Grains and meats steady to mixed

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The corn market was giving back earlier gains and trading down by about 3 cents in mid-morning trade, with December at $7.40 ¼ and the March 2013 at $7.44. The new-crop December 2013 was up ½ cent at $6.23 ½. The corn market has been advancing in recent trading sessions. Support has come from the view that export sales will begin to strengthen because major competitors are running out of supplies. But with grain markets closed on Thursday, there is the proverbial desire on the part of some traders to even out positions and reduce event risk. That selling was weighing on the market mid morning.

The soybean market was slightly lower at mid morning as traders sold to book somewhat unexpected gains in late trading on Tuesday. Because of the U.S. holiday on Thursday, there is the proverbial desire on the part of some traders to even out positions and reduce event risk. Weather outlooks do appear to be generally favorable for Brazil over the next one to two weeks. Argentine farmers face the unwelcome prospects of more rains in the central grain region that will delay plantings. USDA announced huge soyoil sales of 76,000 tonnes, and that was encouraging spreading of long soyoil against sales of meal. In mid-morning trade Jan. beans are down 2 ½ at $14.10; March down 1 ¼ at $13.95.

Wheat prices are slightly higher in midday trade in very low pre-holiday volume. Disappointing exports thus far this season are a steady source of pressure on old crop prospects while forecasts for continued warmer-than-normal temperatures with little or no rain over the next two weeks in the central and southern Plains states continue to support prices due to new crop concerns. K-State agronomist Jim Shroyer describes the Kansas crop as in “tough shape” with the second poorest condition ratings for the newly-emerged crop ever recorded. There will be only one more crop condition report issued this fall and that will be on Monday, Nov. 26th. It will quite likely show further deterioration in winter wheat as reports are suspended until spring. At midsession, CBOT December is up 2 at $8.62 ½; KCBT December up 3 ¾ at $8.98 ¼; MGE December up 3 ¼ at $9.27.

Cattle prices are higher at midday Wednesday. Both live cattle contracts and feeder cattle contracts have posted solid gains in morning trade. The December live cattle contract is 90 cents higher at $127.95 and February is up by more than $1. The January feeder cattle contract is up 90 cents at $146.95. There is not a lot of news to move the market and the gains are due at least in part to position evening ahead of the holiday. Modest gains in the stock market are also supportive along with the general consensus that cash cattle prices will be higher this week.

Lean hog futures are mixed at midday. Nearby contracts are up modestly while the deferreds are posting small declines. Cash hog prices moved higher on Tuesday which is providing some support to the December contract but the pork cutout fell. The December contract is up 40 to 45 cents per pound while the June contract is down about 8 cents. With the light trade volume, settling prices on Wednesday will probably be little changed from Tuesday’s levels.

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