Corn futures are trading fractionally higher this morning. They ended the Monday session with most contracts 2 to 4 cents lower, pressured by another week of low export inspections. Open interest showed some net new selling, up 9,011 contracts in the preliminary report. Most of that was in the March. The USDA announced a private export sale of 110,000 MT of corn to Mexico for 17/18 delivery Monday morning. Their weekly Export Inspections report indicated shipments of 658,403 MT for the week ending 12/7. That was 24.53% lower than this week last year but up 8.8% from the previous week. Analysts are estimating the USDA will trim the 17/18 US corn ending stocks number by 9 mbu to 2.478 bbu later this morning. World ending stocks for 17/18 are projected to be trimmed 1.14 MMT to 202.72 MMT.
Soybean futures are currently 1 ½ cents lower after losing 5 to 7 ½ cents on Monday and failing to hold overnight gains. December meal was down $4.00/ton, with nearby bean oil 14 points in the red. Monday morning’s USDA Export Inspections report showed 1.230 MMT in exports during week of 12/7. That was a drop of 31.78% from the week prior and 33.31% behind this time a year ago. The USDA is expected to increase the 17/18 US ending stocks number for soybeans 15 mbu to 440 mbu, as traders are looking for a cut in projected exports. On the world side ending stocks were seen at 97.83 MMT in surveys, but the market acts like it expects a larger number.
Wheat futures are mostly 1 cent lower to 1 cent higher this morning, with Minneapolis spring wheat the weakest of the three classes. They saw losses of 4 to 5 1/2 cents in most CBT and KC contracts, with MPLS 1 to 2 1/2 cents lower. All wheat exports for the week that ended last Thursday totaled 316,867 MT. That is 38.87% lower than this time last year and down 32.9% from last week. Analysts are expecting to see a slight reduction in the world wheat ending stocks number on Tuesday, mainly from lower expected Australian production. That ending stocks number is estimated at 267.05 MMT, down 0.48 MMT. US ending stocks are estimated to be 938 mbu, up 3 mbu from November. Egypt’s GASC is seeking wheat for January 21-31 delivery, with results expected later today. Russia has the inside track, but there are still concerns about the ergot issue.
Live cattle futures ended Monday with 5 to 6.5 cent losses in most contracts. Feeder cattle futures were mixed with nearby Jan 22.5 cents higher. The CME feeder cattle index on December 8 was down 8 cents to $154.32. Cash cattle activity consisted mainly of building show lists. Wholesale boxed beef values were lower on Monday afternoon. Choice was down 6 cents at $205.53, with select 31 cents lower at $185.66. Estimated week to date FI cattle slaughter was 120,000 head, 1,000 head fewer than the previous week but 6,000 head larger than the same Monday last year.
Lean hog futures settled the Monday session with most contracts steady to $1.825 lower. The CME Lean Hog Index for 12/7 was up 18 cents to $65.48. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was down $2.01 at $81.69 in the Monday afternoon report. The butt was the only cut reported higher with the belly primal down $7.48. The national base hog price was 7 cents lower at $58.92. The WCB was down 29 cents, with the IA/MN region 49 cents lower. The USDA daily FI hog slaughter was 464,000 head. That was down 1,000 head from the previous week and 22,000 head more than the same Monday last year.
Cotton futures are mostly 30 to 35 points higher this morning after they were 15 to 72 points in the red on Monday. The USDA cotton classing report showed 1.555 million upland bales classed during the week ending 12/7. YTD 11.827 million upland bales have been classed. The USDA Adjusted World Price (AWP) is 65.03 cents through Thursday. One year ago it was 60.22 cents, so we are up 8% from last year at this time. Online cash sales rose to 12,519 bales reported on the Seam, as prices were down 126 points to 68.64 cents/lb. The Cotlook A index was up 150 points from the previous day on December 8 to 84.70 cents/lb.