Wheat up on harvest delays

Soybeans were mostly lower, with September up on the tight supply and good demand. Development is running at or ahead of average and the crop condition rating improved slightly on the week. The trade expects a record crop this year, keeping the long term fundamentals bearish. Soybean meal was mixed, matching beans, and oil was lower on the generally lower tone in the complex, along with spillover from crude oil.

Corn was higher on technical buying and spillover from wheat. Growing conditions look good and corn development is running ahead of average, with the crop in very good shape. There was no real fresh supportive news, but contracts are starting to see new demand around current price levels. Ethanol futures were lower.

The wheat complex was higher on commercial and technical buying. Minneapolis led the way, with the spring wheat harvest behind average. Also, trade’s also watching weather in Europe and the situation in Ukraine, and expecting some new demand after the recent decline in price. Japan’s tendering for 146,900 tons of wheat from the U.S., Canada, and Australia. The German Farmers Association projects domestic wheat production at 26.2 million tons.

Cattle futures and beef values were lower on Tuesday

The cash cattle market was not tested on Tuesday afternoon with both bids and asking prices poorly defined. A few feedlot managers have priced steers and heifers around 157.00 to 158.00 in the South, and 248.00 to 250.00 in the North. Significant trade volume will probably be delayed until late in the week. The kill totaled 115,000 head, 1,000 less than last week, and 10,000 smaller than a year ago.

Boxed beef cutout values were lower on light demand and light to moderate offerings. Choice boxed beef was down 2.19 at 252.91, and select was 2.66 lower at 243.91.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled 40 to 132 points lower. The lack of developing support through the morning and a fear of further pressure was the main driver in the markets on Tuesday. Trader interest seemed very confident of turning markets higher in the early trade. However, a lack of follow through support and a quick reversal in feeder cattle futures quickly turned futures lower. August settled 1.10 lower at 150.50 and October was down 1.32 at 147.22.

Feeder cattle ended the session 87 to 237 points lower. Feeders experienced significant losses on Tuesday. The aggressive price swing through the complex was near $4.00 a hundredweight, following strong triple digit gains during overnight trade that eroded to triple digit losses in some contracts. Little has changed fundamentally in the market, with a momentum shift being the culprit that seemed to drive the market lower. August settled .87 lower at 217.15, and September was down 1.82 at 214.25.

Feeder cattle receipts at the Oklahoma National Stockyards on Monday totaled 4691 head. Compared to last week, feeder steers and heifers were steady to 4.00 higher. Steer and heifer calves mostly 4.00 to 6.00 higher. Demand was moderate to good and improved some from last week. Quality was plain to average. Feeder steers medium and large 1 averaging 771 pounds brought 220.49 per hundredweight. 688 pound heifers averaged 214.65. [Read more...]

Closing Grain and Livestock Futures: August 19, 2014

Sep. corn closed at $3.62 and 1/2, up 1 and 3/4 cents
Sep. soybeans closed at $11.150 and 1/4, up 4 and 3/4 cents
Sep. soybean meal closed at $399.80, up $7.74
Sep. soybean oil closed at 32.66, down 30 points
Sep. wheat closed at $5.46, up 3 and 1/2 cents
Aug. live cattle closed at $150.50, down $1.10
Oct. lean hogs closed at $94.82, down 27 cents
Sep. crude oil closed at $94.48, down $1.93
Dec. cotton closed at 64.16, up 32 points
Sep. Class III milk closed at $22.85, up 42 cents
Aug. gold closed at $1,295.10, down $2.60
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 16,919.59, up 175.83 points

Tuesday midday cash livestock markets

It will be a sleepy session in cattle country today with bids and asking prices poorly defined. A few showlists have been priced around 157.00 to 158.00 in the South, and 248.00 to 250.00 in the North. New showlists are smaller in Texas, Nebraska and Colorado. On the other hand, the Kansas offering is definitely larger. Overall, fed numbers seem to be a bit smaller and generally manageable.

Boxed beef cutout values are lower in the morning report. Choice beef is down .97 at 254.13, and select is .68 lower at 245.89.

Feeder cattle receipts at the Oklahoma National Stockyards on Monday totaled 4691 head. Compared to last week, feeder steers and heifers were steady to 4.00 higher. Steer and heifer calves mostly 4.00 to 6.00 higher. Demand was moderate to good and improved some from last week. Cattle futures beginning to show some positive signs again as limited cattle numbers continue to drive demand. Quality was plain to average. Feeder steers medium and large 1 averaging 771 pounds brought 220.49 per hundredweight. 688 pound heifers averaged 214.65.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota and Eastern direct trade areas are not reported due to confidentiality. The West is 1.75 lower at 100.50 weighted average on a carcass basis. Nationally the market is 1.11 lower at 100.38. Missouri direct base carcass meat price is 2.00 to 3.00 lower from 95.00 to 98.00. Hogs at Midwest markets are steady to an instance of 3.00 lower from 67.00 to 80.00.

The pork carcass value is down 1.05 FOB plant at 109.97.

The cash hog market continues to drop like a stone. Yesterday’s late rally in lean futures hardly altered the technical profile and probably amounted to no more than piecemeal profit taking.

September soybeans take the lead

Soybeans were higher on commercial and technical buying. September led the way on the tight supply and solid demand, while the other months followed, watching the weather. USDA reports 95% of beans are blooming, matching the five year average, with 83% at the pod setting stage, compared to 79% on average. 71% of soybeans are in good to excellent shape, up 1% on the week. Soybean meal and oil were higher, following the lead of beans.

Corn was lower on fund and technical selling. Corn’s also watching the weather and while rainfall would be beneficial, there’s some concern about temperatures. According to the Ag Department, 70% of corn is at the dough making stage, compared to 63% on average, with 22% dented, compared to 27% on average. As of Sunday, 72% of corn is rated good to excellent, down 1% from a week ago, but still well above a year ago. Ethanol futures were lower.

The wheat complex was lower on fund and technical selling. There’s been more rain in the Southern Plains, recharging soil moisture ahead of winter wheat planting. USDA states the winter wheat harvest is pretty much over, while spring wheat is 17% harvested, compared to 33% on average following rainfall around the Northern Plains, with 68% of spring wheat called good to excellent, down 2% from last week. Still, at least right now, the delays and potential impact on quality don’t seem to reach the level of concern faced by Europe’s crop. The complex is also keeping an eye on the situation in Ukraine.

The cash hog market continues to tumble lower

The cash cattle market was quiet on Monday afternoon following the distribution of the new showlists. The fed cattle offering appears to be smaller in Texas, Nebraska and Colorado, but larger in Kansas. A few asking prices have been suggested around 157.00 to 158.00 in the South and 248.00 to 250.00 in the North. The kill totaled 108,000 head, 6,000 below last week and 11,000 smaller than last year.

Boxed beef cutout values were lower on light to moderate demand and moderate offerings. Choice beef was down .44 at 255.10 and select was 1.81 lower at 246.57.

Live cattle contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange settled 20 to 100 points higher as moderate to strong buyer support redeveloped following the volatile shifts seen through the market during the morning trade. Support came from renewed interest in the feeder cattle complex and the ability for boxed beef to remain mixed in a narrow range. August was up a dollar at 151.60 and October was .80 higher at 148.55.

Feeder cattle ended 80 to 155 points in the back after bouncing higher and lower through the morning session with little direction coming from any fundamental shifts in the market. Expectations that that the cattle on feed report due out on Friday may show lower placements may have lent some support to the complex. Lower corn values were also supportive. August feeders settled .80 higher at 218.02, and September was up .97 at 216.07.

Feeder cattle receipts at the Joplin, Missouri Regional Stockyards on Monday totaled 4,000 head. Compared to last week, steer and heifer calves under 450 pounds are steady. Calves over 450 pounds and yearlings opened 4.00 to 5.00 lower. Demand is moderate and supply was moderate. Feeder steers, medium and large 1 weighing 500 to 600 pounds traded from 230.00 to 260.00 per hundredweight. 5 to 6 weight heifers brought 225.00 to 233.00. [Read more...]

Closing Grain and Livestock Futures: August 18, 2014

Sep. corn closed at $3.60 and 3/4, down cents
Sep. soybeans closed at $11.15 1/2, up 13 cents
Sep. soybean meal closed at $392.10, up $3.80
Sep. soybean oil closed at 32.96, up 9 points
Sep. wheat closed at $5.42 and 1/2, down 8 and 3/4 cents
Aug. live cattle closed at $151.60, up $1.00
Oct. lean hogs closed at $95.10, up 15 cents
Sep. crude oil closed at $96.41, down 94 cents
Dec. cotton closed at 63.84, down 51 points
Aug. Class III milk closed at $22.10, down 6 cents
Aug. gold closed at $1,297.70, down $6.80
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 16,838.74, up 175.83 points

Midday cash livestock markets for Monday

Cattle country is quiet with bids and asking prices not fully established with producers and packers counting heads. Last week’s trade in the North started its decline on Wednesday and continued downhill from there on Thursday and Friday. The full range on dressed sales in Nebraska was 242.00 to 248.00, the 248.00 took place early Wednesday and a few sales reported Friday were down to 242.00. Kansas trade took place on Wednesday and Thursday with live sales marked at 1.55.00. Texas waited until Friday with live sales marked at 155.00.

Boxed beef cutout values are mixed with the choice beef up .11 at 255.65, and select down .64 at 247.74.

Feeder cattle receipts at the Joplin, Missouri Regional Stockyards on Monday totaled 4,000 head. Compared to last week, steer and heifer calves under 450 pounds are steady. Calves over 450 pounds and yearlings opened 4.00 to 5.00 lower. Demand is moderate and supply was moderate. Feeder steers, medium and large 1 weighing 500 to 600 pounds traded from 230.00 to 260.00 per hundredweight. 5 to 6 weight heifers brought 225.00 to 233.00.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota and Western direct trade areas are not reported due to confidentiality. Nationally the market is 2.18 lower with a weighted average of 101.11 on a carcass basis. The Eastern hogs are 1.72 lower at 101.65. Missouri direct base carcass meat price is 3.00 lower from 98.00 to 100.00. Butcher hogs at Midwest markets are steady with instances of 3.00 and 4.00 lower from 69.00 to 80.00 on a live basis.

The pork carcass value is down 1.34 FOB plant at 110.46 in the morning report.

For the week ending Aug. 2, federally inspected hog carcass weights averaged 213 pounds, remaining steady with the previous week’s average. Year to date carcass weights have averaged 214 pounds, 3.8% heavier than the same period last year. Weights are not anticipated to drift lower in the coming weeks but should instead begin to increase on a seasonal basis during the fall.

A very good week in the dairy markets

A pretty good close on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange dairy markets on Friday.  For the week cash cheese barrels are up 8.75 cents, blocks up 12 cents and butter is up 26 cents.  Nonfat dry milk is down 14.25 cents.  The September Class III contract increased $1.10, October gained 45 cents and February lost a penny.

The butter market is described as “firm”, some butter makers know inventory levels are not where they need to be to meet upcoming demand but at the same time, no one wants to be caught with a lot of extra inventory at these prices.  More milk is going into Class I as bottlers get ready for schools to reopen, that means more milk is being skimmed so cream supplies are picking up.

Domestic cheese demand remains strong and the increase in prices on the CME is pulling some milk from the dryers as the nonfat dry milk price declines.  Foreign Ag Service says U.S. cheese exports from January through June totaled 438.7 million pounds up 34 percent compared to the first half of 2013.  Exports have already slowed the last couple of months as global prices have declined.

The European dairy market is going through some adjustment as Russia cut-off imports from the E.U.  Last year Russia bought 33 percent of E.U. cheese exports, 25 percent of butter sales and 27 percent of the anhydrous milkfat exports.  USDA FAS estimates Russia accounted for 1.5 percent of total E.U. milk production.

Wheat leads, watching Europe

Soybeans were mostly lower on profit taking. China bought another 110,000 tons of new crop U.S. beans and the near term supply remains tight, supporting September. The Farm Service Agency says prevented planting on beans is around 800,000 acres. Soybean meal was up and bean oil was down on the adjustment of product spreads. The NOPA July member crush was larger than expected and up from June at more than 119.3 million bushels.

Corn was higher on short covering, technical buying, and spillover from wheat. The FSA has prevented planting on corn at more than 1.5 million acres, but that really doesn’t change the outlook. Crop weather looks good with rain in the forecast for the Western Cornbelt, but there was at least some frost reported in the Eastern Cornbelt Friday morning. Ethanol futures were lower.

The wheat complex was higher on fund and commercial buying, with Chicago leading the way. The trade’s watching forecasts for more rain around Europe, potentially further damaging crop quality. The trade’s also keeping an eye on the situation in Ukraine, with tensions flaring at least somewhat Friday. FSA reports prevented planting on wheat is currently at 1.36 million acres.