Grain and oilseed futures were higher Tuesday morning after the Renewable Fuel Standards were raised by the EPA Monday afternoon. The total renewable fuels mandate was set at 18.11 billion gallons, while the ethanol mandate was raised 500 million gallons to 14.5 billion gallons, boosting corn futures. Still, lagging export inspections and better than expected U.S. production could limit the upside. Argentina plans to abolish the 20% corn export tax on Dec 10, 2015, the first day the new regime takes office. The dollar was a bit lower yet still remains above 100.0. Gold and brent crude were higher. March corn futures were 2.25 cents higher to $3.745 Tuesday, while May gained 1.75 cents to $3.7975.
Soybean futures firmed overnight, up for the second session in response to higher export inspections and the increased biodiesel mandate announced by the EPA. Biodiesel mandates were raised 100 million gallons for 2016 and 2017 to 1.9 billion gallons and 2.0 billion gallons, respectively. The added 100 million gallons equates to about 750 million pounds of vegoil feedstock, of which half, or 375 million pounds will likely come from soyoil. Argentina’s newly elected government plans to cut the 35% soybean export tax by 5% on Dec 10, their first day in office. USDA NASS will release their October crush report at 2pm CST this afternoon. On Nov 16, October NOPA crush came in at 158.9 million, implying a full crush of 169.7 million for October. January soybeans were 5.75 cents higher to $8.8675 per bushel Tuesday, while Jan soyoil climbed .28 to 29.70 cents per pound and January meal gained $2.4 to $287.70.
Wheat futures followed corn higher early Tuesday morning. The winter wheat condition rating came in at 55% good-to-excellent, from 53% last week and 58% last year. Funds were net short 47,353 wheat contracts Monday. The Canadian crop production report will be released Friday at 7:30 a.m. CST. Australis lowered their 15/16 wheat production forecast to 23.98 million tonnes, down from 25.28 million. Argentina plans to eliminate the estimated 23% wheat export tax on Dec 10, 2015, the first day the new government takes office. March CBOT wheat futures gained 4 cents to $4.795 /bushel Tuesday, while Mar KC wheat lifted 2.5 cents to $4.7525, and March MWE climbed 2.25 cents to $5.10.
Live cattle moved sharply lower on the first day back from the extended holiday weekend. February live cattle fell lower, unable to break above the 134.45 resistance level. Boxed beef cutouts were higher with choice up 1.19 to 205.59 and select up 0.66 to 196.16. Cattle slaughter for the week so far was estimated at 110,000 head, compared to 109,000 last week and 110,000 a year ago. February live cattle closed down 1.77 cents to 132.35 cents/pound at the close Monday and April futures closed lower 1.85 cents to 132.45. January feeder cattle plunged 3.77 cents lower to 162.75 and March feeders lost 3.45 cents to 160.42.
Lean hog futures were mixed Monday after stabilizing in last Friday’s light post-Thanksgiving session. The discount of the lean hog index to futures weighed on nearby contracts with February and April both lower while ideas of lower supplies in the longer term, as evidenced by lower frozen inventories, supported the deferred months. Country hogs were lower by 0.18 to 50.72. Hog slaughter for the week so far was estimated at 438,000 head, compared to 440,000 last week and 431,000 a year ago. February hog futures were down 0.92 cents to 58.72 cents/pound at the close Monday, and April hogs fell 0.32 cents to 61.47 cents/pound.