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Corn futures closed 1-2 cents higher in most contracts on Turnaround Tuesday. DTN has the national cash corn price at $3.17, the lowest in 2017. That puts the national average basis at -38 3/4 cents, which is 11 1/2 cents weaker than the same time a year ago. In the past 12 years the Reuters poll analysts have overestimated planting intentions for corn 6 times and underestimated the same. On average they overstated plantings by 1.24% and understated by 1.60%. They have also guessed high 5 of the 12 years for March 1 corn stocks by an average of 2.03%, and were low 7 times by 1.90%. Another low pathogenic strain of the bird flu was found on a Georgia farm, causing 18,000 birds to be culled. The South African Crop Estimates Committee projects the 2017 corn crop up 84% from last year at 14.3 MMT.
Soybean futures were marginally higher on Tuesday, as May 17 was up 1/2 cent. Soymeal futures were mostly steady and soy oil was up around 18 points. The national average cash price for soybeans was $8.95 1/4 on Monday evening, according to DTN, the lowest since October 14. The national average basis is -76 cents, 21 cents weaker than the same day last year. Oklahoma canola condition ratings are 41% gd/ex this week, down from 63% last year. The state report showed 29% blooming, vs. 21% the same week last year. The earliest planting dates for soybeans to qualify for crop insurance are April 15, extending to May 5 in ND and CO. The USDA attache report estimates 17/18 Canadian oilseed production up 1.05% from last year at 25.265 MMT. Crush is projected 4.53% lower, at 10.523 MMT.
Wheat futures finished 2 to 3 3/4 cents higher on Tuesday. CHI was the strongest, up 2 1/2-3 3/4 cents, with MLPS and KC up 2-2 3/4 cents. Analysts in the Reuters March poll have been high on their guesses 5 out of the last 12 years for the planting intentions report, and low 7 of those years. During the low years they were off by an average of just 0.73%, vs. high years when they were 1.79% away from the USDA Intentions number. CO wheat conditions are rated 32% gd/ex compared to 51% LY, with NE conditions 39% g/e reported vs. 63% LY. Ukraine winter grains are in 85% good or satisfactory, as 35% if their spring grain crop is planted. The Indian government has placed a 10% tariff on imported wheat.
Live cattle settled mixed with April the only contract to end lower. Feeder cattle futures were also mixed as April 17 was down 15 cents, while the rest were higher. The CME feeder cattle index was at $133.26 for 3/27, a gain of 17 cents. Wholesale beef prices in the afternoon report were both slightly lower, as choice boxes were down 34 cents, to $219.57, and select lost 60, at $213.02. Cash cattle sales of $125-$126 were reported in the Southern Plains, some with a delivery date of 2 weeks or more. Estimated FI cattle slaughter through Tuesday was 231,000 head 1,000 fewer than last week, but 21,000 head more than the same week in 2016. Showlists on the FCE have 3,963 head up for auction for Wednesday’s sale. Hong Kong eased its ban on Brazilian meat, accepting meat from all but the 21 plants still under investigation.
Lean hog futures lost 55 cent to $1.075 on Tuesday. The CME Lean Hog Index for 3/24 was down 67 cents to $70.24. USDA’s average pork carcass value in the afternoon report was $77.61, $1.51 lower. The loin and rib primals were higher. National cash hog base prices were 39 cents lower with the weighted average at $63.31. IA/MN and WCB were 62 and 60 cents lower, respectively. WTD estimated FI slaughter for hogs was 886,000 head, 1,000 more than the previous week and 154,000 head above the same week a year ago. Brazil has ordered 6 of the 21 plants under investigation in the inspection scandal to close temporarily, with the other 15 only selling for domestic use.
Cotton futures closed 3 to 7 cents lower in the front months. The dollar ended the day 566 points higher. TX topsoil moisture was 48% short to very short in their latest crop conditions report. The USDA average world price (AWP) is 68.26 through Thursday. On the Seam, cash sales narrowed down to 528 bales, with prices dropping to 71.34 cents/lb. The Cotlook A index for March 27 was 35 points higher at 87.20. The ratio for on-call sales to on-call purchases for textile mills is still steep at 15-16:1.