Grain Futures Prices Lower

Sep 03, 2014

Wednesday's Closing Grain + LIvestock Futures Prices

Sep. corn closed at $3.41 and 1/4, down 14 and 1/2 cents
Sep. soybeans closed at $10.80 and 3/4, down 16 and 1/2 cents
Sep. soybean meal closed at $447.20, down $2.90
Sep. soybean oil closed at 31.73, down 28 points
Sep. wheat closed at $5.23 and 1/2, down 20 cents
Oct. live cattle closed at $155.42, up $3.00
Oct. lean hogs closed at $101.17, up $1.22
Oct. crude oil closed at $95.54, up $2.66
Dec. cotton closed at 65.96, up 65 points
Sep. Class III milk closed at $24.13, down 12 cents
Sep. gold closed at $1,268.90, up $5.20
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 17,078.28, up 10.72 points

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Ag Market News and Commodity Comments 

Soybeans were lower on commercial and speculative selling. 72% of the crop is rated good to excellent, up 2% on the week, and cash grain prices have dropped. Contracts are right around all-time lows, which could continue through harvest. Soybean meal and oil were lower, following beans. The latest private production estimate is from Allendale, expecting a 3.884 billion bushel crop with an average yield of 46.4 bushels per acre.

Corn was lower on commercial and speculative selling. 74% of corn is called good to excellent, a 1% improvement, and there’s a lot of talk of a record crop. Ethanol demand’s solid, but probably won’t have much of an effect on the downtrend. Ethanol futures were lower. Allendale is projecting this year’s corn crop at 14.409 billion bushels with an average yield of 171.9 bushels per acre.

The wheat complex was lower on fund and commercial selling. Once again, it looks like there may be a ceasefire in Ukraine, but there’s more uncertainty than certainty connected to that situation. There are some domestic and world quality concerns, but the global supply is ample. Japan bought 40,200 tons of feed wheat in sell-buy-sell trade. China’s Grain Reserves Corporation reports wheat supplies are three times larger than this time last year, so Beijing may reduce imports.

The cash cattle market was untested on Wednesday with buying interest poorly defined. A few asking prices have been posted around 158.00 plus in the South, and 248.00 to 250.00 in the North. It is starting to look like significant trade volume will not develop until Thursday or Friday. The cattle kill was estimated at 118,000 head, 4,000 more than last week, but 9,000 less than last year.

Boxed beef cutout values were higher on choice and steady on select on light to moderate demand and offerings. Choice beef was up 1.47 at 247.58, and select was .11 higher at 233.94.

Live cattle contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange settled 125 to 300 points higher. The combination of aggressive boxed beef support, weaker grain prices and further support in feeder cattle futures led to aggressive buying activity in the nearby live contracts. Traders continue to focus on still tight supplies heading into fall. October settled the 3.00 limit higher at 155.42, and December was up 2.47 at 158.00.

Feeder cattle finished the session 245 to 297 points higher. Strong feeder gains were maintained following a strong tumble in the grain markets and the firmness in the live cattle complex. September settled 2.45 higher at 222.70, and October was up 2.95 at 221.77.

Feeder cattle receipts at the St. Joseph, MO Stockyards totaled 3,000 head today. Compared to two weeks ago calves were not well tested on the open, however a higher undertone was noted. Steers weighing over 600 pounds are 5.00 to 10.00 higher, heifers over 600 pounds are 3.00 to 10.00 higher. Demand was good as Customers Appreciation Day brought several cattle to town and the quality is much improved over recent weeks. 600 to 650 pound steers traded from 249.50 to 266.50. Heifers 6 to 7 weights brought 227.25 to 246.75.

Lean hogs settled mostly lower with only the October contract ending with a triple digit gain. The deferred contracts posted triple digit losses. There is growing concern that recent demand support in the pork market may not be able to be maintained over the coming months at a time when overall hog supplies may continue to build. October settled 1.22 higher at 101.10, and December was down .30 at 93.10.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed .87 higher at 94.18 weighted average on a carcass basis, the West was up 1.59 at 93.09, and the East at 91.40 with no price comparison. Missouri direct base carcass meat price was steady from 85.00 to 86.00. Midwest hogs were 1.00 lower to 2.00- 3.00 higher on a live basis from 58.00 to 72.00.

The pork carcass value FOB plant was .72 higher at 102.44.

The cash hog market had a firmer tone, but didn’t seem to attract that many negotiated sales. Assuming the packers are planning to kill close to 150,000 head on Saturday, they may be required to push the cash envelope through the balance of the week.

Hog slaughter was estimated at 416,000 head, 5,000 more than last week, but 17,000 less than last year.

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