Recent reports sent the ag markets in both directions Monday
The Grain Stocks report depressed corn futures Monday. The quarterly USDA Grain Stocks report stated September 1 U.S. corn inventories at 824 million bushels, which easily topped forecasts averaging around 680 million. Thus, it wasn’t at all surprising to see futures react badly. December corn fell 9.0 cents to $4.45/bushel around noon Monday, and May dropped 8.75 cents to $4.6575.
The soy complex dove in response to the USDA data. CBOT traders expected the Grain Stocks report to state September 1 U.S. soybean stockpiles at 124 million bushels, but the USDA put that actual figure at 141 million. The resulting breakdown in soybean futures obviously weighed heavily upon product prices as well. November soybeans plunged 33.25 cents to $12.865/bushel soon after the report’s release, while October soyoil tanked by 0.56 cents to 40.95 cents/pound, and October soymeal dove $10.5 to $409.4/ton.
The reports were seen as supportive of the wheat outlook. The Grain Stocks report stated early-September U.S. wheat stocks at 1.855 billion bushels, whereas a result around 1.91 billion was expected. That was moderately bullish. The Small Grains Summary cut USDA estimates of hard red winter wheat production and raised the figures for spring wheat and soft red winter. Those explain the strength, or the lack thereof, of the post-report futures reactions. December CBOT wheat edged up 1.0 cent to $6.84/bushel around lunchtime Monday, while December KCBT wheat surged 13.25 cents to $7.45, and December MGE futures climbed 7.5 cents to $7.39.
Cattle futures proved surprisingly weak Monday morning. Despite significant cash strength last Friday, live cattle futures turned downward this morning. That may have reflected the bearish results of the Hogs & Pigs report last Friday. Moreover, beef prices took a surprising dive last Friday afternoon, thereby suggesting current wholesale demand is not as strong as hoped. October cattle futures sagged 0.25 cents to 128.00 cents/pound in late Monday morning action, while December sank 0.15 cents to 131.92. Meanwhile, October feeder cattle gained 0.27 cents to 164.40 cents/pound, and January inched up 0.35 to 164.20.
Hogs futures reacted poorly to the Hogs & Pigs report. Hog traders expected a bullish result on last Friday’s quarterly USDA Hogs & Pigs report, but it had decidedly bearish implications. Actually, traders probably harbor doubts about the results, since futures did not fall as sharply as was seemingly implied by the report. October hog futures tumbled 0.90 cents to 92.02 cents/pound Monday morning, while December fell 1.35 cents to 86.77.
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