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Corn futures at midday are off about 6 cents. The EIA report this morning showed ethanol production was down about 8,000 barrels per day from the previous week to 965,000 for the week ending July 24. That was the slowest weekly production rate reported since the week ending May 15. Stocks were unchanged at 19.6 million barrels, 5.3% larger than a year ago. Preliminary OI dropped 32,820 contracts as both longs and shorts headed to the exits. South Korea bought 68,000 MT of corn for January delivery.
Soybean futures are trading about 9 cents higher for the front month, but November futures are only up 1 3/4 cents, and the January contract is 1/4 cent into the red. Preliminary open interest dropped -16,347contracts, confirming some short covering. Month end asset allocation adjustments will play more of a role the next couple days, along with FND for August deliveries on Friday. The Argentine Agricultural Ministry reported that a record 18.5 MMT of soybeans was crushed in Argentine plants from January through June. Soy oil production reached 3.6 MT, and meal was 13.9 MT. A private crop consultant left his projected 2015 yield at 43.5 bpa, with the US crop production at 3.58 billion bushels. South Korea tendered for 60 TM of US/S. America soy meal for November delivery.
Wheat futures are taking a beating again today after spending one day in the green on Tuesday. Prices at midday are off 12 to 14 cents for CHI and down about 8 to 9 cents for both KC and MPLS contracts. Sept15 HRW futures have lost 17% (-$1.09 1/4) since their high on June 30. The spring wheat tour is underway, and Minnesota and the Dakotas are reporting the best yields in 21 years. The Wheat Quality Council states an average yield for 166 HRS fields of 51.1 bpa, up from the 2014 figures of 48.3 bpa, and the five year average of 43.4 bpa. The official tour estimate is expected on Thursday.
Live cattle futures are currently trading from 15 to 37 cents higher at midday. Feeder cattle are trading with most contracts up more than a dollar on the session. A few cash cattle trades in Texas and Kansas reported prices of $145-$147. The CME Feeder Cattle Index for 7/27 is $214.83, off 87 cents. The USDA morning report shows wholesale beef prices higher. Choice boxes are 52 cents higher at $232.67, while select boxes are up 27 cents at $229.14. Estimated week to date slaughter as of Tuesday close was 215K head, about 8K lighter than a week ago. Cash cattle activity has mostly consisted of accumulating show lists.
Lean hog futures are 70 cents to $1.25 higher at midday, adding to solid gains on Tuesday. The CME Lean Hog Index for the 7/27 average was at $78.36, off 19 cents. The average pork carcass cutout price is down $1.51 to $84.70 according to the USDA morning report. Hams and bellies have taken the hardest hits this morning, down $5.02 and $4.25 respectively. Ribs are $5.17 higher to an average price of $157.96. Estimated WTD federal slaughter as of close Tuesday afternoon was 840,000 head, up 34,000 head compared to last week at that time. Cash hog base prices are lower on average this morning, down $1.51 in the WCB. The ECB and IA/MN regions did not report any prices due to confidentiality.
Cotton futures are mostly 46 to 57 points lower at the Wednesday midday, falling back after Tuesday prices were up 7 to 80 points. Cotton prices are finding pressure from concerns about the Chinese stock market. China is the largest importer of cotton in the world, and already holds the largest stockpile of cotton. The USD is slightly higher and August crude oil futures are up $1.07 so far this session. The Cotlook A Index is off 70 points to 70.75, and the Forward A Index is down 75 points to 73.00. ICE reported that there are 118,005 certified bales in stock, with 8 new certs and 2,063 decertified bales. There are currently no bales awaiting review.