Grain markets were neutral-lower to start the week. The USDA crop progress report will be delayed until Tuesday due to the Columbus day holiday. Expectations for corn crop progress is near 40% harvested. Last Friday, The USDA reported, in the Oct WASDE, an average yield of 168.0 bu/ac, compared to the average estimate of 167.1. This was tempered by the reduction in harvested acres to 80.664 million acres, compared to the average forecast of 80.826 million and the Sep figure of 80.101 million. Still, this resulted in the Oct production forecast of 13.555 billion bushels, above the average estimate of 13.504 billion but lower than the Sep figure of 13.585, lending pressure. Going forward, the trade will focus on farmer yield reports and the FSA acreage data due out this Wed Oct 14. December corn futures fell 0.5 cents to $3.825/bushel early Monday, while March lost 0.75 cents to $3.9275.
Soybean futures firmed early Monday morning on follow-through trading from last Friday’s lower ending stocks forecast. 2015/16 ending stocks were reported at 425 million bushels, down 50 million from the Sep estimate and compared to the average forecast of 414 million. The trade will now look to farmer yield reports, FSA acreage data, and the NOPA crush report due out this Thursday Oct 15. The average trade estimate for the crop progress report due out Tuesday, is soybean harvest near 60% complete. November soybeans moved 4.75 cents higher to $8.9025/bushel early Monday morning, while December soyoil gained 0.38 cents to 28.72 cents/pound and December meal fell $0.1 to $307.7/ton.
The wheat complex was lower again early Monday morning after falling last week on bearish ending stocks reported in the Supply/Demand report. Last Friday, 2015/16 U.S. wheat ending stocks came in higher than the average trade estimate of 819 million bushels to 861 million, compared to the Sep forecast of 875 million. France’s farm ministry raised its soft wheat estimate to a record 41 million tonnes, from 40.8 million a month ago, now 9.3% above last year’s volume and 14.2% above the five-year average. Weakness in the corn market is also limiting upside potential. The dollar index is lower and equity futures are pointing to a higher open. The December CBOT wheat futures were 2.75 cents lower at $5.065/bushel early Monday morning, while Dec KC wheat lost 1.75 cents to $4.985, and December MWE edged 1.0 cent lower to $5.285.
Live cattle futures were mixed Friday after climbing Thursday on increased wholesale beef prices and on technical buying. Boxed beef cutouts were mixed Friday with choice down 0.64 to 202.97 and select up 0.47 to 197.93. This may represent a near-bottom as beef cutouts have slid for 21 days straight. Cattle slaughter last week was at 544,000 head, compared to 557,000 head last week and 553,000 head this time last year. December cattle lost 0.20 cents to 137.32 cent/pound Friday, while February cattle lifted 0.25 cents to 139.40 cents/pound. November feeder cattle moved 1.05 cents higher to 184.87 cents/pound, while January feeders gained 1.25 cents to 179.77 cents/pound.
Lean hogs traded mixed Friday, with the December contract and nearby months closing well above the simple moving averages. The deferred months starting June of 2016 closed lower. Cash hogs were lower by .46 to 70.74. Producers and grocers are looking beyond October National pork month, which could mean a slowing of pork demand as supplies of hogs also rise toward the end of the year. The nearby lean hog contract continues to trade at a discount to futures, by 8 cents, perhaps suggesting support in futures Monday or resistance in cash. Hog slaughter last week came in at 2.166 million head, compared to 2.136 million last week and 2.086 million this time last year. December hog futures gained 0.32cents to 66.12 cents/pound Friday, while April hogs advanced 0.05 to 72.97.
ICE Cotton futures strengthened Monday after rallying Friday in response to the WASDE report showing lower than expected production and higher than expect exports. Cotton production came in at 13.34 million bales (480 lb.), compared to the trade forecast of 13.51 million and the Sep estimate of 13.43 million. Exports were reported at 10.20 million bales, higher than the trade estimate of 10.10 million and steady with the USDA’s Sep forecast. 2015/16 ending-stocks were reported at 3.1 million tonnes, lower than the trade estimate of 3.39 million and the Sep figure of 3.2 million. 2015/16 ending stocks edged slightly higher than the average trade forecast to 106.97 million bales from 106.26 million. December cotton futures gained .14 cents to 61.75 cents/pound early Monday morning, while May cotton advanced 0.19 cents to 62.29.