(Note: Doane’s Ag Report will be published 1-2 hours later than normal this Friday due to the WASDE release.)
Corn futures were lower early Thursday morning after the pre-WASDE routine this week by managed money of buying and consolidating, then profit-taking and technical selling, now ratcheting back and positioning just over 24 hours from the report release. Trade estimates for weekly export sales for corn are 550,000-750,000 tonnes. The average estimate for corn production, according to a Reuters poll, is 13.504 billion bushels, while the average yield estimate is 167.1 bu/ac, compared to the Sep WASDE yield of 167.5 bu/ac. The average forecast of harvested acres is 80.826 million acres, compared to 81.1 million in the Sep WASDE. December corn futures edged lower 2.5 cents to $3.9575/bushel early Wednesday, while March lost 2.25 cents to $4.0625.
Soybean futures continued higher Wednesday, despite increased crop condition ratings and talk of higher yields. Fund buying has increased ahead of the Friday Oct WASDE report where the USDA will update soybean production values. The average estimate for bean production is 3.908 billion bushels, while the average yield estimate is 47.2 bu/ac, higher than the Sep WASDE figure of 47.1 bu/ac. The average harvested acres estimate is 82.914 million acres, compared to the Sep WASDE value of 84.3 million. The USDA reported Sep soybean shipments at 86.5 million bushels, the second highest ever for Sep. November soybeans moved 3 cents higher to $8.91/bushel Wednesday, while December soyoil lost 0.09 cents to 28.42 cents/pound and December meal advanced $3.4 to $305.2/ton.
The wheat complex fell Wednesday on profit-taking after trading higher the past two days on bullish sentiments from the recently released Grain Stocks report. The report showed the final estimate of 2015 wheat production down 84 million bushels from the August crop report of 2.136 billion bushels to 2.025 billion, also lower than expectations. Dry weather in the Black Sea region as well as Australia also helped wheat higher earlier this week. The average trade estimate, based on a Reuters poll, for USDA Oct wheat ending stocks is 819 million bushels, compared to the USDA Sep value of 875 million bushels. The December CBOT wheat futures were 9.5 cents lower at $5.1675/bushel Wednesday, while Dec KC wheat slid 7.25 cents to $5.085, and December MWE fell 8 cents to $5.3275.
Live cattle futures climbed higher for the second day Wednesday, despite a fall in wholesale beef prices and after falling dramatically over the past several weeks. Boxed beef cutouts were lower Wednesday with choice down .81 to 203.36 and select down 1.13 to 197.74. Cattle slaughter so far this week is at 331,000 head, compared to 333,000 head last week and 342,000 head this time last year. December cattle gained 2.57 cents to 136.15 cent/pound Wednesday, while February cattle lifted 1.62 cents to 136.15 cents/pound. November feeder cattle moved 2.35 cents higher to 181.22 cents/pound, while January feeders gained 2.72 cents to 176.27 cents/pound.
Lean hogs posted a positive day along with most other ag commodities, helped in part by weaker dollar. Hog slaughter so far this week is at 868,000 head, compared to 854,000 head last week and 855,000 head this time last year. Wholesale pork prices were also up 1.4 cents to 87.31 cents/pound. Packers have met their needs for this week’s production and grocers are looking beyond October National pork month to increase beef features, likely leading to a slowing of pork demand as supplies of pork also rise toward the end of the year. Cash hogs also firmed as the lean hog index climbed .44% to 73.38. December hog futures gained 2.27 cents to 66.72 cents/pound Tuesday, while April hogs climbed 0.62 to 73.35.
Cotton futures continued to strengthen Wednesday, rising for the third day to two-week highs, powered by a two point drop in the cotton good-to-excellent condition rating, pre-WASDE fund positioning, and rains. ICE cotton fell last week due in part to Hurricane Joaquin moving away from the East Coast, easing fears that the rains associated with the storm could harm yields and quality in cotton-producing states. This week, despite the downgrade of the hurricane, rains have persisted in the U.S. southeast growing region, stoking concerns that crop quality will be damaged. December cotton futures gained .32 cents to 62.05 cents/pound Wednesday, while May cotton climbed 0.38 cents to 62.50.