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Corn futures closed 3 to 4 cents lower on the day. The International Grains Council raised its forecast for global corn production in 2014/15 on Thursday in order to reflect favorable crop conditions thus far in the United States growing season. The updated forecast of world corn production was for 969 million tonnes, Up six MMT from the previous projection, but still 5 MMT shy of the record production last year. The USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service in Moscow raised its total Russian grain production estimate for 2014/2015 by 2MMT. Trade estimates for the USDA weekly export sales report were in the 800,000 MT to 1.2 MMT range, with 300-450,000 MT expected to be old crop. USDA pegged the actual figure at 1.267 MMT, 86% was for new crop.
Soybean futures closed 2 cents lower to 4 cents higher on the day. Out of the last 10 days, the front month Aug 14 contract has posted 8 up days. Combined old and new crop weekly export sales were 1.456 MMT, when the trade had been expecting to see something between 900,000 MT to 1.2 MMT. Soybean meal bookings were also larger than the trade was expecting with the 14/15 bookings published at 707,400 MT, more than double of any week this year for the next marketing year sales. August bean meal gained $3.70 on the session.
Wheat futures closed 3 to 8 cents higher. Nearby KC wheat was the strongest. MPLS came back to close higher on the session for the second day in a row, after touching new life of contract lows on Tuesday. The IGC raised its global wheat production forecast to 702 million, which is up 3MMT from a previous estimate, but still below the 710 million from last year. Trade estimates for the USDA weekly export sales report were between 350,000 MT to 550,000 MT. USDA published the actual figure at 801,000 MT. Total commitments as a percent of total projected exports are now at 40%, vs. the five year average for this date of 34%. The Taiwan Flour Millers' Association has purchased 84,800 MT of milling wheat to be sourced from the United States.
Cattle futures settled $1.825 to $2.60 lower. Feeders settled sharply lower, registering losses between $2.20 and $3.00. Wholesale beef prices were mixed today, with choice boxes 74 cents higher at $263.66, and select 23 cents lower than yesterday at $260.60. Both Choice and Select boxes gained more than 3% from Thursday to Thursday. Week to date estimated slaughter is 7K head less than last week, and 33K head less than the same period a year ago. Cash cattle trade is quiet, and not expected to develop until Friday. The last established market was last week with live sales mostly between $162 and $166, and dressed sales were around $255 - $257. USDA reported weekly exports for beef at 17,300 MT; the largest reported since the week of July 3rd.
Lean hogs settled $0.32 to $0.70 lower. The October contract has lost nearly $12 during the month of July, and August hogs have lost nearly $15 since July 1. Week to date estimated slaughter is 14K head larger than a year ago, and 45K head larger than last week. USDA reported weekly pork export sales at 6,900 MT for the week ending July 24. The average pork carcass cutout value was $1.20 lower today at $129.03. IA/MN area carcass base prices ended the day $0.42 higher and WCB hogs averaged $0.18 higher, but the ECB hogs were down $0.97.
Cotton futures closed sharply lower, registering losses between 113 and 133 points. The Dollar index was higher again on the day, and crude oil was down another $2.62 today. USDA reported weekly export sales for cotton at 260,400 RB, including 260,100 RB of Upland and 300 RB for Pima. Cert stocks were reported at 136,608 bales, with 9,528 decerts and 0 new certs. The Cotlook A Index is down 0.80 at 79.60.