart support levels at $124 and $124.50. December cattle futures are trading 33 cents higher.

Lean hog futures are steady to slightly lower. Cash trade is mostly steady to $1 lower. Demand is a little soft with some packers shut down for the holiday. Pork production edged up fractionally last week from both the previous week and a year ago at 482.8 million pounds. However, after the sharp rally in recent days, lean hog futures are technically overbought and due for a correction lower. December CME lean hogs are trading 2 cents higher at $80.77.

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