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Corn futures are trading 2 to 3 cents higher this morning, supported by higher wheat prices and the surge in soybean meal. The market will be open normal hours today, and then closed until 8:30 am CST on Friday morning. The weekly ethanol production report from the EIA will be out later today, with a large grind expected. Brazilian sources continue to see first crop acreage down between 4-8%. Final production numbers for 2014 crop now look to be about 97% of year ago as the safrinha harvest wraps up. China is beginning their annual reserve buying program, paying roughly $9.35 per bushel to take up to 40 MMT of corn off the market between now and April. The government sells back those reserves in the tighter summer supply period.
Soybean futures are trading4 to 8 cents lower at midday. Nearby December meal is supported by shorts scrambling to exit ahead of December deliveries. There are currently no receipts registered for delivery against Dec meal. China bought another 120,000 MT of soybeans for 2014/15 delivery, as announced by USDA under the daily reporting system. This ran counter to other market “talk” that crush margins on imported beans had turned negative in China.
Wheat futures are currently 4 to 9 cents higher at midday after gains of 9 to 13 cents in the front month contracts yesterday. EU wheat futures on the MATIF have rallied up close to their July highs, due to strong exports. The Aussie crop harvest is well underway. Some wire reports show “better than expected” yields, but yield ideas were low due to both drought and frost damage at various stages. Brazilian production is estimated to be 7.5 MMT by local sources, up almost 30% from the depressed 2013 crop.
Cattle futures are trading 42 lower to 30 higher this morning, with the summer 2015 contracts hitting new highs for the day. Wholesale beef prices are higher again this morning, with Choice boxes up $0.59 and Select up $0.16. Week to date slaughter estimated at 228K head was 5K larger than a week ago, and 21K head smaller than a year ago. Some limited cash cattle trade has been reported this morning at $173, with most asking prices at $174 and $274 in the northern carcass based market.
Hog futures are trading steady to 50 cents higher at midday. Hog slaughter so far this week is running ahead of year ago. The week to date estimate is 869K head, which is 22K head larger than a week ago, and 7K head larger than a year ago. The pork carcass cutout value was down $0.52 in the morning report. Hams are showing typical seasonal losses with most of the processor demand for Christmas now satisfied. The CME Lean Hog Index was down 4 cents at $88.74. The ECB hog market was not reported by USDA due to confidentiality restrictions. The WCB market is $1.02 lower this morning. The IA/MN average price was reported $1.05 lower.
Cotton futures are trading 40 to 90 points higher this morning. The US dollar index is weaker for the third day in a row due to holiday position squaring. Cert stocks for December deliveries are up to 31,351 bales thanks to 1,575 new certs issued on Tuesday. There have been zero deliveries vs. December cotton. The Cotlook A Index is up 50 points at 66.45.