After the Bell | August 25, 2022

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Corn: December corn futures fell 7 1/4 cents to $6.50, just 3/4 cent above today’s low. Corn futures fell for the first session in the past seven on profit-taking and corrective selling following this week’s rally to two-month highs, as well as reports of strong yield prospects in Iowa and Minnesota from the final day of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour. Rain over much of the Midwest today may have also encouraged sellers. “Much of the Midwest will continue to see favorable conditions for crops through the next two weeks, with rain advertised for this weekend into next week important to crops in the driest areas,” World Weather Inc. said.

Reports from scouts earlier in the Crop Tour illustrated the toll of extreme heat and dryness in other parts of the Midwest during June or July. Scouts on the Crop Tour Wednesday determined an average corn yield of 190.71 bu. per acre in Illinois, down from last year’s 196.3 bu. per acre estimate and but up from the three-year Tour average of 185.62 bu. per acre. In western Iowa, average corn yields for Districts 1, 4 and 7 were 181.12, 180.8 and 173.7 bu. per acre, respectively, compared to 183.96, 201.1 and 192.47 bu. per acre, respectively, in 2021.

Also today, USDA said it retracted weekly export sales data released this morning due to "challenges that affected the physical dissemination of the data as well as data quality."

Soybeans: November soybeans fell 25 3/4 cents to $14.31 1/4, September meal futures fell $9.70 to $458.00, September soy oil, rose 32 points to 69.09 cents. Soybeans fell on continued corrective selling following the market’s rise to three-week highs earlier this week. Recent rains around the Midwest and an outlook for generally favorable weather also weighed on futures. Crop Tour reports today indicated stronger yield prospects in Iowa and Minnesota, following some sub-par numbers in Illinois and western Iowa. 

Wheat: December SRW wheat fell 24 1/4 cents to $7.89 and December HRW wheat dropped 27 cents to $8.66 1/4, both closing near today’s lows and each posting a bearish “outside day” down on the daily bar charts. December spring wheat futures tumbled 24 1/4 cents to $8.95 3/4. Winter wheat fell for the first session in five on spillover pressure from declines in corn and soybeans and concern over demand. Egypt is believed to have made no purchase of imported wheat in talks with trading houses on Wednesday, Reuters reported, citing traders. The General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) considered prices offered as too high, they said. 

Cotton: December cotton rose 4 points at 114.11 cents. Cotton futures rose initially but faded late to end mostly lower, with some pressure tied to weakness in crude oil. Any futures price declines may be limited by expectations drought combined with excess rains in key growing areas, such as West Texas, will slash U.S. production. “Some of the crops that managed to stay viable through the summer drought will yield quite poorly and this week’s rain brought a new calamity” via quality declines because of too much moisture, World Weather said today.

Cattle: October live cattle fell 12.5 cents to $143.65. September feeder cattle rose $1.225 to $184.25. October live cattle fell for the third day in the past four amid indications a three-week rally in cash prices is ending. Live steers averaged $144.45 through this morning, down about $2.43 from last week’s average. Still, the longer-term outlook for cattle prices appears supportive due to tight market-ready feedlot supplies. Steer weights are rising seasonally, with the latest reading at 901 pounds per head jumping back above year-ago. That contrasts with the spread between Choice and Select beef cutout values, which at $25.61 remains extremely wide for this time of year. Choice values rose 71 cents to $263.54 on strong movement of 154 loads.

Hogs: October lean hogs rose 72.5 cents to $91.10. Hogs rose in a corrective bounce following sharp losses the previous two sessions. Gains may be short-lived as cash metrics continue to slide. The CME lean hog index fell $1.18 to $118.00, and tomorrow’s quote is expected to drop another $1.95. However, October futures' discount to the index, nearly $27, is extremely wide, which may limit seller interest. Pork cutout values fell 33 cents today to $102.66, the lowest daily average since May 17. Movement was light at 254 loads.


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