Corn futures were a bit lower early Tuesday morning after rising 1% Monday, supported by the surge in wheat and by potential delays in the final stages of harvest due to rain. Corn crop progress came in as expected at 75% completed, compared to 59% last week and the 68% five-year average. As harvest nears completion, storage of the what is being deemed another super-crop is problem faced by farmers, especially as farmer selling has been slow due to the downturn in prices. Export inspections were reported at 413,304 tonnes vs the 475,000-675,000 tonne estimate. December the corn futures moved 0.75 cents lower to $3.845/bushel early Tuesday, while March lost 1 cent higher at $3.925.
The soybean market ended neutral-lower Friday on yet another day of dollar strength and on renewed jitters after China's surprise interest rate cut. The soy complex encounrtered resistance after the rate cut led traders to, again, question the demand capacity of China. Also, prospects of higher than expected yields and bumper crop limited any gains. Barring a weather story that hinders harvest progress, next Monday’s crop progress may keep a lid on gains. Exporters changed the destination of sale of 236,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans from unknown to China for 2015/16 delivery . Malaysian palm oil fell 2% in response to their stronger currency, the ringgit. Support for the nearby contract may be found at the 8.92 level. November soybeans moved 3.0 cents lower to $8.9875/bushel at the close Friday, while December soyoil lost 0.30 cents to 28.56 cents/pound and December meal fell $3.1 to $305.10.
Wheat futures firmed early Friday morning but closed mixed on support from the weather story in the U.S. Plains and the Black Sea growing regions and restistance from the robust global balance sheet. Asian flour millers stepped up purchases in hopes of preempting possible spikes in prices. Continued dryness in these areas, if the forecast rains prove insufficient, could cause yield disruptions and support prices. Ethiopia made headlines looking for one of the biggest import wheat tenders in recent years, 1 million tonnes. Dec Chicago futures fell below the 50-day moving average of 4.97, after breaking above that level in morning trading. December CBOT wheat futures were 0.5 cents lower at $4.9025/bushel Friday, while Dec KC wheat gained 0.5 cents to $4.7575, and December MWE moved 1.5 cents lower to $5.08.
Live cattle futures moved lower on dollar strength Friday and end-of-week consolidation. Live cattle began early October on a turnaround in cash cattle prices resulting from the lengthy process of clearing out record-heavy weight cattle inventory. Choice cuts were up 0.98 to 217.47 and select fell 0.12 to 209.87 with seasonal demand picking as supermarkets seeks inventory for Thanksgiving features. Cattle slaughter for the week was 548,000 head, compared to 553,000 head last week and 557,000 head this time last year. December cattle lost 0.55 cents to143.40 cent/pound Wednesday, while February cattle slid .40 cents to 145.07 cents/pound. November feeder cattle moved 1.65 cents lower to 193.25 cents/pound Friday, while January feeders fell 1.55 cents to 185.50 cents/pound.
CME lean hogs dropped for the second straight day Thursday. The early-week surge seems to have been short-lived as packers needs are met and buyers to Thanksgiving purchases. While seasonal demand weakness is to be expected due to competition from poultry and beef, ham sales could limit downside action. The Dec contract closed just above the 20-day moving average, 66.27, and may continue to find support at that level as it has the past 4-5 weeks. Hog slaughter for this week was at 2.083 million head, compared to 2.126 million last week and 2.0096 million this time last year. Cash hogs were 0.86 lower to 69.26. The lean hog index fell .05% to 74.27 as cash hogs weaken yet still remain at a premium to futures. December hog futures lost 2.87 cents to 63.60 cents/pound Friday, while May hogs fell 1.10 to 74.97.
ICE Cotton futures rebounded Friday after falling 2% Thursday on dollar strength that undermined export prospects upon which cotton heavily relies. Lower crop condition ratings from recent SE rains and a lower U.S. production estimate have added near-term bullishness for the crop that, globally, still faces a bearish supply outlook. Even so, in recent days, word of the increased Chinese demand in the soy complex has helped cotton rise as demand fears regarding the largest cotton consumer in the world, China, subside. December cotton futures gained 0.18 cents to 62.76 cents/pound Friday, while May cotton advanced 0.20 cents higher to 63.11.