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Corn futures settled Friday trade more than 7 cents higher, notching out a slight gain for the week. The December contract ended September with a 21 1/4 cent gain on the month. USDA had corn stocks in all positions at 1.737 bbu in its quarterly report published on Friday morning. That was about 17 mbu tighter than the average pre-report trade guess, but still 21 mbu looser than the estimate from the September 12 crop reports. Weekly data from the CFTC in the Commitment of Traders report showed managed money with a larger net short position than they had the previous week.
Soybean futures were mostly 2 to 3 3/4 cents higher on the day, but the November contract still ended the week a penny lower. The November contract finished the month of September 11 cents higher than it began. The USDA’s quarterly Grain Stocks report published at 11 AM CDT. had US soybean stocks in all positions as of Sept 1. At 197mbu; slightly tighter than the average trade guess, but up 2 mbu from the Sept. 12 estimate. The 2015 production figure was reduced, but only by about 3 mbu. The Commitment of Traders report showed managed money accounts continuing to reduce their net long position in soybean futures and options.
Wheat futures ended Friday trade mixed with HRW contracts lower, but the SRW and HRS contracts were higher. December HRS ended the week more than a dime higher, but HRW lost 6 cents and SRW lost nearly 3 cents. Two USDA reports containing key fundamentals for the wheat market were published Friday morning. The Small Grains Summary report had the latest official US production figures for each class, and the Grain Stocks showed how much wheat was in the country as of September 1. The trade was on average leaning towards larger HRW production, and slightly smaller SRW and HRS production, as well as a sizeable increase in the ending stocks estimate. The reports showed September 1 wheat stocks were 2.527 bbu, which was larger than the average trade guess, but below our estimate. Total wheat production was 2.309 bbu, combined winter wheat production was 1.67 bbu, other spring wheat production was 534 mbu, and Durum production was 104 mbu.
Live cattle futures were sharply lower with the front two contracts limit down on the day. October futures lost nearly 8.5% on the week, and finished below the $99 mark. Feeders were also sharply lower with most contracts posting daily losses from $3.80 to $4.35. October futures lost $9.225 since last Friday and were down The CME Feeder cattle Index for 9/29 was $133.95. Average prices for wholesale beef were sharply lower in the Friday afternoon report. Choice was down $2.42 and select was $1.07 lower. Cash cattle trade on Friday was relatively thin, but reportedly took place between $97 and $100, with a weighted average of $99.89. Dressed sales on Friday were very thin, but averaged $158.95. Trade this week before Friday ranged from $100 to $103 or live, and $159-$161 for dressed steers. Weekly estimated FI slaughter through Saturday at 611,000 head about 19,000 head larger than last week, and 42,000 head larger than a year ago. YTD slaughter is 4.5% larger than last year at this time.
Lean hog futures were sharply lower on Friday with the front two contracts down the daily limit. The October contract finished the week nearly five bucks/cwt lower than a week earlier. After the close, USDA reported inventory of all hogs and pigs as of Sept. 1 was 102.4% of a year earlier, when the trade was on average looking for only 101.1% vs. a year ago. The average guess for the breeding herd was spot on at 100.5% of year ago, but market hogs were 102.6% of a year ago which was more than the largest pre-report trade guess. Sept-Nov farrowings were on average expected to be 99.6% vs. year ago, and they were actually slightly larger than a year earlier. Pigs kept per litter were a new record for the Jun-Aug time frame at 10.58. The weighted average carcass value was 13 cents lower at $73.92 on Friday. The national average cash hog base price reported this afternoon was down another 68 cents with a weighted average of $48.27. Weekly FI slaughter is 2.436 million head including Saturday estimates; 30,000 head smaller than a week earlier, but 167,000 head larger than the same period a year ago. YTD hog slaughter is running about 1% larger than it was at this time last year.
Cotton futures were higher on the session, posting gains from 19 to 35 points. The December contract still lost nearly 3% this week. Weekly data from the CFTC on the Commitment of Traders report showed managed money accounts increasing their net long position by about 9.4% during the week ending Tuesday 9/27. The weekly AWP rose to 60.09 for this coming week, from 58.85 last week. It will be in effect through Thursday and of course means no LDP or MLG opportunity. Commodity Credit Corporation also announced a special import quota for upland cotton that permits importation of a quantity of upland cotton equal to one week’s domestic mill use. The quota will be established on October 6, 2016, allowing importation of (62,530 bales) of upland cotton. These quotas are triggered when the U.S. Far East price exceeds the prevailing world market price for 4 consecutive weeks. The Cotlook A Index is 77.95, down 1.05 for 9/29.