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Corn futures are trading steady across the board. Funds were estimated to be sellers of roughly 6,000 contracts yesterday. Export sales for the week ending April 10 were expected to come in between 500,000 – 900,000 MT. USDA put the actual figures at 794,500 MT (including 192,600 MT for 14/15). The weekly EIA report showed ethanol production at 939,000 bpd, which was sharply higher compared to last week’s figure of 896,000 bpd. It represents 100 million bushels of corn use per week and was the largest since the week ending December 8. Ethanol stocks were reported at 16.0 million barrels, down 400,000 from last week. Ethanol imports were 0 this week. The Buenos Aires exchange estimates that 19.7% of the crop there has been harvested. They would usually be about 32% done by now.
Soybean futures are trading steady to 3 cents higher. Funds were estimated to be buyers of around 5,000 contracts of beans and 2,000 lots of meal. Trade estimates for USDA weekly export sales were expected to come in at a very modest 150,000-350,000 MT due to assumed old crop cancellations. USDA put the actual figure at 419,900 MT (including 400,700 MT for 14/15). Trader talk is that Argentine harvest is around 21.4% complete, which is behind the average pace for this time of year of 38%. Malaysian palm oil futures were 38 points higher yesterday, giving a boost to US soy oil prices.
Wheat futures are trading 7 to 8 cents higher across the board. Funds were estimated sellers of around 4,000 contracts of CBOT Wheat. Trade estimates for USDA export sales this morning were 250-850,000 MT. USDA put the actual figures at 797,900 MT (including 359,900 MT for 14/15). Improved rain chances took the lead as the bearish catalyst yesterday. Profit taking by nervous longs ahead of the three day weekend was also a feature. Japan is tendering for 136,200 MT of food grade wheat in the weekly MOA tender. The EU issued export licenses for 421,000 tonnes of soft wheat yesterday. That takes the total to 24.3 MMT for the July/June marketing year.
Cattle futures are trading steady to 7 cents higher. USDA put weekly export sales for beef at 21,900 MT (a marketing year high). For the week ending April 12th the USDA reported chick placements at 163.6 million chicks down from 166.2 last week and 165.0 last year. Estimated week to date cattle slaughter was reported at 348,000 head compared to 350,000 head last week. Wholesale beef prices were higher with choice boxes up $0.89 at $223.75 while select boxes were up $1.33 at $214.47 in the afternoon report. Cash trade has been reported in Texas and Nebraska, with the former at $146 and the latter at $240. Volume would still be described as light. The CME Feeder Cattle Index was down $0.12 to $179.63.
Lean Hogs are trading 22 cents lower to 27 cents higher. USDA put weekly export sales for pork at 8,600 MT. For the week ending April 12th the USDA estimated Egg sets at 204.0 million eggs which was up from 203.5 last week and 199.7 last year. Poultry producers continue to have plenty of incentive to expand. Estimated week to date hog slaughter was reported at 1,204,000 head compared to 1,225,000 head last week. The afternoon pork carcass cutout value was $0.57 lower at $124.121.16. The CME Lean Hog Index is down $1.43 at $124.12. In the WCB, the carcass base prices are down $2.67 at an average of $114.67. Values from the ECB were not reported by USDA yesterday, while values in the IA/MN areas were down $2.64.
Cotton futures are trading 29 to 40 points lower. USDA put the weekly export sales for cotton at 230,800 RB, including 218,800 RB for upland and 12,00 RB for Pima. Outside markets in the US offered a supportive tone yesterday, with the S&P 500 futures up another 17 handles at 1856. The Fed Beige Book was seen as viewing better growth opportunities. China cotton futures on the Zhengzhou exchange for May delivery were down 0.09%. ICE Certified stocks were rep orted @ 277,957 bales, with 2,069 new certs, 0 decerts and 1,000 bales awaiting review.