Corn: Corn futures settled high-range with gains of 1 to 2 1/2 cents through the September 2021 contract. December 2021 corn futures ended 1 1/2 cents higher. Corn futures faced pressure overnight and early during daytime trade, but key support held and that attracted buyers. Managed money accounts, which were net long more than 108,000 corn futures contracts as of Sept. 22, added to their market length today. Funds have their most bullish position in the corn market since the end of July 2019 and the most bullish stance for this time of year since 2012. They could peel off some of their long positions ahead of Wednesday’s Quarterly Grain Stocks Report that will set 2019-20 ending stocks and give the market implied fourth-quarter corn use.
Soybeans: Futures ended lower and in the bottom third of the daily range. November beans fell 6 1/4 cents to $9.96 1/4. December soymeal dropped $4.70 to $333.90 and December soyoil gained 25 points to 33.11 cents. After a few showers across the Midwest during the weekend and today, the outlook is drier into next week. Harvest progress is expected to rise near 18% done as of Sunday, according to a poll of analysis ahead of tonight’s weekly USDA update. The market is looking for active harvest and increased farmer sales as the lack of carry in the market signals to sell now and not store this year’s crop. Rains in Argentina during the weekend and more forecast this week along with a slightly wetter forecast at midday for parts of Brazil, added to a defensive tone.
Wheat: Winter wheat futures closed higher, erasing early declines. December SRW was up 6 cents to $5.50 1/4 and December HRW gained 7 1/2 cents to $4.82 3/4. Spring wheat futures were fractionally lower. Wheat futures bounced off technical support on concerns that dryness will hurt early crop development of winter wheat ahead of the winter. Dryness concerns remain for winter wheat planting and establishment in the U.S. Plains, Russia’s Southern Region and Kazakhstan. However, rain will fall in Ukraine and many areas in Europe have already received rain which will improve winter crop planting and establishment conditions. The weekly USDA inspections report showed an improvement in wheat shipments last week, with 20.7 million bu. inspected, including 6.9 million for delivery to China.
Cotton: December cotton futures closed the session down 26 points at 65.69 cents and finished near mid-range. The cotton market saw some selling pressure on ideas this week will see good weather for harvesting the U.S. cotton crop. Traders are looking for a smaller U.S. crop to be collected this fall, based on weather losses since last month’s USDA update. However, damage from the recent hurricanes and tropical storms may prove to be less severe than some expect. Also a worrisome element for the cotton market bulls is the continued trade and political tensions between the U.S. and China.
Hogs: Most lean hog contracts spent the day within Friday’s wide trading range, with the market settling anywhere from 77 ½ cents lower to 95 cents higher. The lean hog market continues to display resiliency after USDA delivered a neutral to bearish Quarterly Hogs & Pigs Report last week, in part due to some skepticism about the data. Sharp cash market gains, reduced weights and moderating slaughter numbers would imply a more current hog inventory situation than the report implies. Over the past four weeks, hog slaughter has dipped 1% from year-ago, but the coinciding rise in average cash hog bids signals supplies are not backing up on the slowdown. Cash hog bids climbed nearly $4 last week. The pork cutout value surged $5.72 to start the week, with belly prices soaring $21.12 and hams rising $9.52. Retailers are reportedly stocking up on holiday supplies early.
Cattle: October live cattle futures closed the day up $0.375 at $107.95, with December futures gaining $0.25 at $111.65. November feeder cattle futures rose $0.95 to close at $141.10. The cattle futures bulls had a good day today, as prices made gains despite USDA’s Cattle on Feed Report last Friday showing the number of cattle on feed on Sept. 1 rising to the highest for the date since data began in 1996. The number of cattle placed into feedlots in August jumped 9.2% from year-ago, which was above the 5.8% gain analysts expected. Market attention is shifting back to recent improvement in the cash market. Cash cattle prices on average rose about $1.50 last week.
Corn: December corn futures close up 1 3/4 cents at $3.65 1/4 and near mid-range. For the week, December corn lost 13 1/4 cents. Friday’s modest gains stopped this week’s bleeding, but the bulls will have to step up and show better buying interest early next week to keep the near-term price uptrend alive on the daily bar chart. U.S. harvest weather continues to look mostly clear for the next two weeks, and that will limit buying interest in corn futures as farmers will also be bringing their newly-harvested corn across the elevator scales to sell. On Sept. 30, USDA will release its Quarterly Grain Stocks Report. We expect USDA to increase Sept. 1 U.S. corn stocks above the average pre-report trade estimate. Fourth-quarter feed use has never topped the third quarter, as USDA’s current 2019-20 feed and residual use estimate implies.
Soybeans: Soybean futures saw some choppy trade overnight, but the market spent the day trading session in the green and settled 2 ½ to 5 cents higher for the day, but solidly lower for the week. The November contract fell 41 cents from last Friday. Soymeal futures settled 80 cents to $3.10 higher today, but lower for the week. Soyoil futures posted gains of 21 to 48 points today and sharply lower for the week. USDA will release its Grain Stocks Report on Sept. 30. Preparation for and reaction to that data will be a major market feature. On average, analysts polled by Reuters expect USDA to raise the 2019 soybean crop by 33 million bu., but we fear the increase could be even larger, pushing Sep. 1 soybean stocks higher than most expect. Meanwhile, harvest is picking up steam thanks to warm, dry weather, and with that comes hedge pressure.
Wheat: Wheat futures finished the week under pressure with SRW contracts down around a nickel, HRW contracts 7 to 8 cents lower and HRS futures mostly 3 to 5 cents lower. For the week, December SRW wheat dropped 30 3/4 cents, December HRW wheat fell 29 cents and December HRS wheat fell 21 1/2 cents. Today’s losses and the low-range closes for the week give bears the upper hand to start next week. Wheat needs the corn and soybean markets to provide support to halt the price pressure. Otherwise, there isn’t much bullish news for wheat traders to pull support from. Wednesday’s USDA reports aren’t likely to provide any market-moving news for the wheat market, as only a small adjustment to 2020 production is expected and implied first-quarter use is likely to be rather ho-hum.
Cotton: December cotton gained 49 points to close at 65.95 cents. That was near weekly highs and up 29 points for the week. Cotton continues to be tied to the stock markets and today’s rebound on Wall Street helped cotton finish on an upswing. Cotton exports slowed in the week ended Sept. 17 from a week earlier. However, accumulated sales are 57% of the USDA export forecast for the year as of last week, above the five-year average of 48% for the date. The dollar formed a big reversal up pattern this week and that could limit sales if the trend continues to gain momentum. Prices will likely continue to chop between 64.00 and 67.00 cents into the October 9 USDA world supply demand report.
Hogs: October lean hog futures closed the day up $2.275 at $71.75. December lean hog futures closed up $1.15 at $64.425, scored a bullish outside day up on the daily bar chart and closed at a technically bullish weekly high close. For the week, December hogs gained 90 cents. Friday’s strong close suggests there will be follow-through speculative and chart-based buying in lean hog futures early next week. If the hog futures have proven anything the past two weeks, it’s that this market is resilient. With the USDA quarterly hogs and pigs report out of the way with no major bearish surprises, focus next week will be on U.S. exports, which will be key after the recent surge in both cash hogs and pork cutout values amid the seasonal increase in hog numbers the next six weeks. The CME Lean Hog Index rose to near a 13-month high this week, pulling futures higher
Cattle: December cattle were down 87.5 cents at $111.40 and 45 cents lower for the week. February cattle fell $1.05 to $114.60 on Friday and down $1.475 for the week. November feeders fell $2.20 on Friday and $2.375 for the week to close at $140.15. October futures showed the most bullish action of any live cattle contract this week, as the contract rose above the nearby weekly contract’s high from August today but still pared its weekly gain into the close. December closed lower for the week as did more deferred contracts on hedge selling ahead of this afternoon’s USDA Cattle-on-Feed report. The report showed on-feed numbers up 3.8% from a year earlier and a new record for Sept. 1. That was larger than the average pre-report average estimate for a 3.3% increase and may add some pressure early next week.
Corn: Prices ended lower and near the daily lows. December corn fell 5 cents to $3.63 1/2. Futures were weaker overnight and December prices pushed down to $3.63, breaking the prior two sessions’ lows at $3.65 3/4. The market is sitting just above longer-term support. Chicago futures followed Dalian corn futures lower overnight, a reminder that there is also a big speculative long in the Asian market as well as here at home. Weekly U.S. corn export sales rose to 2.139 MMT in the week ending Sept. 17, with 566,400 MT sold to China. Sales on the books for the marketing year to China are now 9.3 MMT with another 2.8 MMT sold to unknown destinations. Sales did top pre-report estimates but failed to provide much boost to futures this morning. USDA’s daily export sales reporting service did not announce any new large private exporter sales this morning.
Soybeans: November soybeans closed down 14 1/2 cents at $10.00. December soybean meal futures ended down $8.10 at $336.50 and December bean oil lost 39 points to close at 32.41 cents. Soybeans today followed Chinese bean futures lower. Also, soybean futures saw pressure today after USDA did not announce any new sales to China this morning, halting 14 straight sessions of announcements to China or unknown destinations. Weekly USDA export sales in the week ended Sept. 17 were above pre-report estimates soybeans. USDA reported that soybeans sales rose to 3.195 MMT, primarily for China, which bought 1.879 MMT. The market rally has stalled this week on open U.S. harvest weather and some “better-than-expected” early yield results. But it is early to call a trend.
Wheat: December SRW wheat futures closed up 3/4 cent at $5.49 3/4 today. December HRW futures finished the day down 1 1/4 cents at $4.83 today. Spring wheat futures gained almost 2 cents. The rallies in corn and soybean futures have stalled out this week, which is leading to limited fresh buying interest in wheat futures. The wheat futures markets will continue to look to corn and soybean markets for direction. Export sales in the week ended Sept. 17 were on the light end of trade ideas for wheat. U.S. wheat sales last week fell 34% below the prior four-week average, with private exporters reporting 351,200 MT sold last week.
Cotton: Cotton futures saw two-sided trade today, but the market found support near the 40-day moving average and Monday’s low, helping prices to finish high-range with gains of 6 to 21 points for the day. The July 2021 contract was an exception, settling high-range but a point lower for the day. Traders were encouraged by the market’s ability to rebound off near-term levels of support, signaling bulls are unwilling to give up their grip on the market just yet. That said, harvest is underway and related hedge pressure remains a near-term risk. While the market’s long-term trend remains higher, cotton futures have posted a series of lower highs and lower lows the past two weeks and futures are testing the uptrend drawn off the lows since April.
Hogs: Hog futures were lower and ended near session lows, halting a two-day rally. December hogs fell $1.075 to $63.275 and February fell 57.5 cents to $68.50. Cash hogs opened steady to firm with a light run today, ahead of the USDA’s Quarterly Hogs & Pigs Report tonight. The report was in-line with pre-report estimates. The strength of demand has been offsetting the heavy supplies of market-ready hogs, barrows and gilts. This week’s slaughter is estimated at 1.935 million head, up 9,000 head from a week ago and 60,000 head more than a year earlier. The national average direct hog price was 63 cents higher this morning. Pork values were firm at midday, with the cutout rising 77 cents to $89.74. Picnics, loins, butts, ribs, and bellies are higher and offsetting lower hams. Sales were light at just 150 loads.
Cattle: Live cattle futures finished 62 1/2 cents to $1.075 higher through the June contract. Feeder cattle gained 45 cents to $1.20 through the May contract. Cattle futures found follow-through buying today as they rebounded from losses the first two days this week. Fundamental support came from stronger weekly export sales of beef. Export sales for the week ended Sept. 17 totaled 18,000 MT, up 26% from the previous week and 36% above the four-week average. China was a buyer of 3,400 MT of U.S. beef during the week. Additional support came from this week’s firmer cash cattle prices. There’s also hope the wholesale beef market may be bottoming, which could support additional near-term cash strength.
Corn: Futures posted losses of 1/2 cent to 1 3/4 cents through the December 2021 contract following a relatively light day of trade. Selling pressure wasn’t heavy in the corn market by any means today, but a lack of fresh supportive news kept futures under pressure for much of the day. With harvest activity picking up, seasonal selling pressure is a greater risk on days when supportive news is light. Traders will look to weekly export sales for price direction early Thursday. Traders expect weekly corn sales between 1.05 and 1.8 MMT. USDA reported daily sales of 696,000 MT during the week ended Sept. 17, so sales should rather easily top the low end of expectations. Of particular interest will be Chinese purchases of U.S. corn.
Soybeans: Prices end lower for a third straight session despite new Chinese sales announcements. November beans were down 5 1/4 cents to $10.14 1/2. December meal rose $3.60 to $344.60 as soyoil tumbled 80 points to 32.80 cents. Futures opened steady to firm overnight but followed Chinese futures lower into the break. Prices rebounded after the reopening following new sales announcements to China this morning. USDA’s daily export sales reporting service announced private exporters sold 132,000 metric tons (MT) of soybeans to China and another 126,000 MT sold to unknown destinations, both for 2020-21 delivery. The market rally is capped by open harvest weather and active sales expected from producers out of the field. Spreads were steady today with November closing at a 3/4-cent premium to March, a sign the market wants your beans now, not later.
Wheat: Futures end lower and near the daily lows. December SRW fell 9 cents to $5.49 and December HRW was off 7 1/2 cents to $4.84 1/4. Spring wheat was down about 6 cents. The rally in wheat prices is showing signs of losing momentum. The current USDA world ending stocks forecast is for a record 319.4 MMT, well above the prior record of 299.8 MMT. Solid gains in the dollar for a third day were also negative. U.S. wheat is having troubles competing with other exporting nations and the dollar’s surge only adds to those problems. Russian origin once again dominated the Egyptian tender yesterday, with the GASC purchasing 405,000 MT of milling wheat. The average purchase price was $256.60/MT, approximately $6 higher than the purchase price in the previous tender and marks the highest purchase price since January 2019. Russia now accounts for 82% of Egyptian purchases so far this season.
Cotton: December cotton futures closed the day down 29 points at 65.25 cents. The cotton futures market bulls were a bit timid today, given a wobbly U.S. stock market, a surge in the U.S. dollar index to a two-month high today, and big daily losses in the gold and silver markets. Also, U.S.-Chinese trade and political tensions continue to rise. President Donald Trump used a virtual speech at the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday to assail China, blaming Beijing for the coronavirus pandemic. Chinese state-run media are denouncing the TikTok deal as "an American trap" and a "dirty and underhanded trick" as sentiment in Beijing swings against the proposal. And a new study shows Chinas policies have harmed U.S. industries. Chinas economic planning and targeted subsidies have increased the competitiveness of Chinese firms to the direct detriment of U.S. industry, according to the academic study.
Hogs: October lean hog futures climbed $1.175 today, climbing to the highest level since March. But the rest of the market saw a quieter day of trade, consolidating recent gains and settling 22 ½ cents lower to 25 cents higher. Lean hog futures have benefitted from several reminders of pork demand strength this week, but uncertainty heading into USDA’s Quarterly Hogs & Pigs Report tomorrow has tempered buying interest. Wide ranges of pre-report trade guesses signal the market is not sure just how processing backlogs this spring and summer impacted hog numbers. On average, analysts are calling for a 0.1% year-over-year rise in USDA’s Sept. 1 hog herd estimate, with hogs kept for breeding expected to fall 2.5% and market hog inventories to climb 0.6%. See “Evening Report” for more details. This overshadowed yesterday’s Cold Storage Report that reflected a smaller rise in frozen pork stocks from July to August than is typically seen, with stocks 23% under year-ago levels at the end of August.
Cattle: October live cattle futures closed up $0.675 at $107.15 today, while December live cattle gained $1.025 to close at $111.20. November feeder cattle futures rose $0.475 to close at $141.65 today. Tuesday afternoon’s USDA Cold Storage report showed roughly a 20 million-lb. month-to-month increase in frozen beef stocks during August, which was generally in line with the five-year average. That’s encouraging given reduced restaurant consumption due to the Covid-19 restrictions. Traders are awaiting Thursday morning’s weekly USDA export sales report. Export demand for U.S. beef has been good, as seen in recent weekly reports. Friday, USDA releases the monthly Cattle on Feed Report.
Corn: December corn futures closed the day down 1/2 cent at $3.69 1/4 and nearer the session low. Given the solid losses in corn Monday and the drubbing most of the raw commodity sector took to start the trading week, today’s price action in the corn market should not be disappointing to the bulls. Corn futures were supported on more Chinese sales announcements this morning. USDA’s daily export sales reporting service announced private exporters sold 140,000 MT of corn for delivery to China during the 2020-21 marketing year and another 320,000 MT of corn for delivery to unknown destinations for 2020-21. The primary issue now becomes determining whether China’s recent buying spree reflects the beginning of a structural change in Chinese supply and demand that will continue to grow or just an effort to meet commitments under the Phase 1 trade deal.
Soybeans: November soybeans closed down 2 3/4 cents at $10.19 3/4 today and near the session low. December meal futures hit a 15-month high today and closed up $2.90 at $341.00. December bean oil lost 60 points to close at 33.60 and near the daily low. Prices jumped to session highs early this morning after the reopening following new sales announcements to China today. USDA announced private exporters sold 266,000 MT of soybeans for delivery to China during the 2020-21 marketing year and 264,000 MT of soybeans to unknown destinations for 2020-21. The main issue now becomes determining whether China’s recent buying spree is nearing an end. The soybean market rally today was capped by open harvest weather and a stronger U.S. dollar index that hit a six-week high today.
Wheat: Prices rebounded from overnight declines but still closed midrange. December SRW rose 3 1/4 cents to $5.58 and December HRW wheat was up 4 1/2 cents to $4.91 3/4. Spring wheat gained about 6 cents. Futures rebounded with European prices as Russian wheat prices continue to climb. Egypt tendered for wheat today and bought 405,000 MT of Russian wheat for November delivery. Covid-19 has encouraged many state buyers to increase their held stocks of food grains in case there is a problem in supply logistics and the Northern Hemisphere harvest for next year’s crop may be smaller, should the dryness in Europe and the Black Sea continue. Meanwhile, Canada called off free trade talks with China after four years of negotiations.
Cotton: Futures were confined to Monday’s range and closed in the middle of today’s action. December cotton rose 30 points to 65.54 cents. Futures gained for the first time in six sessions as bargain buyers returned with a firmer U.S. stock market. However, the dollar index rose to a six-week high, limiting advances and making U.S. cotton costlier to overseas buyers. Prices also rose as tropical depression Beta moved inland along the Texas coast south of Houston, unleashing heavy rains and some flooding. Prices touched the highest since late February last week on concerns about crop damage from Hurricane Sally. However, the USDA weekly crop conditions survey showed 45% of the crop was in “good” and “excellent” condition, unchanged from a week earlier and up from last year’s 39% rating.
Hogs: October lean hog futures closed the day up $2.725 at $68.325, while December futures gained $2.55 to close at $64.10. Future prices were supported in part today as prices are trading well below the CME cash hog index, which is at the highest level since August 2018—with the latest price reported at $71.29. Also supportive early this week is a rising pork cutout value, jumping another $4.37 at midday, with loins, picnics and bellies leading gains. This will be a big week on the report front, with USDA’s monthly Cold Storage Report coming this afternoon and its Quarterly Hogs & Pigs Report slated for release Thursday.
Cattle: December cattle fell 42.5 cents to $110.175 and November feeders were down $1.55 at $141.175. Futures traded lower today, in part because there are few signs of a bottom in boxed beef prices and expectations for Friday’s Cattle on Feed Report to show record on-feed numbers. Cash cattle bids have been limited and most expect negotiated cash cattle prices this week will end up steady at best as packers seem content with their inventories after last week’s trade of 105.00. There would seem to be little reason to be in a hurry to pick a bottom. Placements will be up 4% to 8% from a year ago in Friday’s report, most likely, and placements will remain large for the rest of the year, keeping COF levels at a record. Boxed beef was mixed at midday on moderate demand for moderate offerings. Sales were active at 100 loads, compared with just 106 all day on Monday.
Corn: Futures ended near session lows, nearly erasing all of last week’s gain. December corn was down 8 3/4 cents at $3.69 3/4 and March was down 8 1/4 cents to $3.79 1/4. Corn was lower all session, extending overnight losses after the reopening on harvest hedging and macro selling as the stock market was sharply lower and took commodities down, too. Oil and gasoline prices fell more than 4%, gold fell more than 3% and the dollar was sharply higher. The markets are getting nervous about the November U.S. elections, rising U.S.-China tensions and uncertainty about a second wave of Covid-19 infections. Fund buying in corn jumped 25,000, to more than 58,500 futures and options, most of which was short covering rather than new long positions, according to weekly CFTC data released on Friday. Funds were estimated buying more than 40,000 contracts the final three days of last week, and likely were cutting those positions today.
Soybeans: November soybeans closed the session down 21 cents at $10.22 1/2 and near the daily low. December soybean meal dropped $4.00 today to close at $338.10. December bean oil fell 94 points to close at 34.20 cents. Technical selling and weak long liquidation in the bean, meal and oil futures markets were featured today amid general financial and commodity markets weakness, despite new U.S. soybean sales announcements this morning. USDA announced a 132,000 MT daily soybean sale to China for 2020-21 delivery this morning. USDA also announced 132,000 MT sold to Pakistan and 171,000 MT sold to unknown destination for 2020-21 delivery. Daily sales last week totaled 1.794 MMT. Weekly U.S. soybean export inspections of 1.311 MMT were in line with expectations but last week’s inspections saw a big upside revision reported today. A much stronger U.S. dollar index that hit a six-week high today also worked against the soybean market bulls.
Wheat: December SRW wheat futures closed the day down 20 1/4 cents at $5.54 3/4, after hitting a seven-month high overnight. December HRW wheat futures lost 17 cents to close at $4.87 1/4, after scoring a five-month high overnight. Wheat futures today gave back a significant portion of the big late-week gains last week amid today’s general risk-off attitudes across the stock, financial and commodity markets. A strong rally in the U.S. dollar index today also helped to weigh on the wheat markets. Solid losses in soybean and corn futures markets added the general fund selling pressure in wheat, as wheat has been a follower of corn and soybeans recently. Money managers reduced their net long in SRW wheat futures and options through Sept. 15 to 15,112 contracts from 23,175 a week earlier. However, traders estimated the Wednesday through Friday fund buying at 30,000 futures contracts, which would boost the wheat long to the most bullish for the date since 2012.
Cotton: Cotton futures finished 24 to 42 points lower through the July contract, which was in the lower end of today’s range and just below opening levels. Cotton futures got caught up in the selling that pressured many of the commodity markets and stocks today. Strong gains in the U.S. dollar added to the price pressure. But given the outside market pressure and risk aversion, cotton didn’t perform too poorly. Still, the outside markets likely need to stabilize for buyers to return to the cotton market. Traders will keep a close watch on Tropical Storm Beta, which is located just off the Texas coast. Beta is expected to make landfall north of Port O’Connor, Texas, Tuesday morning and then drift northeast, with remnants expected through the lower Delta.
Hogs: Futures ended mixed to mostly lower Monday. December hogs fell $1.975 to $61.55 and February was down $1.325 to $67.225. Cash hogs were steady to higher at midday with solid negotiated numbers. There’s been some optimism that demand for U.S. pork will continue to see a boost on both the global market and domestically. National daily direct barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct were 13 cents lower but the Iowa/Minnesota was up $1.05. Pork values were sharply higher at midday, rising $3.09 to $90.62. Hams jumped more than $14 to start the day. Bellies were also sharply higher. Midday sales were moderately active at nearly 161 loads. Futures were pressured by the general weakness in financial and commodity markets amid growing risk-off mentality after recent gains.
Cattle: Live cattle futures settled midrange with moderate losses ranging from 65 cents to $1.25 today. Nearby feeder cattle futures settled 17 ½ cents lower to 20 cents higher on the pullback in corn prices, but deferred months also posted moderate losses for the day. Feedlots bought quite a few cattle last week, limiting their needs this week and curbing cash market expectations. Trade took place at an average price of $103.54 last week, and initial cash opinions this week are for steady action… unless the product market really takes off. Boxed beef values strengthened for the first time in quite a while on Friday, with Choice and Select beef grades building on those gains this morning. But the $1-plus gains this morning slowed movement dramatically, raising questions about whether the market has yet uncovered value levels.
Corn: December corn futures closed the day up 3 1/4 cents, hit a six-month high and closed at a technically bullish weekly high close. For the week, December corn gained 10 cents. Look for followthrough technical buying on Monday after this week’s strong close. Focus will continue to be on export demand — namely from China. Corn traders expect more strong U.S. export sales to China amid reports of depleted stockpiles, high domestic prices and weather-related crop losses. With that said, corn traders will continue to look to soybean futures for price direction as those prices hit contract highs this week and are trending sharply higher. Early harvest results and yields off the combine will also come more into play next week.
Soybeans: Soybean futures finished with gains in the teens in most contracts today, with the November contract up 16 cents to $10.43 1/2. December soymeal firmed $6.80 today, finishing at $342.10. December soyoil gained 28 points today to 35.14 cents. For the week, November soybeans surged 47 1/2 cents. Bulls have huge momentum heading into next week, with bullish technicals and strong fundamentals backing the market. Front-month soybean futures have surged to their highest level on the weekly continuation chart since the beginning of June 2018 amid massive Chinese demand for U.S. soybeans. China has made daily purchases of U.S. soybeans for the past 11 trading sessions. There’s no reason to believe the bull run will end next week, but we must point out that the market is heavily overbought and funds hold an aggressive net long position, both of which could trigger a corrective pullback without notice.
Wheat: Winter wheat contracts finished 16 to nearly 19 cents higher in most contracts today. Spring wheat futures posted 9 to 10 cent gains in most contracts. For the week, December SRW and December HRW futures each surged 33 cents, while December HRS futures firmed 19 cents. Wheat futures hadn’t shown any leadership until today’s session when traders reacted to dryness in Argentina, parts of Europe and the Black Sea region. While this could continue to fuel buying next week, the world is flush with supplies, with global ending stocks projected to be record-large in 2020-21. The bigger source of buying could come from fund buying. With funds holding a huge net long position in the soybean market and also aggressively long corn, wheat might be the benefactor if funds decide to actively continue their buying spree because there’s still “room” for them to add to length in the wheat markets.
Cotton: December cotton futures closed the day down 19 points at 65.66 cents and for the week gained 91 1/2 points. Prices did finish at a technically bearish weekly low close today. Overall, the cotton futures market continues to grind higher in uneventful fashion. Chart history suggests the same can continue in the coming weeks. However, cotton traders and producers should be at least a bit worried the futures market could not produce price gains late this week following Thursday morning’s big USDA export sales tally.
Hogs: Lean hog futures finished narrowly mixed today. For the week, December lean hog futures dropped $1.105. The cash hog market is rising, but traders will watch prices closely next week as slaughter will ramp up seasonally the final quarter of the year. December hogs are currently trading below the cash market, but don’t reflect normal seasonal pressure. If the cash market starts weakening, a downturn in futures is likely to follow. Next Thursday’s Hogs & Pigs Report is a wildcard as there’s probably as much uncertainty going into this report due to Covid’s effects on the industry as any since impacts from the PEDV outbreak.
Cattle: December live cattle futures closed the day up 52 ½ cents at $111.85 and near midrange. For the week December live cattle gained $1.95. November feeder cattle futures on Friday closed up 32 ½ cents at $142.525 and for the week rose $1.20. With live cattle futures prices Friday closing near the weekly high, look for some follow-through buying interest on Monday. Boxed beef prices could be nearing value levels. Today’s midday beef report showed Choice values up 57 cents and Select gaining 60 cents, on lighter movement of 74 loads.
Corn: Corn futures traded in a wide, two-sided trading range today before settling high-range with gains of ½ cent to 3 ½ cents. Ongoing signs of strong and building demand for U.S. corn put bulls in control of the corn market today, with the move to new highs for the week triggering some technically based purchases. Strong gains in nearby soybean futures added to positive attitudes. purchases. Strong gains in nearby soybean futures added to positive attitudes. USDA today reported the U.S. sold more than 1.609 MMT of corn the week ending Sept. 10, with “unknown” and China each accounting for around 360,000 MT of those purchases.
Soybeans: November soybean futures rose 17 1/4 cents to close at $10.28 1/2 today and set another record high. December soybean meal futures hit a more-than-two-year high today and closed up $9.60 at $335.30. December bean oil fell 5 points to close at 34.86 cents. The bull market runs in soybeans, meal and bean oil are gaining steam, which is attracting the interest of more and more speculators who like to play the long side of the markets. Declining U.S. soybean crop ratings and strong Chinese purchases of U.S. soybeans continue to fuel the futures rallies. USDA reported impressive weekly U.S. soybean export sales of 2.457 MMT for 2020-21, with China accounting for 1.487 MMT of those buys. Sales were near the upper end of expectations. Exports were also strong at 1.733 MMT, with China again as the main recipient.
Wheat: December SRW wheat futures closed up 14 ¼ cents at $5.56 1/4 today and near the daily high. December HRW wheat futures gained 12 1/2 cents at $4.87 1/2 and closed at a 3.5-month high close today. Spring wheat futures rallied 8 ¾ cents to close at $5.61 ½. The wheat futures markets latched onto the coattails of solid gains in corn and soybean futures today, as those markets continue their solid bull runs. Fundamental reasons for the wheat markets’ rallies are limited.
Cotton: Futures faced pressure for most of the day and the market settled on or near session lows with losses ranging from 16 to 62 points. Cotton futures delivered a pretty disappointing day of trade considering some positive demand news. USDA announced 519,600 running bales (RB) of cotton were sold for 2020-21 delivery the week ending Sept. 10, with China accounting for 440,100 RB of those deliveries. Alan Barrett, director of research and consulting at HigbyBarrett, said he believed this was the largest weekly sale since the U.S.’s Step 2 program was eliminated in 2006. But actual exports of 187,900 RB were down 38% from the prior four-week average.
Hogs: October lean hog futures prices rose $1.30 to close at $66.525 today, while December hogs gained $1.65 at $63.625. Prices closed nearer the daily highs. The lean hog futures bulls may be making a “save” late this week, what with today’s solid gains that are keeping a price uptrend alive on the daily chart. Good gains again Friday would put the bulls right back in the technical driver’s seat, after a dreadful start to the trading week. Wednesday, it appeared the lean hog market’s runup in response to the arrival of African swine fever in Germany had run its course. However, the futures market today responded very favorably to impressive weekly U.S. pork export sales.
Cattle: Live and feeder cattle futures faced light to moderate pressure for much of the day and finished similarly. Live cattle posted losses of 7 ½ to 62 ½ cents in all but the front-month, which edged out a 5-cent gain. Feeder cattle posted losses of 50 cents to $1.325 through the May contract. Some cash cattle trade got underway yesterday on the Plains and in Iowa at $104, with some additional action at similar levels reportedly underway today. But while that’s an improvement from last week’s action that generated an average price around $101, it is still at a premium to where futures are trading, thus triggering some profit-taking.
Corn: Corn futures strengthened through the day, ending near session highs with gains of 5-plus cents though the May contract. Corn was pulled higher by strong gains in the soybean market today, along with expectations China will continue its recent aggressive buying of U.S. corn for 2020-21 delivery. There were no new fresh daily corn sales today, but traders expect tomorrow’s weekly export sales to again be strong, with the upper end of the trade estimate range at 1.9 MMT. The only daily sales announced during the week ended Sept. 10 were 101,600 MT to unknown destination, so the market is counting on a rush of purchases under the 100,000 MT daily threshold. Export business to China will be just as important as the total volume to all countries.
Soybeans: Soybean futures opened under pressure, but rallied through the day trading session, resulting in a technically encouraging bullish reversal, with November futures hitting a new contract high of $10.13 ¾. Futures settled high-range and up 15 ½ to 19 ¾ cents through the July contract. Soy products also took part in the rally, with soymeal closing $3.00 to $6.50 higher and soyoil posting gains of 51 to 86 points. Strong Chinese buying of U.S. soybeans paired with late-season crop concerns in the U.S. have fueled a strong rally in the soybean market. And today’s move to new highs for the week triggered additional technical-based buying. Drought during the key month of August for much of the Midwest has production estimates sliding, and rains likely did little more than stabilize conditions last week.
Wheat: December SRW wheat futures prices closed up 3 3/4 cents at $5.42, nearer the session high after hitting a three-week low early on today. December HRW wheat futures gained 7 cents to close at $4.75 and also near the session high. December HRS wheat finished 7 1/4 cents higher at $5.31 1/2. The wheat market saw spillover buying interest today from rallying corn and soybean futures. Support also came in part from reports APK Inform said weather conditions for sowing of winter grain are the worst in the past decade due to severe drought across most of Ukraine. Just light rain is in the forecast.
Cotton: December cotton futures closed down 7 points at 66.37 cents today and near mid-range. The market took a normal pause today after hitting a 6.5-month high on Tuesday. Price action was light and two-sided. Selling interest was limited today as Hurricane Sally pounding the Gulf Coast, with traders watching the path closely for potential damage to the cotton crop in the region. However, unless the storm ends up being worse than expected or moves into the cotton-heavy production areas, additional price support from this storm is likely to be limited.
Hogs: Lean hog futures faced pressure for much of the day, with futures closing Friday’s chart gap to the upside and likely to close Thursday’s gap as well. The market settled 12 ½ cents to $1.075 lower, with the December contract leading losses. It appears the lean hog market rally is running out of steam. The market had shot higher on news Germany has African swine fever, leading to bans by some major meat importers, including China. But the upside move was likely overdone and some are now saying Denmark will likely fill much of the void left by Germany. Nevertheless, the market will keep an eye on weekly export sales and shipments tallies, especially as they pertain to China.
Cattle: October live cattle futures ended 37 1/2 cents lower at $106.725. The December through June contracts firmed 15 to 37 1/2 cents. Feeder cattle dropped 27 1/2 cents to $1.275 today, with fall contracts leading losses. October live cattle futures traded lower today, despite higher prices in the cash cattle market. The contract’s premium to this week’s initial cash cattle trade limited buyer interest in the lead contract. Cash sources reported cash trade in the $102 to $103 range in the Southern Plains this morning, with prices moving upwards of $104 by early afternoon. Those prices are up $1 to $3 from last week’s average. The cash strength wasn’t a surprise given much smaller showlists and packer margins, which are deep in the black.
Corn: Corn futures set back today, and futures settled with losses around 3 cents. Selling was corrective in nature. Funds took a breather from aggressive buying to start this week, leading to a corrective mood to the downside today. But momentum still clearly favors market bulls. Gains over the past month have been fueled by late-season crop concerns in the U.S. and improved export business, with some saying China could be a much more aggressive importer of corn in 2020-21 than USDA projects.
Soybeans: November soybean futures fell 8 cents to close at $9.91 1/2 today. December meal closed down $2.80 at $319.20 and December soyoil dropped 14 points to close at 34.15 cents. All three markets saw normal and healthy corrective pullbacks in existing price uptrends, following recent gains. Today’s monthly NOPA crush report showed a lower-than-expected August crush at 165.1 million bu., down from 168.1 million bu. in crushed in August 2019 and the 169.5 million bu. expected by the trade.
Wheat: Wheat futures finished mostly 5 to 7 cents lower, with the SRW contract leading today’s declines. Futures closed well off session lows but still ended in the lower portion of today’s ranges. Wheat futures didn’t get any help from the corn and soybean markets today, which triggered a wave of fund long liquidation in the winter wheat markets. As of Sept. 8, managed money accounts were net long just over 22,000 SRW futures and nearly 9,000 HRW futures contracts. Given projected record global wheat ending stocks for 2020-21, fundamental incentive for funds to hold long positions in the wheat market is lacking, especially if corn and soybeans halt their recent rallies. As a result, price action in those two markets is critical for wheat futures.
Cotton: Cotton futures finished 7 to 42 points lower through the July contract, though that was well off session lows. Cotton futures faced profit-taking today after failing to find buyer interest above Monday’s highs in early trade. But the late move well off session lows signals there wasn’t much seller interest on the mild price break either. Funds were only minor sellers of cotton today. Given funds were net long 43,725 futures contracts as of Sept. 8 and they added to that position the past four days, the market could face additional price pressure if fresh bullish news doesn’t develop.
Hogs: October lean hog futures closed up $1.075 at $65.70 and December futures dropped 52 1/2 cents to $63.05. Futures finished near session lows. It appears the futures market quickly factored into prices news late last week that Germany confirmed a case of African swine fever. Additional cases were reported today. China, South Korea and Japan have responded with blanket bans, opening the door for even stronger U.S. shipments of pork.
Cattle: Live cattle futures faced pressure for much of the session, but the market was able to muster a high-range, narrowly mixed finish. Feeder cattle saw two-sided trade before moving definitively higher to finish with gains ranging from 17 ½ cents to $1.10. Today’s close is encouraging for followthrough buying tomorrow, extending the live cattle market’s recently renewed uptrend. Futures are signaling traders expect higher cash cattle trade after fairly light action last week at softer price levels. October futures hold nearly a $6 premium to last week’s average cash price. Showlist estimates are reportedly down 19,000 head from week-ago, which should work to feedlots’ advantage.