Corn and soybean futures were lower following today’s USDA report while wheat showed signs of strength for the first time in the last four sessions. At the close December corn futures were 9 ¼ cents lower to settle at 476 1/2., the lowest close since August 15th. November soybeans broke and closed below the 50 day moving average for the first time since August 16th, finishing the day 22 ¼ cents lower to settle at 1346 ½. Wheat futures made new lows at 570 at the release of the report but managed to recover and finish the day 3 cents higher to 587 ½.
The USDA showed a US Corn yield at 173.8 bushels per acre, down 1.3 bushels from last month’s report but 3/10ths of a bushel more than expected. We saw an increase in harvested acres, which translated to a production number of 15.13 billion bushels, about 125 million bushels more than expected. The national average soybean yield was reported at 50.1 bushels per acre, 8/10ths of a bushel less than last month but in line with estimates. Production was reported at 4.146 billion bushels which was also inline with estimates.
New crop corn ending stocks came in at 2.221 billion bushels, above the average estimate of 2.14. New crop soybean ending stocks were reported at 220 million bushels, above the average analyst estimate.
Be sure to check out tomorrow’s Grain Express for an updated look at the technical landscape!
Below is a look at the headline numbers from today’s USDA report.
It was a mixed day in the cattle complex while lean hogs continued to show strength. At the close October live cattle futures were 7 cents lower, while the December contract managed to finish 17 cents higher. With less than a month until first notice day for October futures, we will likely continue to see volume shift to December. October feeder cattle finished the day 20 cents lower to 261.25, while the next most active contract, November, finished the day 15 cents higher. On the snout side, October futures were able to rally $2.72 to settle at 85.27, the highest closing price since August 1st.
Yesterday afternoon’s wholesale boxed beef report was weaker for both choice and select cuts. This morning’s report was more mixed with choice cuts 24 cents higher to 310.35 while select cuts lost $1.72 to 283.72. Yesterday’s 5-area average price for live steers was reported at 182.28 with dressed steers coming in at 289.48, fairly steady with what we’ve seen in recent reports. Yesterday’s slaughter was estimated at 125,000 head, just 1,000 head less than the same day last year.
Demand continues to be something many analysts continue to watch closely. Through the year the historically high beef prices have not been a major deterrent for consumers, but with summer winding down and Grilling season moving behind us, some analysts caution that demand may slow.