Corn: Corn futures held to a narrow trading range today and settled midrange with gains of ¼ to 1 ¼ cents. The market has spent the last two days consolidating within Tuesday’s trading range. Consolidated trade continued in the corn market as traders await more reports on crop size from the field and USDA’s reports next week. Wet weather this week has stalled harvest in many areas and likely caused some disease/quality issues in areas that have been overly wet. Traders also have USDA’s quarterly grain stocks data on their minds, as the report signaled the 2018 crop was likely overestimated.
Soybeans: November soybeans closed down 2 cents at $9.11 3/4. December soybean meal was down $2.70 at $302.90 and December bean oil finished up 68 points at 29.89 cents. The early week rally stalled has stalled out, with traders now tentative in what could be choppy and sideways price action until the Oct. 10 USDA monthly supply and demand report, when the agency updates its U.S. production forecasts.
Wheat: Wheat futures finished with a narrowly mixed tone and near midrange. SRW contracts ended 1/4 cent lower to 1/4 cent higher, HRW contracts finished steady to 1 1/2 cents higher and HRS futures posted losses of 1/2 to 1 1/2 cents. Buyer interest in the wheat market was limited today, despite some surprising demand news. USDA announced China bought 130,000 MT of U.S. white wheat via a daily sale. It was China's first purchase of the variety since March and its largest one-time purchase of U.S. wheat since December 2016. However, weekly export sales were uninspiring at just 328,500 MT, which countered any support from the Chinese purchase.
Cotton: Cotton futures finished 27 to 41 points higher, but that was well off session highs and low-range for the day. Cotton futures rallied to strong gains midmorning, but were unable to hold buyer interest. The strength was tied to hopes the U.S. and China could be drawing closer to an interim trade deal. But traders have been down this path before only to be disappointed, which is likely why buyer interest waned late.
Hogs: October lean hog futures closed up 22 1/2 at $62.425 and December futures lost $1.00 at $68.10. December lean hogs dipped to a two-week low today as large kills recently are weighing on prices. Hog slaughter the first four days of this week is up 79,000 head from last week and 97,000 head above a year ago. The premium futures hold to the cash market also put some pressure on the market, though cash hog prices have been working higher. The national average price climbed 66 cents on Wednesday, and Iowa/Minnesota hogs jumped $1.52
Cattle: Live and feeder cattle futures saw a choppy day of trade, but bulls had the upper hand heading into the close. Live cattle settled 75 cents higher in the front month and 15 to 30 points higher in deferred contracts. Feeder cattle posted gains ranging from 17 ½ to 42 ½ cents. Early cash cattle action in Texas and Kansas was at $2 higher prices of $105, which has traders more willing to build some premium into futures. The market is also optimistic that the ongoing spread of African swine fever in Asia and Europe will bolster exports of U.S. beef, helping to keep marketings current and beef from piling up.