News & Commentary
AgriCharts Market Commentary
Do you want to know what trades Alan Brugler recommends? Subscribe to Ag Market Professional, and become part of the Brugler client group! Not sure? Ask for a FREE SAMPLE and get two FREE GIFTS! Start here
Want this Ag News delivered to your inbox? Get the FREE Brugler Ag Newsletter, delivered 3 times daily.
Corn futures were down 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cents on the day. The INTL FCStone planting intentions survey anticipates 91.6 million acres. The USDA was at 90.0 at their Ag Outlook in February, with the Planting Intentions report coming out March 31. The weekly EIA report showed daily average ethanol production decreasing slightly by 1,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1,044,000 bpd. More than an estimated 109 million bushels of corn have been crushed in each of the last two weeks. Ethanol stocks were 22.595 million barrels, down 171,000 barrels from the previous week. Both Coasts were shown to have lower stocks, with the Gulf, Midwest, and Rocky’s showing a slight increase. Estimates for the USDA weekly exports sales for old crop corn are running 900,000 to 1,200,000 MT, with new crop 100,000 to 300,000 MT.
Soybean futures closed steady to 1 3/4 cents lower on Wednesday. May Soymeal futures were $2.30 lower, and soy oil was 38 points higher. In the weekly USDA export sales released tomorrow morning, old crop soybeans are projected at 350,000 to 550,000MT and new crop sales at 100,000 to 300,000 MT. Soy meal export sales are expected to be 150,000 to 350,000 MT for 16/17 and 25,000 to 100,000 MT for 17/18. Soy oil is estimated to be 0 to 30,000 MT for both 16/17 and 17/18. The USDA reported a private export sale of 120,000 MT of soybeans to China for 17/18 delivery. In a survey released by INTL FCStone, producers are estimated to plant 87.3 million acres of soybeans this spring. The USDA released an 88 million acre figure in their Ag Outlook meeting. That number is expected to change in their yearly planting intentions report on March 31.
Wheat futures finished Wednesday mostly lower. MPLS was the firmest as May was down 1/2 cent with a few contracts in the green. Both CHI and KC were 4 to 5 3/4 cents lower. Forecasts of rain held wheat prices down for the most part. Analysts are expecting old crop wheat export sales for the week ending March 16 to be in a range of 250,000 to 450,000 MT and 50,000 to 250,000 MT for new crop. A private export sale to Saudi Arabia of 120,000 MT of HRW wheat was announced by the USDA this morning, through their daily reporting system. Through Wednesday, Ukraine’s Ag Ministry reports 14.29 MMT of wheat has been exported for 16/17.
Live cattle futures traded $1.55 to $2.725 higher on a Wednesday that saw April 17 and June 17 both hitting the limit up. Feeder cattle futures rose $2.00 to $4.175 on Wednesday. The CME feeder cattle index was at $130.02 for 3/21, a daily gain of 7 cents. Wholesale beef prices in the afternoon report were mixed, as choice boxes were $1.93 lower and select was up 39 cents. Cash cattle prices on the FCE had a weighted average of $133.35, up $4.96 from last week, with 2,195 of the 3,928 head selling. In NE prices ranged from $133-$136.50, and $128-$130 in KS and TX as only 3 lots from there were sold. Estimated FI slaughter week to date slaughter is 348,000 head, up 7,000 from last week and 21,000 head above the same time last year. In the Cold Storage report released this afternoon, February US beef stocks were shown at 502,429 million pounds. That is 0.8% below last February and 6.6% lower than January.
Lean hog futures ended the day mixed with April 15 cents higher. The CME Lean Hog Index for 3/20 was down 13 cents to $71.48. USDA’s average pork carcass value in the afternoon report was $79.04, down $1.92. All cuts except the belly were lower. National cash hog base prices were 52 cents lower with the weighted average at $65.67. Prices in the IA/MN and WCB regions were 54 and 59 cents lower. The Cold Storage report released after market close had February pork stocks at 571.966 million pounds, 9.1% above January, but down 9.1% from February 2016. Belly stocks were at 16.152 million pounds, 15.41% above January, but still down 73.71% from February 2016. WTD estimated FI slaughter for hogs was 1,326,000 head on Wednesday. That is 13,000 above the previous week and 75,000 head above the same week in 2016.
Cotton futures settled 12 to 50 points higher on Wednesday. The US dollar index was 122 points lower at 99.691. The USDA calculation of the average world price (AWP) is 67.92. We get a new one tomorrow night. Cash sales reported on the Seam were at to 5,266 bales, as prices fell to 71.44 cents. The Cotlook A index was down 85 points on March 21 to 86.85. The Rose Commodity Group projects 2017 cotton acreage at 12 million acres, vs. the last USDA estimate of 11.5 MMT. Bloomberg is at 11.9 million acres. The USDA will release Export sales tomorrow morning at 7:30 a.m. with upland cotton sales expected to be lower than last week’s 316,487 RB.