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Weekly Roberts Report

19 August 2009

Michael T. Roberts
Extension Agriculture Economist,
Dairy and Commodity Marketing,
NC State University

US - Agricultural US Commodity Market Report by Mike Roberts, Commodity Marketing Agent, Virginia Tech.

LIVE CATTLE futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) were down on Monday. The AUG’09LC contract closed down $0.350/cwt at $84.300/cwt. DEC’09LC futures closed at $87.850/cwt; off $0.200/cwt. Some deliveries against the August contract were noted. A lower stock market, a higher US dollar, and lower outside markets kept the lid on fat prices. Early estimates ahead of USDA’s Friday Cattle-on-Feed report an spreading out of the October into the August and Decembers contracts were bearish for prices. However, higher cash cattle prices last week and demand for deliveries helped prices. USDA on Monday put the Choice Boxed Beef cutout at $142.65/cwt, up $1.36/cwt from the previous close and $1.81/cwt higher than this time last week. Cash cattle ranged from $1-$1.5/cwt higher with USDA placing its 5-area average price at $81.92/cwt; $0.75/cwt higher than this time last week. According to HedgersEdge.com, average packer margins were raised $19.30/head to a positive $49.90/head based on the average buy of $81.38/cwt vs. the average breakeven of $85.17/cwt. Sell cattle when ready.

FEEDER CATTLE at the CME were mixed on Monday. AUG’09FC futures finished at $100.675/cwt; off $0.025/cwt. The August contract will expire on August 27. The OCT’09FC contract closed at $100.225/cwt; down $0.050/cwt. Feeders followed the commodities lower. Cash feeders in Oklahoma City were mostly steady to $2/cwt lower. Steer and heifer calves were in high demand. Reports show 7300 head were sold today vs. 6611 a week ago and 6105 this time last year. The CME Feeder Cattle Index for August 13 was placed at $100.48/cwt, down $0.23/cwt.

CORN futures on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) closed down on Monday. The SEPT’09 contract closed at $3.142/bu; off 5.0¢/bu. DEC’09 corn futures finished at $3.216/bu; down 6.0¢/bu. Pressure from falling stock prices, lower crude oil futures, a higher US dollar, weak exports, and good corn-growing weather all weighed on prices. Sell stops were noted in December 2009 futures. USDA placed corn-inspected-for-export at 40.881 mi bu vs. expectations for 44-48 mi bu. The latest Pro Farmer Midwest Crop tour is finding a good crop growing in the fields. Cash corn was steady in both the US Midwest and US Mid-Atlantic states. Large speculators added 2,126 contracts to net bull positions while funds sold between 8-10 thousand contracts. Hopefully 70 per cent of the 2009 crop has been sold.

SOYBEAN futures on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) closed off again on Monday. The SEPT’09 contract closed down 36.5¢/bu at $9.880/bu. The NOV’09 contract closed at $9.544/bu; off 27.0¢/bu. The same pressures affecting corn weighed on soybeans. Funds and other non-commercials noted long-liquidation, selling over 5,000 lots. Exports were disappointing with USDA reporting soybeans-inspected-for-export at 5.620 mi bu vs. expectations between 6-13 mi bu. The US crop tour kicked off this week expecting to see a good crop. Speculators added to net bull positions as cash soybean prices plummeted in the country. Up to 70-80 per cent of the new crop should be priced at this time.

WHEAT futures in Chicago (CBOT) were off on Monday. SEPT’09 wheat futures finished down 10.0¢/bu at $4.710/bu. The JULY’10 wheat contract closed at $5.412/bu; off 9.5¢/bu. Futures are technically weak with contract lows posting in many months. Exports were neutral with USDA posting wheat-inspected-for-export at 13.915 mi bu vs. expectations for between 11-17 mi bu. Funds sold about 4,000 lots while large speculators added to net bear positions posting 54,196 sold contracts as of 11 August.

December 2009 Corn, 17 August 2009

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