MONTHLY FUTURES MARKET OVERVIEW
Read the complete October 2023 Edition HERE
In October the USDA adjustments to old crop demand were in line with expectations in order to get 2022/23 corn stocks to 1.361 bil. as previously reported at the end of September. 2023 corn production was cut 70 mil. bu. to 15.064 bil., which was just below expectations. We were looking for a 14 mil. bu. cut to 15.120 bil. The average yield fell to 173 bpa, just below the 173.4 bpa from a year ago. There were no changes to the harvested acres. 2023/24 demand was cut 50 mil. bu. with both exports and feed usage off 25 mil. bu. Ending stocks at 2.111 bil. were roughly 25 mil. below expectations. 2023/24 world ending stocks were reduced just over 1.6 mmt to 312.4 mmt, slightly below estimates. The only noted change to global production was Argentina up 1 mmt to 55 mmt. With U.S. corn yields being cut in July, August, September and now October, history leans toward slightly lower production in future reports. Stocks/use ratios among the top four corn exporters are expected to rise to nearly 12% for the 2023/24 marketing year, which is a six-year high. Attention will now shift towards South American weather and production prospects.
Labor Day is the last of the summer holidays when consumer demand for beef increases. It typically is followed by a decrease in beef demand through the end of the month. September 2023 followed this trend. On Friday, August 30, choice boxed beef was $315.11. By September 15 choice boxed beef dropped to $305.71, and it ended the month at $300.78. Cattle prices in September because of the sharp decrease in slaughter remained strong. The 5-day national accumulate weighted average price for steers began at $183.71, by the middle of the month was $183.18 and ended the month at $184.10.
Hog and pork prices throughout the summer of 2023 rallied as consumers fighting high grocery prices shifted from high beef prices to cheaper chicken and pork. October 2023 lean hogs were up $18.12 from the lowest price on May 26 at $68.62 to the highest price at $86.75 on August 1. Hog slaughter in the U.S. was up year-to-date 1,274,000 head by September 29. In September there was a shift in U.S. meat production as multi-species poultry and hog processors cut chicken slaughter in order to support their pork and cattle processing.
Stock Index Futures
Stock index futures trended down in September, which is in keeping with its historical seasonal tendencies. However, there were gains in early October, primarily due to prospects of a less hawkish Federal Reserve. However, more recently, futures came under pressure as a result off worries of a possible escalation of the war in the Middle East.
US Dollar Index
The U.S. dollar index traded higher in September due to on balance hawkish commentary from Federal Reserve officials. For example, the president of the Cleveland Federal Reserve said the central bank may well need to raise interest rates once more this year and then keep rates high “for some time” to get inflation fully under control. Loretta Mester said “inflation remains too high” despite a sharp slowdown in price increases since last year.
The euro currency was pressured by further evidence of an economic slowdown in the euro zone.
The International Monetary Fund said Germany was likely to suffer a deeper recession than previously estimated. Europe’s largest economy is expected to be the only one of the Group of Seven highly industrialized nations that will not see growth in 2023.
Crude futures traded over $90 per barrel in September, which was the highest since November last year, driven by expectations of reduced global supplies
Gold futures came under pressure in September and early October. The dominant fundamentals adversely affecting the gold market were the usual suspects, including the strong the U.S. dollar, which advanced to its highest level since early March. In addition, the hawkishness from Federal Reserve officials added to the negative sentiment towards the gold market.
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