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Corn futures are currently trading fractionally lower after ending the Tuesday session with most contracts 1 to 2 cents higher. There was plenty of buying activity, with preliminary open interest rising 22,441 contracts on the modest price increase. Weakness in the last hour of trading came on spillover from wheat. The USDA reported private export sales of 210,000 MT of 17/18 corn to South Korea through their daily system Tuesday morning. The weekly EIA report will be released on Wednesday morning. Dr. Michael Cordonnier trimmed his Argentina corn estimate another 1 MMT to 43 MMT, while leaving his Brazil projection at 86 MMT.

Soybean futures are 2 cents lower to 3 cents higher this morning, after being 6 to 8 1/2 cents in the green on Tuesday. Old crop contracts are firmer than new crop. Preliminary open interest rose only 753 contracts, suggesting more rotation of ownership than net new buying interest. Nearby Soymeal futures were up $2.50/ton, with front month soy oil 46 points higher. NOPA will release their monthly US crush report for February crush among its members this Thursday. Analysts are estimating that the crush will total a monthly record 149.443 bbu, with stocks totaling 1.766 billion pounds. Argentina’s soybean production estimate was reduced another 2 MMT to 43 MMT by Dr. Cordonnier, with the Brazil estimate still at 114 MMT.

Wheat futures are trading 1 to 3 cents lower this morning. They ended the Tuesday session with most CBT and KC contracts steady to 4 1/4 cents lower. MPLS higher in the front months, but down fractionally in the back months. The USDA indicated on Monday that TX and OK ratings were slightly improved thanks to moisture in the Eastern areas. Taiwan mills purchased 92,465 MT of US wheat on Tuesday. Japan is seeking 119,610 MT of US, Canadian and Australian wheat in their weekly MOA tender that closes on Thursday. Of the total 32,285 MT is to be sourced from the US.

Live cattle futures settled the day with most contracts steady to 50 cents lower, as nearby April was 35 cents higher. Feeder cattle futures were down 25 to $1.025 on Tuesday. The CME feeder cattle index was down 17 cents on March 8 at $143.17. Wholesale boxed beef values were lower on Tuesday afternoon. Choice boxes were down 17 cents at $223.73, with Select boxes 74 cents lower at $216.75. Estimated FI cattle slaughter was at 231,000 head through Tuesday, 3,000 head fewer than last week but 4,000 head above than the same week in 2017. Wednesday’s online FCE auction has just 113 head listed for sale, all from Kansas. There were a few reported cash sales of $127 on Tuesday, with some reaching up to $128 in the North.

Lean hog futures were steady to 62.5 cents higher on Tuesday. Preliminary open interest rose 3,658 contracts, with a big chunk of OI rolling from April to June on the last day of the index fund roll period. The CME Lean Hog Index on March 9 was down 47 cents from the previous day to $67.05. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was 25 cents lower at $74.63 in the Tuesday PM report. The ham led the day, down $3.64, with the picnic and rib following lower. The national base hog weighted average price was 92 cents lower at $59.58 on Tuesday afternoon. The USDA estimated FI hog slaughter at 921,000 head through Tuesday. That is up 19,000 head from the previous week and 53,000 head more than the same week last year.

Cotton futures are 6 to 57 points higher this morning, with most of the softs showing gains in the face of a weaker US dollar. Cotton finished Tuesday with most contracts 8 to 35 points in the red. The Cotlook A index was down 50 points from the previous day on March 12 at 93.90 cents/lb. Cash sales on the Seam were reported at 2,272 bales on Monday, with prices averaging 70.73 cents/lb. The Adjusted World Price (AWP) was updated to 74.13 cents/lb, down 104 points from last week. Brazil is expected to plant 2.923 million acres of cotton in 17/18, nearly 26% above 16/17 according INTL FCStone. China sold 24,300 MT of the near 30,000 MT offered at an auction of state reserves on Tuesday. This was perceived as solid buying interest and suggesting a need for imported cotton to blend with the reserve stocks.

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