***** Corn ended 4 lower, soybeans 8-9 lower, and Chi. wheat 4-5 lower. *****
# Thursday’s trade was mostly about traders getting positioned for tomorrow’s USDA report, 11 am central time.
# Expectations for tomorrow’s report: traders are looking for a 166.7 bu. corn yield(-0.8) and a 13.482 bln. bu. crop(-103 mln.). The carryout expectations dropped only slightly to 1.546 bln., leaving some room for a smaller number than the trade expects. They are looking for the USDA to indicate soybean production only dropped 24 mln. bu. to 3.911 bln. bu., mostly due to smaller acreage. The yield is expected to increase 0.1 bu. to 47.2. The small decline in production and the lower beginning inventory are expect to keep the ending stocks near 428 mln. bu. Wheat ending stocks are only expected to drop 47 mln. bu. even though USDA took over 100 mln. out of production.
# CONAB(Brazil’s USDA counterpart) will issue new production forecasts in the morning, but the one’s the trade is looking forward to are their new-crop numbers.
# Export sales were good for soybeans, nearly 1.3 mmt. old crop and nearly 1 mmt. for next years. Corn sales, 519,700 tons were a little light, with the 288,200 tons wheat sales midrange of expectations, but still small.
# Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Egypt are all tendering for wheat.
# Weather is expected to generally remain dry in the Black Sea area, but light showers are possible at week’s end. There’s still talk of more moisture, but not everyone agrees. All are expecting cooler conditions, slowing germination and emergence. Australian forecasts include some showers in the southeast, but hot dry conditions will follow. But the west is expected to remain dry in the near term. The slow start to the rainy season in northern Brazil is being closely watched. And it’s staying dry in southern Africa.
# U.S. weather is expected to remain warm, but there’s more moisture in the forecast, first in the east, then in the west. That could slow harvest temporarily, but producers would enjoy having a break in the east. Those in the west might prefer dryness given their lagging pace.
# The Dollar dropped to 6 week lows following the release of the Fed minutes. They weren’t convinced inflation was yet robust enough to accommodate an uptick in interest rates. Stocks climbed after the release, but slipped lower later.
***** Cattle futures were higher, closing $1.52-$1.25 higher, feeders $2.87-$1.62 higher, and lean hogs $0.17-$0.45 higher. *****
# Wholesale beef prices were steady again, but the volume of trade remains reasonably robust, suggesting demand might be returning to the complex. There was a modest cash trade in cattle at $120, up $4-$6 from last week.
# Cash hog prices were stronger, but packer margins were firm. Wholesale pork prices were higher, but the volume of trade is less robust.
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