The grain markets were lower ahead of a short holiday week and after Mauricio Marci, the former mayor of Buenos Aires and farmer friendly candidate, was elected Argentina's new president on Sunday, ousting the ruling party by a less than 3% margin. He will be sworn in to office in December. Commodities in general weakened early Monday morning as the dollar index marched higher, within 60 basis points of the 7-month high of 100.39. Gold was lower while crude oil was higher. Support for the Dec corn contract can be found at 3.56 while resistance is seen at the 3.6925 level, the 20-day morning average. This week through the end of the year will likely mark quieter sessions as many in the trade limit activity. December corn futures were down .5 cents to $3.6275 early Monday morning, while March lost 0.75 cents to $3.69.
Soybeans futures closed lower following soymeal as it traded a new four year low. Ample supplies continue to weigh on nearby futures prices. This fall’s record harvest will hold prices close to contract lows. Adding to the pressure is the perception of another record South American crop. Today the USDA reported private sales of 4.4 mil bu to an unknown destination for 2015/2016 delivery. Commercial interest remains at these levels as US soybeans remain cheaper than Brazil, lending short term support (keeping prices from the contract lows only) on potential export demand. Sunday is the Argentine Run Off election. Both candidates have stated that they are in favor of reducing export restrictions on crops and allow for the devaluation of the peso. Either way, we should see more ofa direction of how quick this will happen. This should push more Argentine beans into the market. Nearby soybeans fell 0.2% for the week, while nearby soybean meal dropped 1.9%, and nearby soy oil, saw its biggest gain in 7 weeks, up 3.1%. January soybeans closed down 2 ½ cents to $8.57 ½ per bushel, December oil gained 35 points to $0.2790 per pound and December meal down $3.60 at $283.00.
Wheat futures closed down on Friday. Up and down trading throughout the session finally settled on a negative close with weakness coming from improved weather forecasts beneficial to improving crop conditions in the US Plains and Midwest. A stronger dollar added to the pressure. Market perception on favorable soy moisture for Ukraine and southern Russia tends to bounce back and forth and today is favorable. France AgriMer reported 98% of the country’s soft wheat crop is seeded and 89% has emerged. Lack of negative fundamental news from the EU’s largest wheat producer will keep prices weaker or at a minimum limit rallies. The Black Sea region continues to hold the lion share of the international trade even to the point with a weaker Euro limiting demand for European enough for French Silo operators to shut down 3 key silos for delivery as export demand slows. Dryness in the Ukraine for new crop plantings has forced the Ukraine Ag Ministry to put a limit on 2015/2016 wheat exports. Chicago nearby wheat fell more than 1% for the week. December CBOT wheat futures closed down 2 ¼ cents to $4.88 ½ /bushel on Thursday, while Dec KC wheat dropped 5 ½ cents to $4.57, and December MWE up ¾ cents to $5.09 ½.
Live cattle moved lower Friday while feeder cattle futures gained ground. In Friday's cattle on feed report, feedlots marketed 3.3% fewer cattle than last October, not as low as the 4% fewer expected. Still, October marketings were at a record low for the month, going to back to when the data collection began in 1996. Boxed beef cutouts continued lower with choice down 0.06 to 204.77 and select down 0.35 to 192.99. Cattle slaughter so far last week, including Sat, was estimated at 571,000 head, compared to 556,000 head last week and 570,000 head this time last year. The Dec contract hit a new low last Monday, near one cent lower than the low set last Tuesday. Competition from holiday ham and turkeys has dampened wholesale beef demand, limiting upside potential. December live cattle fell 1.22 cents to 129.90 cents/pound Thursday, while February futures lost 1.22 cents to 132.05. January feeder cattle fell 1.52 cents to 162.45 and March feeders lost 2.1 cents to 160.55.
Lean hog futures broke above the 20-day moving average Friday for the first time since Oct 22. Country hogs fell .23 lower to 49.52 and the lean hog index fell another 0.30% to 55.87, to a 2 cent discount to nearby hogs. Average pork prices for October were $3.97, 4.2% lower than Oct 2014. Hog slaughter so far this week, include Sat, is estimated at 2.400 million head, compared to 2.388 million last week and 2.243 million this time last year. Trading in the protein complex will remain choppy ahead of Thanksgiving. December hog futures gained 2.15 cents to 57.45 cents/pound at the close Friday and April hogs gained 1.72 cents to 63.52.
Nearby ICE cotton futures fell sharply lower Friday as the dollar flirted with 7-month highs. On Monday, cotton crop progress was reported at 64% completed, compared to 58% last week and the 74% five-year average. Thursday, net upland cotton export sales were reported at 194,400 RB for 2015/16, up 52% from the previous week and up 74% from the four-year average. Net sales of 2015/16 Pima cotton were 15,900 RB, a marketing year high, up significantly from the previous week and the prior 4-week average. Exports of 7,200 RB were up 47% from last week and 54% from the 4-year average with destinations of Vietnam, India, Thailand, and China. December cotton futures lost 1.63 cents to 60.04 cents/pound at Friday’s close, while May cotton lost 0.13 cents to 63.68.