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Corn futures closed 7 to 8 cents higher on the day. The Dec 14 contract displayed the most strength and closed at $5.04. The weekly EIA report showed ethanol production at 910,000 bpd, which was lower compared to last week’s figure of 939,000 bpd. Ethanol stocks were reported at 16.5 million barrels, up 500,000 from last week. Ethanol imports were 11 million this week. South Korea’s KFA group was said to have purchased 60,000 MT of optional origin corn. Trade estimates for Thursdays USDA weekly export sales report are in the 400,000 to 1 MMT range.
Soybean futures closed 10 cents lower to 7 cents higher. The May 14 contract displayed the most weakness and closed at $14.69. Two soybean cargoes out of Brazil were reportedly switched to the US which may add to the concerns regarding China cancelation rumors. Brazil’s Abiove now expects soy exports will be 43 MMT, which is lower than their previous forecast of 44 MM. Production was left unchanged at 86.1 MMT. Trade ideas for USDA weekly export sales are 50,000-750,000 MT, depending on how many old crop cancellations you want to assume.
Wheat futures closed 3 to 5 cents higher on the day. The May 14 MGEX contract displayed the most strength and was up a nickel. Japan purchased 108,789 MT of milling wheat (51,419 MT was of US Origin). Oklahoma is confirming more freeze damage from the prior dip into the teens. Paris milling wheat futures for May delivery settled unchanged at 214.75. Pre-report estimates for the USDA Export Sales report in the morning are in the 325,000 to 900,000 MT. The Ukraine ag ministry confirmed that 8.157 MMT of wheat has been exported in the current July-June local marketing year.
Cattle futures settled $0.12 to $0.52 higher. Feeders settled $0.17 to $0.32 higher. Estimated week to date slaughter was reported at 334,000 head compared to 348,000 head last week. Wholesale beef prices are higher again today following the smaller Cold Storage numbers. Choice boxes were up $1.43 at $232.64 while select boxes are up $1.05 at $220.67. On the Tuesday USDA Cold Storage report USDA announced beef in cold storage at 404.754 million lbs on March 31, which is down 20.82% from the 511.233 million lbs figure in 2013. The total was 1% smaller than last month. The monthly Cattle on Feed report will be released on Friday. April 1 inventory is expected to be 100.4% of year ago. The CME Feeder Cattle Index was up $0.22 at $177.35.
Lean Hogs settled $2.95 to $3.00 higher on the day. Both the June and July 14 contracts were lock limit $3 higher thanks to the bullish Cold Storage report. Estimated week to date slaughter was reported at 1,102,000 head compared to 1,204,000 head last week. The CME Lean Hog Index was down another $1.17 at $118.48. The pork carcass cutout value was up $.32 at $117.41 in the pm report. Carcass based prices from the IA/MN area were $0.48 higher, with Western Corn Belt values up $1.27 overall. The ECB prices were not reported due to only 62 reported receipts. The USDA Cold Storage report showed pork in cold storage at 575.223 million lbs Mar 31, which is down 11.20% from the 647.784 million lbs figure in 2013. Pork stocks were also down 12% from February, indicating that the trade has been unsuccessful in trying to build a buffer for summer.
Cotton futures closed 28 points lower to 209 points higher. The front month May 14 contract displayed the most strength and notched an impressive triple digit gain. Cash activity picked up yesterday with grower to business sales coming in at 779 bales compared to no activity the previous session. China cotton futures on the Zhengzhou exchange for July delivery were down 1.35%. China HSBC PMI activity for April was reported at 48.3, up from the 48.0 in March. The US dollar index was slightly weaker. ICE Certified stocks were reported @ 294,337 bales, with 2,348 new certs, 88 decerts and 6,672 bales awaiting review. The Cotlook A Index is up 1.00 at 94.00.