Corn futures were neutral-higher to start the week after weekly corn export sales exceeded expectations last Friday at 2.036 million tonnes, compared to the expected .9 to 1.3 million tonnes. Ethanol stocks for the week ending Nov 20 were 19.6 million barrels, 2% higher than the previous week and 15% higher than a year ago. Ethanol production increased to 1,008 barrels per day (bpd), higher than the 975 bpd the previous week and 982 bpd a year ago. The Commitment of Traders report will be released today in lieu of last Friday. Argentina’s ag minister Buryaile, designated by president elect Mauricio Macri, stated the new administration will abolish the 20% corn export tax on Dec 10, 2015, the first day they take office. The dollar index is higher at 100.23, 17 basis points from a 13-year high. December corn futures were 1 cent higher to $3.6025 early Monday morning, while March lost 0.25 cents to $3.67.
Soybean futures were neutral Monday morning after surging 11 cents before Thanksgiving and falling 1.25 cents in an abbreviated trading day Friday. Argentina’s newly elected government plans to cut the 35% soybean export tax by 5% on Dec 10, their first day in office. Soy grower Los Grobo sees Argentine grain output growing by 50% in the next three years. Weekly soybean export sales were reported last Friday at 1.174 million tonnes, compared to the estimate of 1.0 to 1.5 million. USDA NASS will release their October crush report at 2pm CST Tuesday. Due to rains caused by El-Nino, the number of soybean rust fungus cases in Brazil has nearly double from a year ago, mostly in the southern states of Rio Grande do Sul and Parana. January soybeans were 0.75 cents higher to $8.7375 per bushel early Monday morning, while December soyoil climbed .16 to 28.91 cents per pound and December meal fell $1.1 to $281.30.
Wheat futures were mixed early Monday as prices remain near three-month lows on ample supply/poor exports with the Chicago nearby contract down for the fourth session, pressured by a strong dollar that threatens exports. Wheat export sales for the week ending Nov 19 were 303,700 tonnes, lower than the expected 400,000-600,000 tonnes. Egypt, the world’s largest wheat importer, will grow around 3.34 million acres of wheat next season, about the same as a year ago, according to minister Hanafy. The Canadian crop production report will be release Friday at 7:30 a.m. CST. Argentina’s ag minister Buryaile, designated by president elect Mauricio Macri, stated the new administration will abolish the estimated 23% wheat export tax on Dec 10, 2015, the first day they take office. December CBOT wheat futures gained 0.25 cents to $4.845 /bushel early Wednesday, while Dec KC wheat lifted 3.5 cents to $4.61, and December MWE climbed 3.5 cents to $5.13.
Live cattle moved .56% higher last Wednesday on short-covering and technical buying. Boxed beef cutouts were higher with choice up 1.36 to 205.17 and select up 1.18 to 193.42. Cattle slaughter for the week so far was estimated at 331,000 head, compared to 321,000 last week and 349,000 a year ago. The USDA’s October cold storage report showed beef supplies at 511.58 million pounds, up sharply from 380.93 million pounds a year ago, adding to the sentiment there is more market ready beef available than market demand. December live cattle closed up 0.72 cents to 130.95 cents/pound at the close Wednesday and February futures closed lower 0.65 cents to 133.12. January feeder cattle closed 0.20 cents to 164.97 and March feeders gained 0.10 cents to 163.12.
Lean hog futures rebounded last Wednesday with the nearby contract surging nearly 3% on decreased supplies and a move higher in cash hogs. The USDA's cold storage report showed the pork supplies were drawn down by a record amount for October inventories, however production last week was also deemed the third largest in history. Hog slaughter so far this week was estimated at 1.318 billion head, compared to 1.311 billion last week and 1.294 billion a year ago. Country hogs moved 0.21 cents lower to 50.68 and the lean hog index gained .23% to 55.50 now at a 3 cent discount to futures, helping lift the latter. December hog futures gained 1.60 cents to 58.80 cents/pound at the close Wednesday and April hogs fell 0.15 cents to 62.50 cents/pound.
ICE cotton futures jumped higher last Wednesday, benefited by higher equities despite being pressured by a dollar that keeps rising. The Dec contract broke above three major moving averages to close .17 cent above the 40-day. Texas, the largest cotton producing state in the U.S., was at 60% harvest completion compared to 56% last week and the 75% five-year average. The recent cotton crop progress report, for the week ending Nov 22, also showed the U.S. total cotton harvest at 70% completed, compared to 64% last week and the 82% five-year average. Dec cotton gained 1.74 cents to 61.98 cents/pound Wednesday, while May cotton climbed 1.23 cents to 63.96.