Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures closed the Wednesday session with most contracts within a penny of UNCH. Nearby were lower, with back months higher. World ending stocks are expected to be cut by 3.73 MMT to 199.36 MMT on lower world production and US ending stocks in tomorrow’s monthly USDA report. The weekly EIA report showed daily ethanol production at 1.057 barrels per day during the week of 3/2. That was 13,000 bpd above the previous week. All regions showed a buildup in ethanol stocks, with a weekly increase of 165,000 barrels to 23.144 million barrels. The USDA is expected to show 1-1.5 MMT in old crop export sales for the week of March 1 tomorrow, with new crop at 0-100,000 MT.

Mar 18 Corn closed at $3.79 1/4, down 1/2 cent,

May 18 Corn closed at $3.87 1/4, down 1 cent,

Jul 18 Corn closed at $3.94 1/2, down 1 cent

Sep 18 Corn closed at $3.99 3/4, down 3/4 cent

Soybean futures showed losses of 7 to 9 cents in the front months on profit taking ahead of Thursday’s USDA report. Nearby Soymeal futures were down $4.30/ton, with front month soy oil 37 points lower. Analysts are expecting that the USDA will raise Brazilian production 1.9 MMT to 113.9 MMT. That is estimated to be more than offset by a 5.5 MMT drop in Argentine production to 48.5 MMT. Some trade estimates are as high as 117 MMT for Brazil, however. World ending stocks for 17/18 are seen at 95.5 on that lower Argentine production, down 2.64 MMT from February. Export sales are projected to range 0.9 to 1.4 MMT in Thursday’s USDA report, with 100,000-300,000 MT for new crop. Sales of soy meal are seen at 100,000-350,000 MT, with soy oil at 10,000-40,000 MT.

Mar 18 Soybeans closed at $10.55, down 9 1/2 cents,

May 18 Soybeans closed at $10.65 1/4, down 9 1/2 cents,

Jul 18 Soybeans closed at $10.74, down 9 cents,

Sep 18 Soybeans closed at $10.55 3/4, down 4 1/2 cents,

Mar 18 Soybean Meal closed at $380.20, down $4.30,

Mar 18 Soybean Oil closed at $31.93, down $0.37

Wheat futures were 5 to 9 cents lower in most contracts on Wednesday. A few forecasts are showing rain chances across the Southern Plains in the next couple weeks. The 7-day QPF is dry. Analysts are expecting world ending stocks at 265.63 MMT in Thursday’s March WASDE, down a slight 0.47 MMT. The USDA Export Sales report will also be released on Thursday at 7:30 AM CST, with trade estimates running 200,000-500,000 MT for old crop. Last week’s report showed sales of just 191,122 MT. New crop estimates are at 0-100,000 MT.

Mar 18 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.93, down 9 cents,

Mar 18 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.21, down 8 1/4 cents,

Mar 18 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.20, down 7 1/4 cents

Live cattle futures ended the day with most contracts steady to 25 cents in the green. Feeder cattle futures were mixed with most nearby months lower. The CME feeder cattle index was down 29 cents on March 6 at $144.96. Wholesale boxed beef values were steady to higher on Wednesday afternoon. Choice boxes were up 22 cents at $223.57, with Select boxes UNCH at $215.20. Estimated FI cattle slaughter was 348,000 head through Wednesday, 2,000 head fewer with last week but 1,000 head larger than the same week in 2017. Today’s FCE online auction showed sales on 387 of the 474 head, with all lots selling for $126. There were bids of $126 and $203-204 reported for Wednesday, but not much for sales.

Apr 18 Cattle closed at $122.975, up $0.150,

Jun 18 Cattle closed at $114.825, up $0.050,

Aug 18 Cattle closed at $112.450, unch,

Mar 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $143.775, down $0.525

Apr 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $145.375, down $0.750

May 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $146.875, down $0.225

Lean hog futures finished the Wednesday session with losses of 40 cents to $1.65. The CME Lean Hog Index on March 3 was down 17 cents from the previous day to $67.52. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was a sharp $3.21 lower at $77.71 in the Wednesday afternoon report. The belly led the way down by $10.36, with the ham primal $4.67 lower.. The national base hog weighted average price was 21 cents higher at $62.73. The USDA estimated week to date FI hog slaughter at 1,355,000 head through Wednesday. That is down 14,000 head from the previous week but 31,000 head more than the same time last year.

Apr 18 Hogs closed at $67.800, down $0.400,

May 18 Hogs closed at $72.600, down $1.650

Jun 18 Hogs closed at $78.600, down $1.350

Cotton futures settled the day with the front months 4 to 43 points higher. Trade guesses ahead of Thursday’s USDA report show 17/18 exports 400,000 bales above the February projection at 14.9 million bales. Expected increases in exports would help to trim ending stocks for the US 500,000 to 5.5 million bales according to a Reuters survey. The Cotlook A index jumped 315 points higher from the previous day on March 6 at 94.60 cents/lb. Cash sales on the Seam were reported at 7,220 bales, with prices averaging 72.49 cents/lb. The Adjusted World Price (AWP) will be updated tomorrow.

Mar 18 Cotton closed at 84.200, up 36 points,

May 18 Cotton closed at 82.860, up 43 points

Jul 18 Cotton closed at 82.550, up 6 points

Market Commentary provided by:

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