Corn futures remained under pressure early Thursday, down 1.5 cents in the overnight session. U.S. corn ending stocks that were revised higher by 200 million bushels continues to weigh futures as the crop will be the third largest ever with production estimated at 13.654 billion bushels. Weekly ethanol production data will be out today as well as the export sales report, due out at 7:30 a.m. The dollar as well as gold were higher, while brent crude was lower. The Dow lost 56 points yesterday and the US employment report will be released today. December corn futures lost 1.75 cents to $3.605/bushel early Thursday, while March fell 2 cents to $3.68.
Soybean futures moved lower overnight after bouncing yesterday in an attempt to recover the steep post-WASDE losses. As estimated 100 million bushel increase in soybean production to the largest U.S. bean crop ever will be tough narrative for the bulls to overcome, particularly as exports lag last year’s pace and little seems to be standing in the way of a bean crop in Brazil that is, according to Conab, expected to exceed the USDA’s 100 mmt forecast. January soybeans moved 2.5 cents lower to $8.5825/bushel before dawn Thursday, while December soyoil fell 0.04 cents to 27.14 cents/pound and December meal dropped $1.7 to $292.3.
Despite 50 million bushels being added to the USDA’s 2015/16 wheat ending stocks estimate, wheat futures consolidated higher. The EU is projected to have produced a record 149 million tonnes of wheat, however, it doesn’t appear this will be leading to increased export demand, as was the case last year. Worries still persist about the Ukraine winter wheat crop which is beginning to resemble the drought crop of 2011. Some have suggested that Ukraine’s, the sixth-largest wheat exporter, winter wheat crop was drier than that of 2011, which was reportedly the third largest drought in 200 years. December CBOT wheat futures gained 1.5 cents to $4.9625/bushel early Thursday, while Dec KC wheat climbed 1 cents to $4.6525, and December MWE lifted 1.5 cents to $5.0325.
Live cattle futures consolidated higher Wednesday for the first time in 9 sessions and after fresh contracts lows Tuesday. Boxed beef cutouts were lower with choice down 1.30 to 215.27 and select down .56 to 206.38. Cattle slaughter so far this week was at 326,000 head, compared to 333,000 head last week and 322,000 head this time last year. Technical selling and worries about wholesale beef demand will keep pressure on futures, as will lower equities, while today’s weaker dollar added support. December live cattle gained 3 cents to 131.32 cents/pound Wednesday, while February futures advanced 3 cents to 133.32. January feeder cattle shot up 4.5 cents to 166.07 and March feeders gained 4.5 cents to 164.20.
Lean hogs broke higher for the first time in 15 sessions after falling each day since Oct 22. The rise countered the movement in the cash market with country hogs came in 0.92 lower to 51.21 cents/pound. As well, the lean hog index as lower by 2.2% to 61.17. Dec hogs still sit nearly 5 cents below the 20-day moving average. Hog slaughter so far this week was at 1.270 million head, compared to 1.298 million head last week and 1.24 million head this time last year. The lean hog continuous chart is at the lowest level since 2009. USDA data showed Monday morning’s average pork cutout at 77.15 cents/pound. December hog futures gained 2.5 cents to 56.17 cents/pound Wednesday and April hogs gained 1.77 cents to 62.85.
ICE cotton futures were mixed Thursday morning, after falling in response to the WASDE earlier this week. US production came in 13.28 million bales, vs the average estimate for US cotton at 13.13 million bales and the Oct estimate of 13.34 million. The Nov export estimate was steady with last month at 10.20 million bales, vs the average trade expectation of 9.97 million bales. 2015/16 US ending stocks were 3.1 million bales, vs the average forecast of 3.25 million bales. 2015/16 world ending stocks were 106.09 million bales, vs 106.97 million in Oct. December cotton futures gained 0.01 cents to 62.19 cents/pound, while May cotton fell 0.06 cents to 62.86.