The grain markets were higher early Friday morning, less than five hours from the release of the Supply/Demand report, supported in part by a sharply lower dollar index and stronger crude oil. Funds have spent the week positioning and traders look to see how yields, harvested acres, and ultimately production will be impacted. The average estimate for corn production is 13.504 billion bushels, while the average yield estimate is 167.1 bu/ac, compared to the Sep WASDE yield of 167.5 bu/ac. The average forecast of harvested acres is 80.826 million acres, compared to 81.1 million in the Sep WASDE. December corn futures edged higher 2.75 cents to $3.9175/bushel early Friday morning, while March gained 3.75 cents to $4.045.
The soy complex firmed early Friday with crude oil strength supporting soyoil and a lower dollar boosting commodities. Argentina crushers have begun to slow ahead of maintenance. As their country readies for their Oct 25 presidential election, export taxes may be cut in advance, helping farmers unload what is believed to be 15 million tonnes of soybeans. The WASDE will be released at 11:00 a.m. CDT and the average estimate for bean production in is 3.908 billion bushels, while the average yield estimate is 47.2 bu/ac, higher than the Sep WASDE figure of 47.1 bu/ac. The average harvested acres estimate is 82.914 million acres, compared to the Sep WASDE value of 84.3 million. Next Monday, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board will release its September palm oil data. November soybeans moved 4.5 cents higher to $8.8575/bushel early Friday morning, while December soyoil gained 0.28 cents to 28.64 cents/pound and December meal lifted $1.2 to $305.6/ton.
The wheat complex firmed early Friday as the market undergoes up-and-down price discovery this week ahead of the WASDE due out at 11:00 a.m. CDT this morning, weighing bullish Grain Stocks data and Black Sea weather against the bearish global supply outlook. El Nino weather has hit the Australian wheat crop at a key phase, resulting in a projected reduction in output of 1-2 million tonnes from the intensely dry weather. The average trade estimate for the Oct wheat ending stocks in Friday’s WASDE report is 819 million bushels, compared to the USDA Sep value of 875 million bushels. The December CBOT wheat futures were 3 cents higher at $5.145/bushel Friday, while Dec KC wheat gained 2.5 cents to $5.06, and December MWE edged 0.5 cents higher to $5.315.
Live cattle futures climbed higher for the third straight session Thursday on increased wholesale beef prices and on technical buying. Boxed beef cutouts were lower Wednesday with choice up 1.39 to 204.97 and select up 0.30 to 198.00. This may represent a near-bottom as beef cutouts have slid for 21 days straight. Cattle slaughter so far this week is at 438,000 head, compared to 445,000 head last week and 452,000 head this time last year. December cattle gained 1.62 cents to 137.67 cent/pound Thursday, while February cattle lifted 1.62 cents to 139.17 cents/pound. November feeder cattle moved 4.42 cents higher to 184.10 cents/pound, while January feeders gained 4.17 cents to 178.90 cents/pound.
Lean hogs strengthened Thursday, with the December contract closing just above the support level of 65.29, along the 200-day moving average. Hog slaughter so far this week is at 1.736 million head, compared to 1.716 million last week, and 1.706 million last year. Future were supported by cash hog prices which were up .46 to 71.15. Packers have met their needs for this week’s production and grocers are looking beyond October National pork month to increase beef features, likely leading to a slowing of pork demand as supplies of pork also rise toward the end of the year. Future are also being supported by the 8 cent discount between nearby hogs and the lean hog index (cash). December hog futures gained 0.17 cents to 66.15 cents/pound Thursday, while April hogs advanced 0.37 to 73.05.
Cotton futures were firmer early Friday, after falling Thursday and rising the prior three sessions to two-week highs, a move powered by a two point drop in the cotton good-to-excellent condition rating, pre-WASDE fund positioning, and rains in the southeast U.S. ICE cotton fell last week due in part to Hurricane Joaquin moving away from the East Coast, easing fears that the rains associated with the storm could harm yields and quality in cotton-producing states. This week, despite the downgrade of the hurricane, rains have persisted in the U.S. southeast growing region, stoking concerns that crop quality will be damaged. December cotton futures gained .32 cents to 61.95 cents/pound early Friday, while May cotton advanced 0.16 cents to 62.31.