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Corn futures finished Monday mixed and most contracts were within 1/4 cent of unchanged. Weekly export inspections for corn were a strong 963,897 MT, up about 6.8% week/week, and up 60.7% vs. the same week last year. Inspections for the current MY are at 19,806,071 MT to date, 76.7% larger vs. the same date last year. Friday's export sales report had total commitments as a % of the total USDA projection at 67% vs. the 5yr avg of 62% and the 48% that was booked or shipped by this time last year. Traders reported that Israel is seeking 85,000 MT of optional origin corn for March 5-May 15 delivery, with the tender closing Thursday.
Soybean futures traded 7 3/4 to 9 3/4 cents lower to start the week. Prices were hindered by drier weather in Argentina, helping the saturated soil and crops to dry out. Weekly export inspections reported by USDA this morning were 1.290 MMT, down about 9% from last week but still 92,546 MT larger than the same week a year ago. Total inspections are currently 16.9% above last year, with 37,151,702 MT YTD for this current marketing year. Friday's export sales report showed total commitments as a % of the total USDA projection were 88% as of the week ending 1/12. They were only 79% at this time last year and the 5yr avg is 84% by this time. China soybean imports are currently on pace for a record year, as they are currently showing a 4% to 5% increase over last year. YTD bean oil commits were shown at 61% of the total projection vs. their 5yr avg or 57% for this week.
Wheat futures settled mixed with CBT and KC both higher and MPLS down 4 1/4 cents. The USD was down 720 points on the session. Weekly USDA export inspections reported at 276,205 MT were down vs. the previous week, but still larger than the same week last year. US inspections through 1/19/17 are up about 25.9% vs. a year ago, but accumulated shipments as a % of total exports are running about 4% behind last year at this time. Buenos Aries Cereal Exchange reports estimated wheat production in Argentina at 15.8 MMT vs. the USDA’s estimate of 15 MMT.
Live cattle closed mixed from a dime lower to 20 cents higher on Monday. Feeder futures were mainly lower with most contracts down 17.5 to 60 cents. Their respective front months posted triple digit gains last week. Wholesale beef prices were higher this afternoon with choice up $1.35 and select up 19 cents with their respective averages at $191.77 and $186.83. Estimated FI slaughter for Monday was at 115,000 head, 4,000 head larger than last year. Today live trade was fairly inactive, while, while last week live trade was moderate on good demand in all feeding regions. Most sales were around $3 higher with most regions logging prices at $122, with some as low as $121 and some reported as high as $123 in the TX Panhandle. Dressed sales were mostly up about $5 for the week at $195.
Lean hogs finished lower on the session with Feb and May futures down 30 cents, and April hogs 70 cents lower. The CME lean hog index for 1/19 was another $67.01, up another 32 cents. USDA's weighted average carcass value was 33 cents lower in the afternoon report at $79.38. Ham cuts averaged $2.89 lower today while the rib and belly were up $2.32 and $2.49 respectively. Negotiated cash hog base prices had a national weighted average of $62.67, which was 21 cents lower. The WCB and IA/MN average prices were reported as $63.76 and $63.83 respectively. So far in 2017, total pork export commitments are 55% larger than 2016 sales were by this time. Estimated weekly FI slaughter is 440,000 head for Monday, 10,000 larger than a year ago.
Cotton futures showed triple digit gains in the front three contracts on Monday. Dec17 futures gained less than half as much as March 17 futures today. The USD lost another 720 points to add to losses, posted last week. Crude oil futures were also 37 cents lower on the session. The world average price (AWP) through next Thursday is now 62.58 cents. Grower to business sales fell to 16,574 bales from 36,363 bales on the Seam, while business to business trade was inactive. Total bales ginned so far for 2016 are at 14,389,700, compared to 11,337,250 in 2015. The Cotlook A Index is at 82.05 for 1/20, up 0.55.