Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures are trading 1 to 2 3/4 cents higher at midday for the first trading session of the new year. The USDA weekly Export Inspections report showed very typical holiday week shipping of 683,898 MT. Last year it was 638,577 MT for the same week. Brazil is getting some rain down into the dry southern states, and Cordoba in Argentina has also seen some showers to improve crop prospects. The Commitment of Traders report showed the large spec funds reducing their net short position in corn futures & options during the week ending December 26. The EU Commission increased corn production estimate to 64.6 MMT from 62.2 MMT.

Mar 18 Corn is at $3.53 1/2, up 2 3/4 cents,

May 18 Corn is at $3.61 1/2, up 2 1/2 cents,

Jul 18 Corn is at $3.70, up 2 3/4 cents

Sep 18 Corn is at $3.77 1/4, up 2 1/2 cents

Soybean futures are currently UNCH to 1 cent per bushel lower. Meal futures are fractionally lower. Soy oil is getting a lift from higher palm oil trade in Malaysia and is up 12 points. Shrinkage in the dry pockets in South America is driving upward creep in soybean production estimates. The USDA weekly Export Inspections report this morning showed 1.139 MMT shipped in the week ending December 28. That was down 11% from the previous week and lagged the same week in 2016 by 28%. The Friday afternoon Commitment of Traders report showed the spec funds adding 28,319 contracts to their net short position in the week ending December 26. That put them net short 69,091 contracts of futures and options on Tuesday night. USDA’s Fats & Oils report today is expected to show November crush of about 174 million bushels, with trade ideas running 173.5-175.0 million.

Jan 18 Soybeans are at $9.51 1/4, down 1/2 cent,

Mar 18 Soybeans are at $9.60 3/4, down 1 cent,

May 18 Soybeans are at $9.72, down 1 cent,

Jul 18 Soybeans are at $9.82 1/2, down 1 cent,

Jan 18 Soybean Meal is at $312.40, down $0.20,

Jan 18 Soybean Oil is at $33.21, up $0.13

Wheat futures are higher across the board as subzero temps over the weekend are thought to have done some damage to the winter wheat crop in the US. European crops are lacking snow cover but have not seen the extremely cold temps. That said, winterkill is notoriously difficult to quantify ahead of the crop breaking dormancy in February. This morning, USDA indicated wheat export loadings totaled a paltry 274,506 MT last week. That was down 32% from the same week in 2016. Shipments since June 1 are 37 million bushels smaller than last year. The Commitment of Traders report showed the big manage money spec funds lightening up ahead of year end. They were still net short 145,735 contracts in CBT wheat on 12/26. The EU Commission today cut projected 2017/18 EU wheat exports from 27 MMT to 26 MMT, while also trimming their estimate of last year’s production by 500,000 MT.

Mar 18 CBOT Wheat is at $4.35 1/2, up 8 1/2 cents,

Mar 18 KCBT Wheat is at $4.35 3/4, up 8 1/2 cents,

Mar 18 MGEX Wheat is at $6.20 1/2, up 5 3/4 cents

Live cattle futures are showing triple digit gains this morning, as are feeder cattle. Feedlots succeeded in extracting higher cash prices on Friday, with $123 reported in the south and $195 in the north. High wind chill readings are limiting ability to move cattle in some areas, but that should abate by mid-week. Rates of gain may also be slowed by the cold temps. The CME feeder cattle index on December 29 was $156.02, up a sharp $9.51 from the previous day. January feeders had matched the previous Index and are scrambling to catch up to the new value (and somewhat skeptical about the jump). Wholesale boxed beef values are higher this morning. Choice boxes are on average $1.32 higher than Friday, with Select boxes up $2.57 per cwt. Estimated weekly FI cattle slaughter last week was 502,000 head. That is 13,000 head fewer than the same week last year.

Feb 18 Cattle are at $122.625, up $1.075,

Apr 18 Cattle are at $123.650, up $1.225,

Jun 18 Cattle are at $114.825, up $1.175,

Jan 18 Feeder Cattle are at $148.000, up $2.000

Mar 18 Feeder Cattle are at $145.325, up $2.650

Apr 18 Feeder Cattle are at $145.550, up $2.475

Lean hog futures are mixed today, with the front contracts lower but summer futures in the plus column. The CME Lean Hog Index for 12/28 was up 14 cents at $61.72. The USDA pork carcass cutout value FOB plant is up 74 cents this morning per USDA, with bellies leading the way. The national base hog weighted average price is up 38 cents at $59.12. The IA/MN region was up 53 cents at $59.72. The USDA weekly FI hog slaughter was estimated at 2.107 million head. That is up 37,000 head from the same week last year.

Feb 18 Hogs are at $71.000, down $0.775,

Apr 18 Hogs are at $75.300, down $0.350

May 18 Hogs are at $80.200, up $0.200

Cotton futures are currently showing triple digit losses, apparently due to fund asset allocation moves away from the “near contract highs” cotton market. Price had been firm overnight on the weakness in the US dollar. The dollar is still down hard. The USDA Adjusted World Price (AWP) was increased 262 points to 70.62 cents/lb on Thursday. The Cotlook A Index for the 29th was UNCH at 89.60.

Mar 18 Cotton is at 77.45, down 118 points,

May 18 Cotton is at 77.72, down 124 points

Jul 18 Cotton is at 78.05, down 119 points

Market Commentary provided by:

Brugler Marketing & Management LLC
1908 N. 203rd St.Omaha, NE 68022
Phone: 402-697-3623
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