Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures are trading 1/2 to 1 cents lower this morning after posting fractional to 1 1/4 cent gains on Monday. The trade is expecting modest reductions in US average yield and ending stocks in this morning’s USDA reports. The USDA Crop Progress report showed 5% of the US corn crop has been harvested, vs. the average of 6%. In addition, 21% was reported mature, a full 10% behind the average pace. The report had corn conditions unchanged from last week at 61% gd/ex, with a Brugler500 Index of 357. Monday morning’s USDA Export Inspections report indicated corn shipments of 662,173 MT. That is 19% lower than last week and 30.62% behind last year.Analysts are expecting the USDA to show new crop world ending stocks nearly 3 MMT lower than August at 197.8 MMT.

Soybean futures are sticking right around UNCH this morning. They finished Monday with most contracts 1/2 to 2 cents lower. Sept soy meal was down $2.00/ton, with nearby bean oil 20 points higher. The Export Inspections report showed soybean shipments 55.61% above last week and 16.62 larger than a year ago at 1.11 MMT. The crop progress report showed 22% of the soybean acreage dropping leaves, vs. the average of 25% for this date. Conditions fell 1% to 60 gd/ex, and the Brugler500 Index was down 2 points to 356. Ahead of today’s USDA supply and demand report, traders are estimating 17/18 world soybean ending stocks will show a slight reduction from August, at 97.2 MMT.

Wheat futures are currently steady to a penny higher in the CHI and KC contracts, with MPLS spring wheat up 3 to 4 cents. The Monday session ended with most contracts steady to 7 cents lower. Wheat inspections for export totaled 446,957 MT for the week of September 7, 53.74% larger than last week but 39.93% behind last year. The USDA Crop Progress report showed 95% of the spring wheat crop harvested, 8% above the average. Analysts in the big surveys are expecting the USDA will adjust the world wheat carry over slightly lower. They are projecting 264.3 MMT in 17/18 world ending stocks. Russian numbers are expected to be higher, with Australia lower. Australian 2017/18 wheat production was lowered to 21.6 MMT by the country’s ABARE agency.

Live cattle futures settled with nearby contracts mixed and back months higher on Monday. Feeder cattle futures were mostly 57.5 cents to $1.075 higher. The CME feeder cattle index was up 75 cents from the previous day at $149.01 on September 8. Wholesale beef prices were mixed in the Monday afternoon report, with the Ch/Se spread narrowing to $1.18. Choice was down 32 cents at $191.56, as select boxes were 41 cents higher at $190.38. FI cattle slaughter was estimated at 116,000 head on Monday, which is 5,000 head larger than the same week in 2016. Cash trade was mostly around $105 last week; steady with the prior week and below the nearby futures. Activity on Monday consisted of gathering show lists.

Lean hog futures were mostly a nickel to 57.5 cents lower on Monday, with a few deferred contracts slightly higher. The CME Lean Hog Index for 9/7 was 43 cents lower than the previous day at $68.94. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was 4 cents lower in the Monday afternoon report, with a weighted average of $82.08. The butt and picnic were the only cuts higher. The national base hog carcass was down $1.35 in the PM report at $57.32. Estimated FI hog slaughter was 450,000 through Monday, 9,000 larger than the same week in 2016.

Cotton futures are trading 70 to 150 points lower after they posted losses of 143 to 248 points to start the week after less crop damage than expected was shown in the weekly report. Georgia represented 14% of total estimated US cotton production in the August NASS report and is seeing some wind and rain damage. NASS reported 51% of the GA acreage with bolls open. Texas reported 15% of the crop in poor/very poor condition, but the state overall had a 73 on a 100 point index, which is still above last year. After the Monday close the USDA showed 34% of the bolls opening nationally, vs. the average of 40%. As of Sunday, 9% of the crop was harvested, compared to the average of 4%. Conditions fell 2% to 63% gd/ex, as the Brugler500 was down 2 to 365. Total export commitments for all upland cotton are now 54% of the USDA export projection. That is above the average of 38% and last year’s 33%.

Market Commentary provided by:

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