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Corn futures settled a nickel to 7 cents lower on Friday on “buy the rumor, sell the fact” action following the largest weekly export sales report of the marketing year. The weekly board had Dec15 corn down 4 cents from last Friday. Early this morning, the weekly USDA Export Sales report showed corn bookings of 2,564,800 MT during the week ending Nov 19. Sales of 2.036 MMT for 2015/16 and 528,500 MT for 2016/17 each set marketing year highs. Total commitments of 16.579 MMT through the first twelve weeks of the marketing year are 76.8% of the mark set at the same time in 2014. Weekly shipments increased by 36.7% week over week, and were the largest since the week ending October 8. At the pumps this week, ethanol prices were two cents higher in IL, NE and SD, and just a penny higher in IA. The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization cut its Chinese corn production estimate by 4 MMT to 221 MMT (USDA: 225 MMT).
Soybean futures closed around 2 cents lower today, after finishing 10 to 11 1/2 cents higher on Wednesday. Jan16 beans were 15 1/2 cents higher from last Friday. Soy meal lost 60 cents on the week, but soy oil was up 85 points, an increase of nearly 3%. The USDA reported in its weekly Export Sales report that 1.179 MMT of US beans were sold to foreign importers during the week ending November 19. Sales to China totaled only 751,661 MT, down 54% from the previous week, and the smallest weekly total since the week ending October 1. Weekly shipments of 1.913 MMT were the fewest since the week ending October 8. Soybean meal export sales were 247,800 MT, after reporting net sales reductions of 7,100 MT for the 2016/17 marketing year. Soy oil net bookings totaled 12,800 MT.
Wheat futures were sharply lower in CHI today, losing 6 to 13 1/2, KC wheat was 4 to 7 cents off, while MPLS lost 3 to 4 1/2 cents. The front month contract in each market was the weakest today. For the week, CHI and KC Dec15 futures lost 22 3/4 cents and 7 cents respectively, but Dec15 MPLS wheat was up a nickel. During the week ending Nov19, 325,700 MT of wheat was sold to foreign purchasers per the USDA Export Sales report, down 55% from the week before. Of the total, 22,000 MT was for 2016/17 delivery, the largest weekly sales total for the next marketing year since the week ending September 17. Mexico and Japan combined accounted for nearly 42% of total sales.
Live cattle futures settled 22 to 87.5 cents higher today, following gains of 60 to 85 cents on Wednesday. Dec15 cattle were the strongest today, and were up $2.125 on the weekly board. Feeder futures were 30 cents to $1.025 higher on Friday, after posting gains of 10 to 30 cents on Wednesday. Jan16 feeders were $2.38 higher from last Friday. The CME Feeder Cattle Index for 11/25 was 53 cents lower to $172.16. In its weekly Export Sales report, the USDA announced export sales of 8,500 MT of US beef through last Thursday 41% of which was sold to South Korea. Total sales declined by nearly 50% week over week, and recorded the smallest weekly total since the week ending August 13. Year to date commitments are 10.7% smaller than they were as of this week in 2014. The strong US dollar is an issue. A few cash cattle sales took place averaging $123 today. The USDA reported higher beef prices today. Choice boxes were 31 cents higher to $204.40, and select boxes were up $1.74 to $195.50. Beef production this week totaled 390 million pounds. Actual slaughter was 558,029 head during the week ending November 14, while dressed weights were steady at 846 pounds. FI slaughter with Saturday estimates was 462,000 head this week.
Hog futures closed mixed, with Dec15 up a dime on Friday, but deferred contracts down as much as $1.425. The weekly board showed Dec15 hogs up $1.275, an increase of 2.2% from the previous Friday. The CME Lean Hog Index for 11/24 was 14 cents higher to $55.64. According to the USDA Export Sales report, 10,600 MT of US pork was booked on the export market during the week ending 11/19, including 1,400 MT of which was sold to China. This is a partial measure of US pork export business, focusing on muscle cuts. The USDA average carcass cutout price was 68 cents higher today, at $72.40. Ribs and bellies are each more than $1.50 cheaper, but hams were $2.38 more expensive. The national weighted average cash hog base price was 18 cents lower today. Prices were down 32 cents in IA/MN and off 29 cents in the WCB. Weekly pork production was 454 million pounds this week. Actual slaughter during the week ending 11/14 totaled 2.393 million head, the largest since the week ending 12/1/12. Average dressed weights increased by a pound week over week to 214 pounds. Including Saturday estimates, FI slaughter was 2.129 million head.
Cotton futures finished the Friday session up 60 to 65 points, adding to triple digit gains from Wednesday. The price of Dec15 cotton increased by 4.1% from last Friday, gaining 259 points, and closing at its highest daily close since November 2. The USDA reported export sales of 313,100 RB during the week ending Nov 19, including 7,500 RB of Pima. Upland sales of 305,600 RB were the largest since the week ending October 1, and increased by 53% from the week before. The Cotlook A Index was 125 points higher to 69.80. ICE reported that there were 63,958 certified bales in delivery warehouses on Nov 25, with 4,202 new certs and only 15 decertified bales. There were 1,460 bales awaiting review. USDA put the AWP for this week at 46.89 and dropped the LDP/MLG to 5.11, down .01 from the 5.12 last week.