Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures were weak into the close on Thursday, down 3 to 4 1/4 cents lower in the front months. Traders were taking money off the table ahead of the extended weekend. The USDA reported a private cancelation of 132,000 of grain sorghum to unknown destinations for 17/18 delivery this morning. Their weekly Export Sales report indicated old crop sales in the week of 5/17 at 854,304 MT, in the middle of expectations. That was a 13.33% drop from last week but is still 21.12% larger than the same week last year. New crop sales were tallied at 273,424, exceeding analysts’ estimates. Shipments during that week totaled 1.469 MMT, a slight drop from the previous week. China sold another 2.984 MMT of corn from state reserves on Thursday, totaling 74.89% of the offered amount. AgroConsult analysts trimmed their second corn crop estimate for Brazil by 3.2 MMT to 57 MMT.

Jul 18 Corn closed at $4.04 1/4, down 4 1/4 cents,

Sep 18 Corn closed at $4.13, down 4 1/4 cents,

Dec 18 Corn closed at $4.22 1/2, down 4 cents

Mar 19 Corn closed at $4.30 3/4, down 3 1/2 cents

Soybean futures closed the day steady to 3 1/2 cents lower on profit taking in front of the Memorial Day holiday. Soymeal was down $3.40/ton, with front month soy oil a point higher. A private export sale to unknown of 264,000 MT of new crop beans was reported through the USDA’s daily reporting system. This morning’s Export Sales report showed a net reduction of 139,450 MT in old crop sales. Pakistan purchased 248,000 MT, with Bangladesh at 173,100 MT, but a cancelation of 894,500 MT to unknown (previously announced) offset that. New crop sales were reported at just 6,889 MT. Export shipments in the week of 5/17 were well above last year totaling 903,873 MT, with 133,200 MT to China. Soy meal sales were shown at 196,873 MT, with a 42,641 MT cancelation for 18/19. Sales of soy oil were tallied at 17,698 MT. Argentina’s Ag Ministry now sees their country’s soybean crop at 36.6 MMT, down 1 from their previous estimate.

Jul 18 Soybeans closed at $10.35 3/4, down 3 1/2 cents,

Aug 18 Soybeans closed at $10.39 3/4, down 3 1/2 cents,

Sep 18 Soybeans closed at $10.42 3/4, down 2 1/4 cents,

Jan 19 Soybeans closed at $10.50 3/4, down 1 1/4 cents,

Jul 18 Soybean Meal closed at $377.30, down $3.40,

Jul 18 Soybean Oil closed at $31.71, up $0.01

Wheat futures also joined in the selloff ahead of the weekend, with winter wheat contracts steady to 4 cents lower. MPLS spring wheat was down 6 to 7 1/4 cents. Export sales of old crop wheat were reported at 112,265 MT this morning, exceeding most expectations. That was 78% larger than a week ago, but down 44.4% from a year ago. Actual exports in the week of 5/17 were tallied at 362,161 MT, just half of the same time last year. Japan purchased 96,870 MT of US and Canadian wheat in their weekly MOA tender on Thursday, with 63,735 MT US origin. Algeria also purchased wheat in a recent tender, totaling 700,000 MT of optional origin. Russia’s SovEcon trimmed their 18/19 wheat production estimate by 1.2 MMT to 77 MMT.

Jul 18 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.30 1/4, down 3/4 cent,

Jul 18 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.49, down 2 3/4 cents,

Jul 18 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.34 3/4, down 7 1/4 cents

Live cattle futures were down 35 cents to $1.05 on the day. Feeder cattle futures were mostly lower, with May expiring higher at $136.40. The CME feeder cattle index was up $1.01 on May 23 at $134.44. Wholesale boxed beef values were lower this afternoon. Choice boxes were down $1.08 at $229.00, with Select boxes 11 cents lower at $204.93. Week to date FI cattle slaughter was estimated at 479,000 head through Thursday. That is 5,000 head larger than last week. Analysts are expecting to see May 1 cattle on feed at 11.535 million head, 4.9% larger than last year. The Cattle on Feed report is scheduled for Friday morning at 11 AM CDT. Export sales of beef were reported at 9,854 MT, a 10.1% drop from last week but 37.9% larger than last year. Actual exports totaled 16,137 MT, 18.72% larger than last year. Cash trade was fairly quiet, with a few light reports of $114-115 sales.

Jun 18 Cattle closed at $104.400, down $1.050,

Aug 18 Cattle closed at $101.775, down $1.025,

Oct 18 Cattle closed at $105.250, down $0.500,

May 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $136.400, up $1.500

Aug 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $143.300, down $0.050

Sep 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $143.100, down $0.200

Lean hog futures were one of the bright spots in the commodity complex on Thursday, with most contracts steady to 55 cents higher. The CME Lean Hog Index was up 34 cents from the previous day to $69.03 on May 22. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was down 70 cents at $74.11 on Thursday afternoon. The rib was the main cause, down $20.50 in one day. The national base hog weighted average price was a penny lower at $64.78 in the afternoon. The USDA estimated weekly FI hog slaughter at 1.833 million head through Thursday. That is up 7,000 head from last week and 63,000 above the same week in 2017. Pork sales for export were shown at 20,610 MT in the USDA report this morning. That was down 6% wk/wk but 17.3% larger yr/yr. Shipments were tallied at 25,064 MT, 14.6% above the same week in 2017.

Jun 18 Hogs closed at $74.825, up $0.225,

Jul 18 Hogs closed at $76.775, up $0.550

Aug 18 Hogs closed at $75.350, up $0.325

Cotton futures posted strong gains of 50 to 150 points in most contracts on Thursday. The dollar provided a little support, down 229 points. This morning’s USDA Export Sales report indicated that just 50,664 RB of old crop upland cotton were sold for export in the week of May 17. That was a MY low, but still more than 3 times larger than the same week last year. New crop sales were reported at 152,178 RB. Exports of upland cotton have remained at a high pace at 402,955 RB, 21% larger than the same week in 2017. China sold another 30,000 MT of cotton offered at an auction of state reserves on Thursday. This could be helpful for the US export market, as they look to bring in bales of higher quality cotton to blend with their lower quality. The Cotlook A index was down 100 points from the previous day to 94.90 cents/lb on May 23. The AWP was updated to 76.33 cents/lb on Thursday, up 2.24 cents/lb from the previous week.

Jul 18 Cotton closed at 87.460, up 50 points,

Oct 18 Cotton closed at 86.300, up 109 points

Dec 18 Cotton closed at 85.550, up 150 points

Market Commentary provided by:

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