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Corn futures ended Monday trade with losses of 3 3/4 to 4 1/4 cents, with pressure coming from lower wheat and harvest progress. The weekly NASS report showed 76% of the national crop had been harvested as of Sunday night. That is up 15 points from a week ago and is 1 point behind the 5yr avg for this week. USDA showed weekly corn inspections for export were 541,527 MT, down 38.4% from last week, but up 31% vs. the total from the same week a year ago.
Soybean futures were mostly 9 to 10 1/4 cents higher to start the week. Dec bean oil was up 87 points, accounting for most of the day's gain in soybeans. The November soybean contract reached as high as $9.99 3/4 before selling off until it found support in the $9.85 area. Weekly export inspections reported by USDA this morning were the largest so far this marketing year at 2.739 MMT. That figure is up 9.2% vs. last week and +2.78% vs the same week last year. Traders were looking for today's NASS report to show about 77% of the US crop harvested, and the official figure was 76%. That is 14 points farther along than a week earlier, and on par with the 5yr avg pace.
Wheat futures were lower on the day with SRW futures the weakest; they were mostly 9 to 12 cents lower. HRW futures lost between 7.5 and 9 cents and HRS futures ended the day with most contracts between 1 1/2 and 4 1/4 cents lower. The Commitment of Traders report on Friday afternoon revealed a significant amount of short covering had taken place over the previous week; creating room for more shorts. A relatively poor showing for wheat in the weekly export inspections from USDA this morning added downward pressure as they were just 244,331 MT, down 52.5% from last week, and 22.7% smaller than this same week last year. YTD inspections are still up 27.1% year/year. NASS had winter wheat plantings at 79% and emergence at 60% as of Sunday night. Respectively, that is 3 points behind and two points ahead vs. their respective 5yr averages.
Live cattle futures posted triple digit gains on Monday following a bull-friendly Cattle on Feed (COF ) report, despite beef supplies up 9.26% month/month and 4.49% year/year. Cash cattle traded at $102 in NE and CO on Saturday. Feeders were also sharply higher, but the October contract only picked up 50 cents at $122.375. The CME feeder cattle index for 10/21 was down $1.18 at $119.48. Boxed beef prices were higher in the Monday afternoon report, with choice $1.20 and select up 44 cents. COF on October 1 were 100.37% of a year ago. Placements were 98.15% of year ago, and Marketings were 105.48% vs. year ago. The On Feed number was below trade expectations due to the light placement figure. The Cold Storage report showed frozen beef stocks up 9.26% month/month, and up 4.49% from last October. So, we have fewer cattle in the pipeline than assumed, but more beef already in the cooler. Monday slaughter is estimated at 114,000 head, down 1,000 head vs. last week and up 4,000 head vs. a year ago.
Lean hog futures settled with gains from 27.5 cents to $1.35 with the most strength in the front month contract. The USDA average pork carcass cutout value on Monday was reported 89 cents higher$72.96. USDA's monthly Cold Storage report published after the close on Friday had US pork stocks up 5.43% month/month, but down 2.21% year/year. Chicken stocks were down 4% year/year, but just 0.64% month/month. Cash hog base prices were 23 cents lower (nationally) with a weighted average of $45.21. Monday slaughter is estimated at 443,000, up 2,000 head vs. last Monday, and 7,000 head larger than a year ago.
Cotton futures lost between 14 and 25 points on Monday. The USD was slightly higher, but crude oil futures were down about 25 cents/barrel. NASS showed 39% of the national crop had been harvested as of Sunday, that is 2 points ahead of the 5yr average. The Texas harvest is 3 point behind its 5yr avg pace. Conditions improved slightly overall. US Upland cotton ginnings through October 24 are 2.304 million running bales. That is up 60.7% from this week last year. Texas ginnings are up nearly 50% vs. a year ago. NC and LA are the only states running behind last year's pace. As anticipated, USDA put the weekly average world price for this week at 60.66. The Far East price used was 78.09 with cost to market at 14.53 cents. The Cotlook A Index for 10/21 is 79.10.