AgriCharts Market Commentary

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Corn futures are showing fractional gains at Wednesday’s midday. The weekly EIA report will be delayed until Thursday morning, due to Monday’s holiday. Ahead of the USDA Ag Outlook Forum, a Reuters survey of analysts shows expectations for 2018 corn planted acreage at 89.902 million acres, slightly lower than 2017. They also estimate that production will run nearly 270 mbu below 17/18 at 14.333 bbu. An Argentina private consultant firm Agripac estimates the country’s 17/18 corn crop at 37 MMT, compared to the USDA’s 39 MMT.

Mar 18 Corn is at $3.66 1/4, up 3/4 cent,

May 18 Corn is at $3.74 1/2, up 3/4 cent,

Jul 18 Corn is at $3.82, up 1/2 cent

Sep 18 Corn is at $3.88 3/4, up 1/2 cent


Soybean futures are trading 7 to 8 cents higher in most nearby contracts at midday. Soy meal futures are up 60 cents/ton, with nearby soy oil 37 points in the green. A survey of traders shows estimates for 2018 soybean acreage at 90.588 million acres ahead of Thursday and Friday’s Ag Outlook forum. That would be nearly 446,000 acres more than in 2017. Expectations for the 18/19 soybean crop are seen at 4.361 bbu, slightly lower than 17/18. Brazilian production estimates are running 112 to 115 MMT, vs. 114 MMT last year. Argentine numbers are 49-50 MMT, with one firm as low as 47 MMT vs. USDA at 53 MMT.

Mar 18 Soybeans are at $10.34 1/2, up 8 cents,

May 18 Soybeans are at $10.45 1/2, up 8 cents,

Jul 18 Soybeans are at $10.55, up 8 cents,

Aug 18 Soybeans are at $10.55 1/4, up 7 cents,

Mar 18 Soybean Meal is at $377.10, up $0.60

Mar 18 Soybean Oil is at $32.23, up $0.37


Wheat futures are steady to 3 cents lower in most CBT and MPLS contracts on Wednesday, as KC is down 5 to 6 cents. Some of the HRW crop has seen some moisture this week, but most major areas are still experiencing dryness. Analysts are expecting the USDA to show all wheat acreage for 2018 at 46.082 million acres in this week’s Ag Outlook Forum, just 60,000 above the 2017 acreage number. Production is also projected to be up 82 mbu to 1.823 mbu. Egypt’s GASC purchased 120,000 MT of Russian wheat for March 22-April 1 delivery, as only Russia and Romania presented offers. In addition to Egypt’s tender, Algeria also bought 340,000 MT of optional origin wheat on Wednesday, with April-May delivery.

Mar 18 CBOT Wheat is at $4.48 3/4, down 1/2 cent,

Mar 18 KCBT Wheat is at $4.66, down 5 3/4 cents,

Mar 18 MGEX Wheat is at $6.00 1/4, down 2 1/4 cents


Live cattle futures are posting sharp losses at midday, with nearby Feb down $2.325. Feeder cattle futures are also sharply lower, down $2.45 to $3.25 in most contracts. The CME feeder cattle index was up 29 cents on February 19 at $148.11. Wholesale boxed beef values were higher on Wednesday morning. Choice boxes were up $1.93 at $217.85, with Select boxes 85 cents higher at $211.25. Estimated weekly FI cattle slaughter was 213,000 head through Tuesday. That is down 14,000 from the previous week on lighter Monday slaughter and 2,000 head fewer than the same week last year. Analysts are estimating that Friday’s USDA Cattle on Feed report will show January placements of 1.989 million head, up 0.4% from last year. January marketings are seen at 6% larger than 2017 at 1.855 million head.

Feb 18 Cattle are at $127.975, down $2.325,

Apr 18 Cattle are at $125.275, down $2.450,

Jun 18 Cattle are at $116.475, down $2.350,

Mar 18 Feeder Cattle are at $146.950, down $2.850

Apr 18 Feeder Cattle are at $149.275, down $3.175

May 18 Feeder Cattle are at $149.950, down $3.100

Lean Hogs

Lean hog futures are mixed on Wednesday, with nearby April up 17.5 cents. The CME Lean Hog Index on February 19 was $71.41, down 68 cents from the previous day. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was 41 cents lower at $79.31 in the Wednesday AM report. The rib and belly primals were the only cuts reported this morning afternoon. The USDA estimated week to date FI hog slaughter at 879,000 through Tuesday. That is down 45,000 head from the previous week but 6,000 head more than the same time last year.

Apr 18 Hogs are at $69.375, up $0.175,

May 18 Hogs are at $75.750, down $0.250

Jun 18 Hogs are at $81.000, up $0.050


Cotton futures are mostly 85 to 97 points higher on Wednesday. A rising US dollar may be prodding some foreign buyers into action. Cash sales of 41,475 bales were reported on the Seam on Tuesday, with prices averaging 72.17 cents/lb. The USDA Export Sales report is delayed until Friday morning. The current USDA Adjusted World Price or AWP is 69.15 cents/lb, and will be updated on Thursday. The Cotlook A index was UNCH from the previous day on February 20 at 86.85 cents/lb.

Mar 18 Cotton is at 78.4, up 89 points,

May 18 Cotton is at 79.81, up 85 points

Jul 18 Cotton is at 80.68, up 97 points

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