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Corn futures are currently a penny lower this morning, after settling around 2 pennies lower on Monday. Rapid harvest progress and sluggish export sales are both weighing on the market. In the Friday USDA crop report, average yield estimates climbed by 2 bu/ac each in IA (to a projected state record of 183 bu/ac), OH, and SD, but dropped by 3 bu/ac in IL and 2 bu/ac in ND. Estimated US exports were untouched at 1,850 mbu, while estimated ending stocks slipped to 1,561 mbu due to the reduced production. The world ending stocks estimate for the 15/16 crop was cut by 1.86 MMT to 187.83 MMT. Ending stocks ex-China and ex-US drop more dramatically from last year to this year. The weekly USDA Crop Progress and Export Inspections reports will be published today, due to the Columbus Day federal holiday on Monday.
Soybean futures are trading 5 to 6 cents higher this morning. Nearby futures have posted higher closes in 5 of the past 6 sessions. The US production estimate on Friday for the 15/16 crop was down 47 mbu from the September figure. Statewide average yield estimates climbed by a point in MN, MO, and IN, and by two in OH. Yields in IA (53 bu/ac), MI (46 bu/ac), MN (48 bu/ac), NE (56 bu/ac), and SD (46 bu/ac) are each projected to set new statewide average records. The USDA cut the 15/16 export figure by 50 mbu from last month due to slow export sales. Watch the Export Inspections report this morning for any signs of larger volumes than we were doing a year ago. Estimated Brazilian exports climbed by nearly 2 MMT to 56.45 MMT in the Friday USDA report, and are up more than 4.9 MMT for calendar year 2015.
Wheat futures are steady to slightly higher this morning, after closing a quiet Monday trade 2 to 3 cents lower in CHI and KC, and around a penny lower in MPLS. On Friday, the USDA hiked Australian and Canadian wheat production by 1 MMT each to 27 MMT and 26 MMT respectively. Other Australian estimates are going the other way, toward 24.5 MMT. The Canadian hike was expected, due to an earlier Stats Canada update.
Live cattle futures finished 25 cents to $1.15 higher on Monday. Feeders closed with triple digit gains in Nov15 and Jan16 yesterday. Oct15 feeders closed just 40 cents higher as they are above $189 and need to converge with the CME Index before expiration. The CME Feeder Cattle Index for 10/9 was down 29 cents at $184.00. Average cash cattle prices ($124 live and $195.50 dressed) rose last week after eight consecutive weeks of falling prices. USDA reported Monday afternoon choice boxes were $2.30 higher to $205.30, and select boxes were up $1.23 to $199.12. Estimated FI slaughter on Monday was 112,000 head, 6,000 head larger than last week, and up 2,000 head from the same time in 2014.
Hog futures settled Columbus Day trade 37 to 48 cents higher. The CME Lean Hog Index for 10/8 was 9 cents higher to $74.84. The Monday afternoon average carcass cutout price was 89 cents higher at $89.47 according to the USDA. All cutouts, excluding loins (-30 cents), were higher yesterday. Bellies rose the most, up $2.65 to average of $163.88/cwt. Cash hog base prices were up 26 cents in the WCB on Monday, and 23 cents higher in the IA/MN region. Estimated slaughter yesterday was 419,000 head, down 16,000 head from last week, and 6,000 head smaller than a year ago for the equivalent Monday.
Cotton futures are 3 to 10 points higher this morning, after closing 9 points lower to 14 points higher on Monday. On Friday, the USDA changed the average cotton yield dramatically in MS, losing 107 lbs/ac to an updated statewide average of 1112 lbs/ac. Cotton yields in nearby AR (1218 lbs/ac) are projected to set a new statewide average record. World cotton production was reduced by 1.36 million 480-pound bales to 107.38 million bales, with USDA citing the reduction in the US production as well as lower production in Australia, Brazil and China. There were 43,224 certified bales in delivery warehouses on 10/9, with 180 new certified bales, and 34 decertified bales. USDA raised the AWP for this week as expected, to 45.22, and dropped the MLG/LDP to 6.78 through October 15.