Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures are currently showing gains of 1 to 2 cents at midday, ahead of the 3-day weekend. Actual exports are slowly catching up to the USDA export projection, now at 63% vs. the normal pace of 67%. Export commitments for corn jumped out to a 1.3% lead over this time last year. They are typically 94% of the USDA export number, with this year at 95% complete. China sold another 1.24 MMT of corn from state reserves on Friday, totaling 31% of the offered amount. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange estimates that the Argentina corn crop was 34.9% harvested as of Wednesday, lagging the average at 37.2%.

Jul 18 Corn is at $4.05 1/2, up 1 1/4 cents,

Sep 18 Corn is at $4.14 1/4, up 1 1/4 cents,

Dec 18 Corn is at $4.24 1/4, up 1 3/4 cents

Mar 19 Corn is at $4.32 1/2, up 1 3/4 cents

Soybean futures are up 6 to 7 cents on Friday, with no trading on Monday. Soymeal is up $3.40/ton, with front month soy oil down 37 points. The USDA reported another private export sale of 312,000 MT of new crop US beans to China. An additional report of 132,000 optional origin beans was also sold to China. Shipments of soybeans have some catching up to do before August 31, at only 81% of the USDA projection vs. the average of 91% for this date Total commitments are now 98% of that projection, with the typical pace at 99%. Due to the Brazil trucker strike, now suspended, Abiove stated that meal and soy oil production had “practically” stopped. BAGE places the Argentine soybean harvest at 80.3% complete, now behind the average at 84.9%.

Jul 18 Soybeans are at $10.42, up 6 1/4 cents,

Aug 18 Soybeans are at $10.46 1/2, up 6 3/4 cents,

Sep 18 Soybeans are at $10.49 3/4, up 7 cents,

Nov 18 Soybeans are at $10.54 1/4, up 6 3/4 cents,

Jul 18 Soybean Meal is at $380.70, up $3.40

Jul 18 Soybean Oil is at $31.34, down $0.37

Wheat futures are trading 8 to 12 cents higher on Friday, with the KC contract the strongest at the moment. With just 2 reporting weeks left in the 17/18 MY exports are just 88% of the USDA projection, with the average pace at 95%. If you add in the unshipped sales, just 96% of the export estimate is complete vs. the average of 105%. That suggests the USDA may lower the 17/18 export number on June 12. Russia’s IKAR trimmed their range for the country’s expected wheat production by 3 MMT on each side to 69.5-77 MMT.

Jul 18 CBOT Wheat is at $5.39 3/4, up 9 1/2 cents,

Jul 18 KCBT Wheat is at $5.60 3/4, up 11 3/4 cents,

Jul 18 MGEX Wheat is at $6.43, up 8 1/4 cents

Live cattle futures are mostly 22.5 to 37.5 cents lower at the moment. Feeder cattle futures are also down 17.5 to 37.5 cents on Friday. The CME feeder cattle index was up $1.01 on May 23 at $134.44. Wholesale boxed beef values were lower on Friday morning. Choice boxes were down $1.59 at $227.41, with Select boxes 4 cents lower at $204.89. Week to date FI cattle slaughter was estimated at 479,000 head through Thursday. That is 5,000 head larger than last week. Very few cash sales have been reported so far this week, with bids of $110 being reported at the moment. This morning’s USDA Cattle on Feed report showed April placements at 1.695 million head, 8.28% lower than last year, slightly above expectations. Marketings were at 1.803 million head, up 6%. That put May 1 cattle on feed at 11.558 million head, up 5.09% from a year ago and a little larger than the average trade estimate.

Jun 18 Cattle are at $104.025, down $0.375,

Aug 18 Cattle are at $101.425, down $0.350,

Oct 18 Cattle are at $105.025, down $0.225,

Aug 18 Feeder Cattle are at $143.125, down $0.175

Sep 18 Feeder Cattle are at $142.850, down $0.250

Oct 18 Feeder Cattle are at $142.825, down $0.375

Lean hog futures are mixed at midday, with nearby June down 57.5 cents and back months higher. The CME Lean Hog Index was up 26 cents from the previous day to $69.29 on May 23. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was up 78 cents at $74.89 on Friday morning. The rib and ham were the only primals reported higher. The national base hog weighted average price was a penny lower at $64.78 on Thursday 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.

Jun 18 Hogs are at $74.250, down $0.575,

Jul 18 Hogs are at $77.150, up $0.375

Aug 18 Hogs are at $75.775, up $0.425

Cotton futures are trading 43 to 91 points higher at the moment, despite a sharply higher US dollar index. Thursday’s CFTC Cotton on Call report showed mills trimming their unfixed call sales for July by 3,090 contracts. As of May 18 they still had 46,553 contracts for July. Upland cotton export commitments are now 18.8% ahead of last year and 112% of the full year export estimate. Most years commitments would be 99% of WASDE figure by now. China sold another 30,008 MT of cotton offered at an auction of state reserves on Thursday. The Cotlook A index was down 45 points from the previous day to 94.45 cents/lb on May 24. The AWP was updated to 76.33 cents/lb on Thursday, up 2.24 cents/lb from the previous week.

Jul 18 Cotton is at 88.37, up 91 points,

Oct 18 Cotton is at 86.73, up 43 points

Dec 18 Cotton is at 86.38, up 83 points

Mar 19 Cotton is at 85.870, up 73 points

Market Commentary provided by:

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