Grain Futures Prices Lower on Big Crop Pressure

Sep 18, 2014

Thursday's Closing Grain + LIvestock Futures Prices

Dec. corn closed at $3.38 and 1/4, down 3 and 1/2 cents
Nov. soybeans closed at $9.71 and 1/2, down 11 cents
Oct. soybean meal closed at $328.80, down $7.60
Oct. soybean oil closed at 32.72, down 67 points
Dec. wheat closed at $4.88 and 1/2, down 10 and 3/4 cents
Oct. live cattle closed at $155.60, down $1.42
Oct. lean hogs closed at $102.97, down $2.12
Oct. crude oil closed at $93.07, down $1.35
Dec. cotton closed at 65.05, down 63 points
Oct. Class III milk closed at $24.76, up 6 cents
Oct. gold closed at $1,234.90, down 80 cents
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 17,265.99, up 109.14 points

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Ag Market News and Commodity Comments

Soybeans were lower on fund and technical selling. It was a solid week for export sales and there was another purchase by China, 110,000 tons of new crop, but those were outweighed by the expected record crop. Crop condition ratings are at the highest level in 20 years. Soybean meal and oil followed beans lower.

Corn was lower on fund and technical selling. There’s been more light rain around the Midwest, but longer term forecasts do look drier and warmer for most of the region. Corn also continues to focus on this year’s expected record crop, while watching early harvest activity. Ethanol futures were lower.

The wheat complex was lower on fund and technical selling. Rainfall is delaying winter wheat planting and spring wheat harvesting, but more importantly, it’s recharging soil moisture. In any event, wheat remains bearish due to the large available world supply. In sell-buy-sell trade, Japan bought 85,300 tons of wheat from the U.S. and 23,800 tons from Canada.


The feedlot cattle trade remained untested on Thursday afternoon. Except for a few scattered bids of 155.00 in the South and 244.00 to 245 in the North, buying interest remains very cautious. Nominal asking prices are around 164.00 in the South, and 253.00 plus in the North. The kill is estimated at 114,000 head, 2,000 less than last week, and 8,000 smaller than a year ago.

Boxed beef cutout values were weak to lower on light to moderate demand and offerings. Choice boxed beef down 1.03 at 244.88, select is .23 lower at 232.09.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled 20 points higher to 142 lower. Live cattle contracts were heavily influenced by the sharp losses earlier in the session in the lean hog complex. Lack of fundamental support and limited buyer activity available at the end of the week allowed nearby contracts to suffer triple digit losses. There was some focus in the market on the direction of beef values as well as the cattle on feed report due out on Friday afternoon. October was down the most at 155.60, down 1.42, and December was 1.07 lower at 158.92.

Feeder cattle ended the session 40 to 107 points lower. Feeder futures were not able to get much traction in either direction through the morning trade. The pressure seen recently in grain markets is keeping production costs low, but triple digit losses in live cattle futures and uncertainty about the upcoming cattle on feed report kept most buyers out of the market. September settled .40 lower at 229.90, and October was also down .40 at 227.70.

Feeder cattle receipts at the Hub City Livestock at Aberdeen, South Dakota totaled 3274 head. Compared to last week, steers were mostly 2.00 to 4.00 higher. Feeder heifers over 850 pounds steady to 3.00 higher with instances of 9.00 higher on 850 to 900 pound offerings. There was good to very good demand for all classes of feeders with the best demand for long consignments of light fleshed cattle off grass. Feeder steers, medium and large 1 averaging 873 pounds brought 235.53 per hundredweight. 906 pound heifers averaged 213.27.

Lean hogs settled 17 points higher to 212 points lower. The front month October contract bounced back and forth between $3.00 lower through the morning trade, but recovered some by the close. Widespread concerns of growing pork supplies was evident in the market. Although the wild card of and how prevalent PED will develop over the winter months is keeping the market volatile. A big question in the market is that of how much cheap feed may flood the market with available pork. October settled 2.12 lower at 102.97, and December was down .10 at 93.80.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed .29 higher at 104.87 weighted average on a carcass basis, the West was up .36 at 104.71, and the East was .16 higher at 100.16.00. Missouri direct base carcass meat price is steady from 90.00 to 97.00. Midwest hogs were fully steady from 65.00 to 70.00 live.

The pork carcass cutout value FOB plant was up 4.11 at 114.22 all cuts except ribs were higher.

Iowa barrows and gilts averaged 281.9 pounds last week, 0.2 pounds lighter than the prior week, yet still 11 pounds greater than 2013.

Thursday’s hog kill was estimated at 415,000 head, 4,000 more than last week, but 15,000 less than last year.

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