Ag markets start the week in mixed fashion

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Corn futures are steady in early trade Monday. Friday’s Commitment of Traders report showed trading funds added lightly to net short positions in corn futures, although net short 146,000 contracts, the position is down about 35,000 from the peak a few weeks ago. The corn market is working at making a harvest low with harvest winding and demand improving. At the same time, the corn market is dealing with record large production along with rising stocks. Cash market is likely to lead the post-harvest recovery barring a round of fund short covering. December corn futures were 0.5 cents higher at $4.2275/bushel early Monday, while May added 0.25 to $4.375.

Soybean futures moved generally lower in overnight trading. There was not a great deal of news to pass along in the early morning, although it would be easy to assume that the ample supplies from a massive U.S. harvest are weighing on the market. Losses in the Asian vegetable oil markets seemingly added to the downward pressure on soyoil futures. January soybean futures fell 4.75 cents to $13.1475/bushel; December soyoil dipped 0.12 cents to 41.04 cents/pound, and December soymeal descended $0.5 to $427.3/ton.

Talk of the issue that China could lower its grain self-sufficiency threshold as the urbanization of China is pushing up the demand for grains boosted the wheat market. In addition, higher Russian wheat export prices also brought positive impacts to the wheat market. December CBOT wheat futures gained 4.0 cents to $6.535/bushel in early Monday trading, while December KCBT wheat futures climbed 3.25 cents to $7.05, and December MWE futures edged up 3.5 to $7.0275.

Cattle futures are expected to open steady to slightly lower. The Cattle on Feed report released after the close on Friday showed a 10% increase in placements with cattle marketed up 1% leaving COF as of Nov 1 at 10.6 million head, down 6% vs. year ago. The report was right in line with expectations, but the larger placement figure may trigger some further near-term long liquidation in futures. The Cold Storage report showed a modest build in beef stocks to 443.6 million pounds, up 3% from a year ago. Wholesale prices have been weak, but edged slightly higher on Friday. December cattle futures are expected to open steady to down .20 cents from 131.48 with April also steady to lower from 132.57. Meanwhile, January feeder cattle are at 163.50 cents/pound, and March feeders at 163.375.

Cash hogs were firm Friday which may help stabilize futures in early going Monday. Frozen pork supplies came in near expectations at 566.7 million pounds, down 6% from a year ago. The Commitment of Traders indicated that funds continue to liquidate long positions, but are still net long just over 70,000 contracts leaving the market vulnerable to further long liquidation. Friday’s futures close near the daily low sets the stage for a steady to lower opening. December hog futures are expected open steady to down .20 cents from Friday’s close at 85.62 cents/pound while April may also be steady to .20 cents lower from 93.00 on Friday.

Cotton futures began the week with higher prices. In the news, China cotton stockpiling picks up pace to near last year’s level as a total of 2.65 million tonnes were acquired by the state reserves up to last Friday. December cotton jumped 1.26 cents to 76.47 cents/pound just after sunrise (EST) Monday, while March cotton rose 0.35 to 77.58.



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