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Corn futures closed a sideways trade within 2 cents on either side of unchanged on Friday. September corn was down just 2 cents on the week while posting a 21 cent trading range. The weekly Commitment of Traders report shows managed money accounts were fairly undecided about which way to take their net position as of the Tuesday close. The MM accounts only decreased their net long position by 89 contracts to an updated position that is net long 73,537 contracts. Spec money still has one eye on the global stock markets, as the Dow closed a volatile week, down 12 points on Friday. Five day forecasts project 1 to 2 inches of rain for much of Iowa and parts of Wisconsin. Nebraska, Iowa, and northern Illinois and Indiana should expect low-temperatures to be above average throughout the next few days. The forecast is generally beneficial for corn yield prospects, with a few areas drier than desired. Average ethanol prices are down a penny to $1.39 in SD, off three cents in NE to $1.40, and down a nickel in Illinois to $1.43.
Soybean futures closed the last trading day of the week up 6 to 8 cents, adding to gains from 9 to 16 cents on Thursday. September soybeans slipped 12 cents from last Friday, finishing this week at $8.93 1/4. The CFTC reported this afternoon that managed money accounts had decreased their net long position from the previous Tuesday close, by a net 18,909 contracts. The updated position as of August 25 was still net long, but only 775 contracts strong. The Chinese Shanghai Composite Index closed 4.8% higher Friday morning, after a 5.3% gain on Thursday. South American soybean weather forecasts call for higher than normal temperatures and a lack of moisture throughout the next five days. Monsoonal rains in parts of India are expected to be extremely spotty in much of the soybean growing areas. With 11 days left in the marketing year, US accumulated shipments are 11% ahead of last year and have reached 100% of the latest WASDE forecast for the full year. Argentine producers overall intend to expand soybean acreage this upcoming crop year.
Wheat futures settled 4 to 8 cents lower in CHI and KC, and 1 to 4 cents lower in MPLS on Friday. In each respective September contract, CHI and MPLS wheat each dropped by 22 1/2 cents (-4.7%; -4.6%), and KC slipped by 13 1/4 cents (-2.9%). CHI wheat managed money accounts increased their net short position by 3,680 contracts to a net short position of 7,217 contracts as of the Tuesday close. The Commitment of Traders report also showed KC wheat accounts also increased their net short position by just 32 contracts to 7,010 contracts net short. Early Friday morning Egypt purchased 55,000 MT of Ukraine wheat at $190.90/ton from Venus Trading. The country purchased 60,000 MT of Russian wheat for $190.07/ton on Thursday. The US is still not price competitive to that destination. Dryness is intensifying over parts of India, as the monsoon has dwindled somewhat. Traders still believe that EU production is being underestimated by USDA.
Live cattle futures closed Friday trade with most contracts experiencing triple digit gains for the second day in a row. August live cattle were up $1.10 for the week. Feeders gained $1.10 to $2.53 during the Friday session. August feeders expired yesterday. September feeders were up only 8 cents on the weekly board, after trading within a $7.60 range since last Friday. According to the weekly CFTC report, managed money accounts decreased their net long position by 4,937 contracts to a net long position of 17,004 contracts as of Tuesday. The CME Feeder Cattle Index for 8/27 was off $1.20 at $209.85. The USDA afternoon report had choice boxes off 99 cents to $243.22 (-$1.68 Fri to Fri) and select boxes down 17 cents to $232.95 (-$1.93). The choice/select spread has been larger than $10 for eight consecutive days. Weekly meat production increased for the fourth consecutive week, at 452.4 million pounds, the largest week since the week ending May 23. Cash cattle trade has been limited for most of the week, with a few live sales this morning ranging from $143-$145, and dressed sales bringing $226-$228. Asking prices were generally above $229. WTD estimated FI slaughter with Saturday estimates was 545,000 head, 5K higher compared to last week, but down 7.3% from last year.
Lean hog futures finished unchanged in the December contract, but the other months posted losses from 20 to 62.5 cents. October hogs gained 5.4% from last Friday, rallying $3.60. The weekly CFTC Disaggregated Report showed managed money accounts had a net long position of 23,807 contracts as of Tuesday. This was a net increase of 1,728 contracts from the previous week. The CME Lean Hog Index for 8/26 was $78.68, down 11 cents from the previous day. The afternoon USDA report had the pork carcass cutout price off 16 cents to $84.53. Bellies were $2.49 higher at an average price of $159.31. Picnics (+$0.99) and ribs (+$0.57) were the other two cuts reporting higher prices on Friday. Cash hog base prices were $1.10 lower in IA/MN, and down $1.53 in the WCB according to the USDA afternoon summary. Estimated FI weekly slaughter (including Saturday estimates) is 2.214 million head, down 12,000 head from last week, but 11% larger compared to this time a year ago.
Cotton futures closed lower for the fifth time in six sessions on Friday. December cotton is down nearly 6% from its recent high on August 21. October cotton was down 389 points on the week, for a weekly change of 6.1%. Crude oil was over 6% higher, with Brent Crude up 15% in two days; partly due to a massive amount of short covering. The weekly Commitment of Traders report showed managed money accounts increased their net long position by 2,574 contracts as of the Tuesday close. They reported a net long position on August 25 of 53,313 contracts. Overall cotton export sales are small, with commitments (shipments plus outstanding contracts) at 29% of the full year WASDE forecast. We would typically be at 45% by now. US second quarter GDP was revised upward from 2.3% to 3.7% growth. The Cotlook A Index is down 55 points at 69.95. There are 73,638 certified bales in stock, with 2,849 decertified bales with a continuation of old crop load out. USDA reduced the AWP for this week to 48.21. That boosted the LDP/MLG to 3.79 through next Thursday.