Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures are trading 1 to 2 cents lower this morning. They ended the Wednesday session with most contracts 1 to 2 1/4 cents lower. The weekly EIA report showed 1.034 million barrels per day of ethanol was produced during the week of 4/6. That was down 4,000 bpd from the previous week. On a bullish note, ethanol stocks dropped 579,000 barrels to the lowest level since early November (21.846 million barrels). Analysts are expecting the USDA to show 0.9-1.4 MMT of old crop export sales made during the week of 4/5 in this morning’s Export Sales report, with new crop at 0-300,000 MT.

Soybean futures are mostly 2 cents higher this morning ahead of the Export Sales report. They closed the day with 1 1/2 to 3 3/4 cent losses after spending most of Wednesday in positive territory. Soy meal was down $3.70/ton, with front month soy oil down 32 points. On Tuesday, the USDA cut the average farm price estimate for soybeans by 20 cents to $9.10-$9.50, as they left the midpoint at $9.30. The average trade guess for old crop soybean export sales ahead of the Export Sales report is 0.9-1.4 MMT, with 400,000-600,000 MT seen for new crop. Soy meal sales are expected to run 150,000-450,000 MT, and trade sources estimate 20,000-45,000 MT for soy oil.

Wheat futures are 8 to 9 cents lower in Chicago SRW this morning. KC HRW is 11 cents lower, while MPLS spring wheat is only down 1-2 cents. The market had been 4 to 5 cents lower in the CBT and KC contracts on Wednesday. MPLS was up 2 1/2 cents in the front months. The NWS 6-10 day forecast is calling for colder than normal temps in the North, possibly delaying spring wheat planting. Warmer than normal temps are expected in the western parts of OK and TX. Wheat export sales for the week that ended 4/5 are expected to be 150,000-350,000 MT, with 100,000-300,000 MT seen for new crop. With the addition to the projected world ending stocks number yesterday, the USDA now sees a 6.53% jump in world carryover from 16/17. At the same time ending stocks in the US are estimated to be down 9.91%.

Live cattle futures settled mixed on Wednesday, as nearby April was up 70 cents. Feeder cattle futures were 7.5 to 45 cents higher in the front months. The CME feeder cattle index was up 4 cents on April 10 at $134.85. Wholesale boxed beef values were lower on Wednesday afternoon. Choice boxes were 44 cents lower at $213.07, with Select boxes down 72 cents at $200.61. The Ch/Se spread has now widened to $12.46. Estimated FI cattle slaughter was at 356,000 head through Wednesday. That is 17,000 above the previous week and up 15,000 head from the same week in 2017. The FCE online auction saw just 509 head sold of the 3,931 offered. The average price for 1-9 day delivery was $117.71, with 17-30 day delivery at $114.There were reports of $117 cash trade in TX, with $118 bids in KS on Wednesday.

Lean hog futures finished with nearby April down 20 cents and back months higher. The CME Lean Hog Index was down 52 cents from the previous day on April 9 to $53.50. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was down 71 cents at $65.86 yesterday. The belly was the only cut reported higher but had been under immense pressure since the first of the month. The national base hog weighted average price was 95 cents higher at $47.50. The USDA estimated FI hog slaughter at 1.367 million head through Wednesday. That is up 32,000 head from the same point last year.

Cotton futures are trading 6 points lower to 6 points higher this morning, with the market still trying to buy more 2018 cotton acreage in the US. December futures are testing life of contract highs. They were mostly 18 to 30 points higher yesterday, with thinly traded October down 45 points. If the increase in projected US cotton exports to 15 million bales is realized, 17/18 exports would be the largest since 05/06. The Cotlook A index was up 35 points on April 10 to 92.40 cents/lb. The USDA Adjusted World Price (AWP), currently 72.03 cents/lb through Thursday, will be updated later today. There were sales of 7,433 bales at an average price of 74.44 cents/lb sold on the Seam on Tuesday. A Chinese auction of state reserves saw 13,600 MT of cotton sold, which was 45.27% of the total offered.

Market Commentary provided by:

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