**** Corn futures settle higher by 4 to 5 cents; soybeans climb more than a dime; Chicago wheat up 6 to 8 1/2. *****
The closely-watched analysts at Informa published their crop report estimates on Wednesday. Corn yield is projected at 165.4 and stands near the top of analyst guesses that we've seen so far. Informa calls soybean yield 45.4 bushels per acre. The estimates were traded along with FC Stone estimates for 165 and 45 corn and soybean yields that were reported on Tuesday afternoon.
Weekly ethanol numbers were released. Production was down again on the week, but so were stocks. Corn usage was 100.9 million bushels and down for the fourth straight week. Grind is still pacing better than the 99.2 million bushels now needed per week to meet the USDA's current target.
Egypt is tendering for wheat this week. The top-importer has lowered the moisture content limit for this purchase intention, down from 13.5 to 13 percent. Traders look for the wheat to be sourced from one of the Black Sea growers but were eager to see where U.S. offers landed in the mix.
Funds were net-buyers of corn, soybeans, and wheat on Wednesday and are now slightly net-long for the week. Bullish money managers are not packing as much of a punch in the corn market after having already done the bulk of buying in July. Relatively more length could still be added to the soy and wheat positions.
***** Hogs drop $0.30 to $1.10; live cattle fractionally firmer; feeders fractionally weaker. *****
Live cattle futures climbed steadily throughout the day to post fractionally higher settlements. The front of the board featured relative strength as traders priced in firmer boxed beef values and expectations for solid demand into the end of the summer.
Wholesale pork prices were a touch weaker and direct hogs were up to $1.50 lower in the Corn Belt, weighing on hog futures. The most-active October contract returned inside its Bollinger Bands but was holding support from the 50-day moving average.
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