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Corn futures settled mostly 7 to 7 1/2 cents lower on Friday with Dec16 down 7 cents on the day, and losing 18 3/4 cents on the week. The PFA tour estimated IA average yield at 188.17 bpa vs. the 3 year average of 176.98. Their MN estimate is 182.32 vs. the 3 year average of 180.91. Ethanol futures were slightly lower on the session. The Dec17-Dec16 corn spread reached a new high on Friday at 41.75 cents. As of the Tuesday close, managed money had reduced its net-short position by a net 7,537 contracts vs. a week earlier according to the CFTC report published on Friday after the markets closed.
Soybean futures finished the session with losses of 6 to 8 3/4 cents. September futures lost 36 1/4 cents or 3.66% on the week. Prices found pressure from a higher US Dollar, and ideas that the US crop will keep getting bigger with plenty of moisture in most of the major growing areas during much of August. PFA Tour updates from IA number came out last night (1224.28 per sample) is 10.6% larger than the 3 year average. The MN pod count was up 10% vs. the 3 year average. These samples do not take into account grain weight per pod, which is a key yield variable. It is too early. Weekly CFTC data in the Commitment of Traders report showed managed money accounts with a net long position that was net 25,398 contracts larger than it was a week earlier.
Wheat futures were sharply lower on Friday. The front month contract for SRW lost 43.5 cents this week, and Sept HRW futures were down 29cents. Lead month MPLS futures finished the week 38 1/4 cents lower than a week earlier. The US Dollar Index turned higher on the session after the market had digested a load of “Fedspeak” from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. She stated that economic conditions for a rate increase had improved, but offered no specifics as to when; we suspect they will hold off until after the election. Egypt tendered for wheat to be delivered before October 2. After not buying anything earlier in the week, they agreed to purchase 108,000 MT of Russian wheat on Friday.
Live cattle futures were down more than two dollars in the front two contracts on Friday and August futures lost $3.20 for the week. Feeders were also sharply lower, ending Friday trade with most contracts showing losses of at least $1.725. September feeders were down 2.81% on the week. Wholesale beef prices were lower on Friday with choice down 88 cents and the select average 58 cents lower at $199.48 and $193.57 respectively. From Friday to Friday, the choice price was down 59 cents and select was only 3 cents lower. Cash cattle trade was light on Friday The last fully reported market was on Wednesday with live sales from $114.50 to $115.50, and dressed sales sold from $181 to $182. USDA estimates WTD cattle slaughter including Saturday is 47,000 head larger than the same week last year, but only 1,000 head larger than the previous week.
Lean hog futures were sharply higher on Friday with the October contract up $2.625 on the session, but posting a weekly loss of 60 cents or almost 1%. The CME Lean Hog index for 8/24 was $67.04, up a nickel. The USDA weighted average pork carcass value was 14 cents lower on Friday, and up 2.45% vs. a week ago. Cash hog base prices were a dollar lower on Friday with a national weighted average of $60.68. WTD hog slaughter including Saturday estimates is 2.266 million head. That is about 25,000 head smaller than last week’s total, but 41,000 head larger than the same week last year.
Cotton futures ended Friday trade mixed, but within 5 points of unchanged with December down one point on the session, and unchanged for the week, but with a trading range of 205 points since last Friday. The USD was up more than 700 points following a speech from the Chair of the Federal Reserve this morning. Crude oil futures lost a few cents/barrel on Friday. USDA put the new average world price (AWP) at 58.81, down from 60.23 last week. There is, of course, no LDP at that price level. The Cotlook A Index is at 77.15, down 0.75 for 8/25. ICE has certified stocks at 49,500 RB.