AgriCharts Market Commentary
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Corn futures closed the week mostly 5 cents lower. Since last Friday, March 17 Futures were down 6 1/4 cents, but hit a 7 month high on Thursday at $3.80. In the weekly CFTC commitment of traders report from Tuesday, corn futures and options increased their managed money net long by 56,527 contracts. The USDA reported a private sale of 194,112 MT of corn to Japan, with 60,000 MT for 16/17 and 134,112 MT for 17/18. The Mexican government is sending a trade delegation to South America to discuss more on corn imports to Mexico.
Soybean futures traded sharply lower again today, coming off yesterday’s double digits losses.On the week, soybeans lost 26 1/2 cents, or 2.5%, mainly from yesterday and today's losses. March 17 US meal futures were down $2.40 today and $2.50 lower from last Friday. Soybean oil contracts were down 4.97% on the week. Soybean futures and options increased their net long position in managed money by 20,354 contracts in the CFTC COT report. Mato Grosso’s soybean harvest is 51.9% complete according to the IMEA, which is ahead of last year’s progress of 39.4% at this time. The forecast for that region in Brazil calls for rain over the next week, slowing harvest. Soybean crush for the week is at 38,505 MT according to the Canadian Oilseed Processors Association, down 13.8% from the previous week. They also had canola crush at 178,910 MT, which is 1.7% lower on the week.
Wheat futures settled lower again on Friday. March 17 CHI was the weakest today, down 6 3/4 cents. It was also 1.78% lower on the week. KC was fairly steady to 1 3/4 cents lower. MPLS was 4 cents lower in March 17 with some deferred contracts showing some green, but lost 4.59% over the week. CHI futures and options decreased their net short position by 42,500 contracts. In Egypt's wheat tender of wheat for March 16-26, 360,000 MT of wheat was purchased from Russia, Ukraine and Romania. The US, which had the highest offer, has not been competitive for exports into the Egyptian market for a while. There is a little concern across the Southern plains about the warmer weather, as it is still only February.
Live cattle futures ended Friday higher by triple digits in the front three months. Over the course of the week Feb 17 was $1.525 higher. Feeder futures were also in the green on Friday, up a quarter in the March 17 contract, with a weekly increase of $2.00. The commitment of traders report showed live cattle futures and options managed money continuing to decrease their net long position for the second week in a row by 6,288 contracts. The CME cattle feeder index was at $127.69 for 2/16, down 33cents. Wholesale beef prices are higher in the afternoon report with choice boxes up $1.27and select boxes $1.05 higher. The Ch/Se spread is now at $1.25. Trading was active on good demand today as DTN reported live sales this morning in the $119-120.50 range, with roughly 12,000 head sold so far between NE, KS, CO, IA, and TX. There were also some dressed sales of $190 in NE, and IA reported.
Lean hogs finished $1 higher in the May 17 contract with April up 95 cents on Friday. The CME Lean Hog Index for 2/15 was at $75.98, up 67 cents vs. 2/14. The USDA’s average pork carcass value was 23 cents higher in the afternoon report at $84.65, with only loin cut lower, down $2. National cash hog base prices averaged $72.95 in the afternoon report, 34 cents lower, with a range of $68-$74.75. IA/MN was 28 cents lower and WCB was down 32 cents at $74.05 and $74 respectively. Even with low slaughter numbers yesterday, weekly slaughter is estimated to be 2,363,000 head through Saturday, only 1,000 below last week.
Cotton futures posted triple digit losses in the three nearby contracts. March has lost $2.34 on the week, a 3.09% loss. The dollar was 460 points higher on the day putting pressure on cotton futures. The AWP for next week through Thursday is now 67.19 cents, up from 66.45 cents the previous week. Total classings for upland cotton is now at 15.811 million RB, up 182,242 RB from a week ago. Cotton futures and options added 2,997 contracts to their largest ever net long position as of Tuesday in the COT report. The Cotlook A index for February 16 was down 75 points to 85.80.