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Corn futures are trading slightly higher at midday. They posted a new high for the move at $4.29 1/4 during its nickel trading range this morning, gaining some support from strong and volatile action in the wheat market. The Informa projection for 88 million planted acres in 2015 drew little attention. Bears are suggesting that Brazilian producers are becoming more interested in second crop corn due to the recovery from October in prices and the weaker Real. It still doesn’t pencil well in the interior areas with high freight costs. In the weekly Commitment of Traders report released Friday by the CFTC, managed money accounts added 5,976 contracts to their net long position during the week ending Tuesday December 16. Their net position is now net long 236,170 contracts.
Soybean futures are mostly a dime higher at midday, and January bean meal is around $6 higher. Export Inspections in the weekly USDA report were 1.820 MMT, which was smaller than the total for the previous week, but larger than the same week a year ago. Year to date inspections are 122.5% of a year ago. Canola futures are higher today and the Canadian dollar is lower; both offer support to the soy complex. The weekly Commitment of Traders report from the CFTC showed managed money accounts had backed off a bit of their net-long position in soybeans by -7,390 contracts, showing the official positions as of the closing bell on Tuesday afternoon.
Wheat futures are trading mixed at midday, and currently within a few cents of unchanged, after the front month contracts posted a range of more than 18 cents for all three classes. They were each up at least 4.25% for the week as of Friday. Support continues to come from possible Russian export limits, and also from weather forecasts in winter wheat regions. Informa published a 2015 Winter wheat acreage estimate that would be down slightly from 2014. The weekly Commitment of Traders report from the CFTC showed managed money accounts leaning more bullish than the previous week in their net long position in CBT wheat, adding a net 10,642 contracts during the week ending Tuesday, December 16. They went the other way with their net long in KC wheat, reducing it by -2,528 contracts from the previous report. Egypt bought 300,000 MT of French and Russian wheat over the weekend. US offers were reportedly almost $1 per bushel too high.
Cattle futures are mostly higher on the day, currently 20 to 85 cents higher following the Cattle on feed report released after the close on Friday. January feeders are currently 20 cents to a dollar higher. The Cattle on Feed report on Friday afternoon showed cattle on feed December 1 were 101.42% of a year ago. November placements were at 96%, and November marketings were 88.9% of what they were a year earlier. The lower than expected marketing figure accounted for the higher than expected number remaining on December 1. Wholesale beef prices were higher in the morning report, Choice was up 66 cents and Select boxes were 49 cents higher. Cash cattle trade was $156 to $160 last week.
Hog futures are trading lower at midday. Feb hogs are down more than a dollar at midday, after losing 1.62% last week. April is only off about 30 cents on the day. The pork carcass cutout value was a bit higher this morning at $87.17, up 34 cents. Picnics are $9.43 lower, but ribs are up $6.47 from Friday morning. The carcass based cash hogs in the WCB were reported $1.60 lower, and the weighted average for the IA/MN area was down $2.85 at $74.53. The ECB average came was not reported. CFTC showed managed money accounts reduced their net long position in lean hogs (during the week that ended last Tuesday) by -5,673 in the weekly Commitment of Traders report.
Cotton futures are trading in the green with the front three contracts nearly 100 points higher at midday. The US Dollar index is slightly lower, but the crude oil futures are sharply lower and trading below $55.50 per barrel. Cotton cert stocks dropped to 54,796 bales, with no new certs and no decerts issued on December 19. The US cotton average world price (AWP) rose to 47.66 for the week of Dec 19-25, reducing the LDP to 4.34 cents. The weekly Commitment of Traders report on Friday night showed managed money accounts reducing their net short by 2,589 contracts, bringing their net short position in cotton to -1,162 contracts as of the Tuesday close.