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Corn futures are currently steady to fractionally lower after closing 2 3/4 to 7 3/4 cents lower yesterday. Crop condition ratings in the weekly update from NASS were steady with the previous week, which is indicative of above trend yields this late in the season. Michigan improved the most, up 4 points on our Brugler500 Index week/week. The Minnesota rating shows the largest decline of any state from last week, down just 3 points. ND and WI ratings each slipped 2 points. The amount of the crop in the dent stage is 8 percentage points ahead of the five year average for this date. There were 440 contracts put out against September futures on FND, by a Wells Fargo customer. Stoppers were mostly clients of ABN, RCG and the street.
Soybean futures are trading another nickel to 8 cents lower this morning after mostly double digit losses on Tuesday. Meal took a lot of the heat, losing $5.70/ton. Soy oil was off only 8 points. There is a Chinese buying team in country this week. They are expected to sign a big promise to buy in Indianapolis, but a chunk of the business is likely already on the books. Traders were expecting zero delivery notices on FND vs. September soybean and soy meal futures. Trade ideas for soy oil were in the 1000-2000 contract range. Actual delivery notices were as expected. Zero for beans and meal, and 985 for bean oil. The oldest long in September beans is dated July 25.
Wheat futures are mostly steady, but mixed within a few pennies. We saw new life of contract lows for CBT and KC contracts on Tuesday, with CHI down 6 to 7 1/4 cents and KC down 5 to 6 1/2, but MPLS eeked out gains of 1/2 to 2 1/2 cents. Russia is actively considering waiving export duties on wheat. We presume this is to make it more competitive with LDP assisted US sales. They are fairly minimal right now ($.15). Egypt is back in the market, for Oct 5-15 delivery. Their ergot tolerance appears to be back to zero, which will tend to make the offering prices higher and offers fewer. There were 330 deliveries vs. CHI September wheat, mostly from one commercial to another. There were only 4 put out vs. KC.
Live cattle futures came back from triple digit losses to settle $.75 to $2.40 higher on the day. Feeders jumped $3.30 to $4.15 with the assist from higher cattle and lower corn prices. The CME Feeder Index was down 12 cents at $144.18. Wholesale beef prices were sharply lower on Tuesday afternoon. Choice was down $1.80 and select boxes were down $1.17. A few cash cattle changed hands on Tuesday at $110-111, with dressed prices averaging $174.58 for all grades. Hedgers are seeing a very attractive basis with the board below cash. Most asking prices are still $114+. Week to date slaughter is still even with a week earlier, but 4,000 head larger than the same period last year.
Lean hog futures settled UNCH to 77 cents higher. The CME Lean Hog index for 8/27 was $66.61, down 29 cents. The USDA weighted average pork carcass cutout value was 27 cents higher with a weighted average of $77.41 in the PM report. The national cash hog base price reported by USDA for Tuesday afternoon was 15 cents lower than Monday at $59.82. Regional prices were down 62 cents in the IA/MN area, and 23 cents in the WCB at $60.37 and $60.33 respectively. Week to date FI hog slaughter is estimated 11,000 head smaller than the same period last week, and 4,000 head larger than the same period last year.
Cotton futures are trading 47 to 52 points lower this morning after losing 67 to 90 points on Tuesday. The US dollar posted the highest reading since August 10 yesterday, and USDA showed improved crop condition ratings overall when a decline had been expected. The Texas condition rating improved 9 points this week following eight weeks of successively lower ratings amounting to a 38 point slide. The Louisiana rating slipped 8 points from last week. USDA put the AWP at 58.81 for this week. There is, of course, no LDP at that price level. ICE has certified stocks at 44,033 RB.