Grain markets were mixed through today’s trade. Corn and soybean futures were able to post small gains while wheat once again struggled to find its footing and marked new contract lows. At the close December corn was 2 cents higher to settle at 485 ¾, just a penny off of the day’s high. November soybeans tacked on 6 cents to finish the day at 1369, that was just 4 ¼ cents off the day’s high. And December wheat was 11 ¼ cents lower to settle at 584 ½.
Last week’s tight ranging consolidation trade in corn took CVOL (volatility) back near its lowest levels since the spring, which may make options more appealing for those looking to manage risk or take a position ahead of tomorrow’s USDA report. Soybeans on the other hand have seen an uptick in volatility as question marks remain over the recent weather’s impact on yield potential for some of the top producing states.
The big-ticket item in the report will likely be yield estimates. The average analyst estimate for the US Corn yield comes in at 173.5 bushels per acre, that we could a decline of 1.6 bushels per acre from last month’s report and would but production right near 15 billion bushels. The average soybean yield estimate comes in at 50.2 bushel per acre, down 7 tenths of a bushel from last month, putting production near 4.16 billion bushels.
Livestock futures started the week off on a high note with live cattle, feeder cattle, and lean hogs all posting gains. At the close October live cattle were a dollar higher, settling at 184.22, that’s a new closing high. October feeders posted their fourth consecutive day of gains posting a new contract high and settling 2.30 higher to 261.45. On the snout side, October lean hogs were A dollar .02 higher to settle at 93.85.
Friday’s Commitment of Traders report showed funds holding a net long position of 93,546 futures and options contracts. Broken down that is 107,004 longs VS only 13,458 shorts. This is a slight smaller net long position than reported in the previous week. ON the feeder cattle side, funds remain net long roughly 13,500 contracts. Keep in mind that there is generally less trade volume in feeder cattle futures and though it may not seem like a large net long position relative to live cattle, it is still considered a large net long position for feeders.
This morning’s wholesale boxed beef report was weaker with choice cuts down 2.70 to 310.20 and select cuts down 76 cents to 285.29. Friday’s 5-area average price for live steers was reported at 182.75 with dressed steers coming in at 289.41. Bother were steady with what we saw through the week.