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Corn futures ended Friday up more than a nickel for Dec16, but that contract still logged an 11 3/4 cent loss for the week. USDA reported last night that corn use for ethanol in October was 455 million bushels, up 4.6% from September and up 3.4% from October 2015. Sorghum use for ethanol was up 79% from September, but slightly below year ago. Analysts are also noting that corn export commitments have reached 53% of the current USDA full year forecast. They would typically be 51%, so there is room for an upward revision next Friday (WASDE report). SAFRAS is now projecting a Brazilian corn crop of 92.3 MMT (combined first and second crop) and a huge jump from last year. The weekly Commitment of Traders report showed managed money accounts adding to their net short position in corn futures and options during the week ending 11/29. They had 761 less longs and 8,106 more shorts than the previous week.
Soybean futures slipped another 1 to 2 1/4 on Friday and the January contract lost a net 18 1/2 cents (-1.77%) from a week earlier after posting a 42 3/4 cent range and putting in a new high for the move on Monday. Early session rallies evaporated several days this week. Dec16 bean meal was down $10.10 on the week, but Dec16 bean oil was 85 points higher. Chinese soybean futures at Dalian were up 9.5% this week, their strongest performance in about 15 months. They had been limited by government efforts to reduce speculation, but crush margins remain excellent for imported beans. CFTC data published on Friday afternoon had the managed money net position in sobeans as of Tuesday's close 21,061 contracts (18.53%) larger than it was a week earlier. Commercial accounts added about 10% to their net short position during the same time period.
Wheat futures ended Friday mostly higher, but some of the MPLS contracts logged slight losses on the session. Most of the SRW contracts were 5 to 8 3/4 cents higher, but Dec16 posted a 16 cent gain on the day, and an 8 3/4 cent loss on the week. Dec 16 HRW lost 21 1/4 cents during the week despite a 6 cent gain on Friday. US wheat export commitments are 31% larger than last year at this time, feeding ideas that USDA could bump up its estimate on the 9th. On the other hand, trade talk has the Aussie wheat crop above 30 MMT, vs. USDA at 28.3 MMT. As of market close on Tuesday, managed money accounts had added 6,221 contracts to their net long in HRW wheat during the previous week, but they added another 4,287 contracts to their net short position in SRW wheat.
Live cattle futures were sharply lower on Friday with most contracts losing more than $2. Dec16 was down 2.28% on the week. December options expired today. Feeders were mostly $2.725 to $3.175 lower, and January lost 2.06% from last Friday's close. The CME Feeder Index for 12/1 was $131.04, up 54 cents. Cash cattle trade reported on Friday was all at $114 with a few dressed sales reported at $175. Wholesale beef prices were lower on Friday with choice down 79 cents and select down 23 cents. Weekly slaughter including Saturday estimates is 616,000 head, which is 60,000 head larger than the same period last year. Weekly CFTC data showed managed money accounts adding another 18.9% to their net long position in cattle futures and options during the week ending Tuesday 11/29.
Lean hogs settled Friday trade mixed with Dec16 up 52.5 cents, and April 17 contract 30 cents lower. Dec futures ended the week 30 cents lower. The CME Lean Hog Index continues to climb. It is up 58 cents, to $48.80. USDA's weighted average pork carcass cutout lost $1.06 on Friday. Butts were the only cut with a higher average day/day. Cash hog base prices were 77 cents higher on average with a range $42.50 to $48.50 reported. Weekly FI slaughter including estimates for Saturday was 2.54 million head vs. 2.423 million head a year ago. Managed money accounts had a slightly larger net long position in lean hogs on Tuesday than they reported a week earlier.
Cotton futures posted small gains on Friday, but Dec16 ended the week 67 points lower than a week ago. Crude oil futures added another 62 cents/barrel to the January '17 contract to settle Friday trade at $51.68/barrel; up $5.62/barrel on the week. The US dollar was weaker again on Friday and finished the week about 830 points lower. The US unemployment rate dropped to 4.6%, the lowest since 2007. However, several people quit looking for work, with the labor participation rate dropping. Job growth continues to be positive, and this number reinforces ideas the Fed will hike short term interest rates next week. Chinese futures at Zhengzhou were lower by triple digits on Friday. The AWP is 60.66 for the coming week. Managed money accounts collectively added another 2,921 contracts to their net long position during the week ending November 29. The data shows them with their largest net long position ever reported in cotton futures and options.