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Corn futures ended the day 2 3/4 to 4 1/2 cents higher, led by front month Jul16 corn. That contract was up 18 1/4 cents on the week, after posting daily gains in four of the last five days. Federal Reserve Chair Yellen indicated that she expects the economy and jobs market to get better in the coming months, and that an interest rate hike would be appropriate under those situations. During the CFTC reporting week ending May 24, managed money increased their net long position to 64,696 contracts. The 2015/16 Argentinean corn harvest is now 29% complete per the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange, up just 1 percentage point from last Friday. The Exchange left its production estimate unchanged at 25 MMT, versus the current USDA estimate of 27 MMT. Under the daily reporting system, private exporters announced that 130,000 MT of US corn was sold to unknown destinations this morning for 2015/16 delivery.
Soybean futures closed up 5 3/4 to 7 cents on Friday. Front month Jul16 beans were 12 1/4 cents higher on the week. Jul16 soybean meal lost $7.00 today, but posted a week to week gain of $9.90. According to the CFTC this afternoon, managed money held a net long position of 202,173 contracts as of the close on May 24. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange estimated that Argentinean soybean harvest was 72% complete, up 11 percentage points from the Friday before. The Exchange held its 2015/16 production estimate steady at 56 MMT, compared to the USDA estimate of 56.5 MMT. Private exporters reported to the USDA that 110,000 MT of US soybeans were sold to China this morning for 2016/17 delivery. Unknown destinations booked a sale of 100,000 MT of soybean meal as well this morning, again for 2016/17 delivery.
Wheat futures settled Friday trading 2 to 3 cents lower in KC, and down 3 to 6 3/4 cents in MPLS. The CHI market, however, finished fractionally mixed. The front month Jul16 contract posted a weekly gain of 13 3/4 cents in CHI, 10 3/4 cents in KC, and just 1/4 cent in MPLS. The USD was up nearly 600 points on Friday. The US markets will be closed on Monday in observance of Memorial Day. During the week ending Tuesday, May 24, managed money increased their net short position by 17,061 contracts and 3,681 contracts in CHI and KC respectively. Marketing year to date Russian wheat exports totaled 23.1 MMT as of May 23, compared to 21.05 MMT during the same period in 2015. South African wheat prices posted an all-time record high on Thursday, boosted by news of an expected 30% increase to the country’s import tariffs.
Live cattle futures closed 75 cents to $1.075 higher, after being as much as $1.30 higher earlier in the day. Jun16 cattle, however, were down $1.35 on the week following the bearish Cattle on Feed report. All of the damage was done on Monday. Feeders settled with gains of 42.5 cents to $1.30, with now-front month Aug16 feeders the strongest. That contract was still $1.22 lower on the week. The CME feeder cattle index for 5/26 was down $1.51 to $146.09. Cash cattle trade on Friday recorded dressed sales from $195 to $205, and live sales from $122 to $126. According to the afternoon USDA report, choice boxed beef prices were down 65 on Friday to $222.07 (-$3.89 Fri to Fri), and select boxes were $1.69 lower to $201.57 (-$6.85 Fri to Fri). The current choice/select spread is $20.50. Including Saturday estimates, FI cattle slaughter was estimated at 586,000 head, down 1,000 head from last week. Beef production this week was pegged at 475.6 million pounds, down just slightly from last week.
Lean hog futures finished the session 12.5 cents higher to 20 cents lower, with most heavily traded Jul16 hogs the weakest. The front month Jun16 contract was up 67.5 cents on the week. The CME Lean Hog Index for 5/25 was 78.60, down 27 cents from the previous average. The USDA average carcass cutout value on Friday was a penny lower at $83.56 (+$0.16 Fri to Fri). The belly cutout gained $1.95/cwt in average price, but the average price of ribs was down $2.95/cwt. Both were higher for the full week. The national average cash hog base price was 57 cents lower on Friday. Regional prices were down 34 cents in IA/MN, and 24 cents lower in the WCB. FI hog slaughter including Saturday estimates was pegged at 2.181 million head, up 67,000 head from the week before. Weekly pork production was estimated at 465 million head, 3% higher than last week. The CFTC showed managed money reduced their net long position during the week ending May 24 by 9,474 contracts.
Cotton futures settled mostly 5 to 9 points lower, after being was much as 75 lower previously in the session. The Jul16 contract posted a 101 point range on the day, and was up 261 points on the week. After being over $50/barrel on Thursday for the first time in 2016, crude oil was mostly quiet on Friday, with gains of only a few cents. Managed money grew their net long position to 28,169 contracts during the week ending May 24.The Cotlook A Index was unchanged at 71.45. ICE reported that there were 95,362 certified bales in warehouses on May 26, with 1,160 new certs and no decertified bales. There were 4,312 bales awaiting review. The USDA AWP for the new week is 51.50, up from 50.42 last week. That cut the LDP/MLG to 0.50 from 1.58 cents.