Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures felt pressure from the rest of the grain complex on Thursday, showing losses of 2 to 4 cents in most contracts. The delayed Export Sales report this morning showed that old crop sales in the week of January 3 at 459,822 MT. That was down from the week prior but still 5% above the same New Year’s week last year. Thus far in February, the average close for December 2019 corn is $4.01 1/4. The average close throughout the month is used to calculate the Spring Crop Insurance price, with last year at $3.96. The group that used to be Informa raised their 2019 US corn acreage estimate slightly to 91.591 million acres on Thursday. Argentina’s corn production projection was increased by 2.5 MMT to 46.5 MMT by the Rosario Grain Exchange, slightly above USDA’s 46 MMT.

Mar 19 Corn closed at $3.74 3/4, down 4 cents,

May 19 Corn closed at $3.83, down 3 3/4 cents,

Jul 19 Corn closed at $3.90 3/4, down 3 3/4 cents

Sep 19 Corn closed at $3.94, down 3 1/4 cents

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Soybean futures posted losses of 10 to 13 cents on the day, with a disappointing Export Sales report this morning. Meal futures were down $4.60/ton in the nearby contract, with soy oil 10 points lower. The Export Sales report indicated net reductions of 612,014 MT during the week of January 3. That was mainly due to net cancellations of 807,000 MT for China, with 444,000 MT in additional cancellations for unknown. A majority of unknown’s reductions were switched to a destination. The November 2019 contract’s average close in the first 13 days of February is $9.56 3/4. The full month average will be used to calculate the Spring Crop Insurance pricing for this year’s crop, compared to $10.16 last Spring. US acreage estimates from Informa were trimmed by 160,000 acres to 86.044 million. The Rosario Gran Exchange raised their 18/19 Argentine soybean output estimate by 2 MMT to 52 MMT.

Mar 19 Soybeans closed at $9.03 1/2, down 13 cents,

May 19 Soybeans closed at $9.17 3/4, down 13 cents,

Jul 19 Soybeans closed at $9.31 1/4, down 12 1/2 cents,

Sep 19 Soybeans closed at $9.40, down 11 1/2 cents,

Mar 19 Soybean Meal closed at $305.50, down $4.60,

Mar 19 Soybean Oil closed at $29.89, down $0.10

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Wheat futures ended the Thursday session with most winter wheat contracts 10 to 15 1/4 cents lower. MPLS was down 5 to 7 cents. All wheat old crop export bookings for the week of January 3 fell short of the lower range of estimates at 131,150 MT. That was well below the week prior, but 83.5% larger than New Year’s week in 2018. There were also 30,180 MTs sold for new crop. Analysts with IEG Vantage (formerly Informa) trimmed their all wheat planted acreage estimate by 381,000 acres to 46.782 million acres. South Korean importers purchased 85,000 MT of US wheat this week. Algeria purchased 600,000 MT of wheat in their tender on Thursday. Paris wheat milling futures were down 1.5% on Thursday.

Mar 19 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.07, down 15 1/4 cents,

Mar 19 KCBT Wheat closed at $4.81 1/2, down 12 1/2 cents,

Mar 19 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.74 3/4, down 5 cents

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Live cattle futures were mostly steady to 47.5 cents higher on Thursday. Feeder cattle futures were also steady to 60 cents in positive territory. The CME feeder cattle index was down 29 cents on February 13 at $141.50. Wholesale boxed beef prices were lower on Thursday afternoon, with the Ch/Se spread widening slightly to $5.66. Choice boxes were down 37 cents at $216.07 with Select $1.60 cents lower at $210.41. The week to date USDA estimated FI cattle slaughter is 459,000 head. That is down 11,000 head from last week and 6,000 smaller than the same week last year. Cash bids so far this week have been $200 in the North and $122 in the south. Asks are still around $203-205 and $126-127 respectively. USDA reported 5,822 MT of beef sold for export in the week of Jan 3.

Feb 19 Cattle closed at $126.125, up $0.175,

Apr 19 Cattle closed at $127.375, up $0.400,

Jun 19 Cattle closed at $118.275, up $0.475,

Mar 19 Feeder Cattle closed at $144.075, up $0.550

Apr 19 Feeder Cattle closed at $146.500, up $0.425

May 19 Feeder Cattle closed at $147.675, up $0.425

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Lean Hog futures saw 27.5 cent to $1.10 losses in most contracts on Thursday, with Feb expiring at $55.10. The CME Lean Hog Index was down 23 cents from the previous day @ $55.55 on February 12. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was down $1.12 on Thursday afternoon at an average weighted price of $62.76. The national base cash hog carcass value was up 35 cents in the PM report, with a weighted average of $48.60. USDA estimated FI hog slaughter WTD at 1.831 million head through Thursday. That is down 26,000 head from the previous week and the same week last year. This morning’s Export Sales report showed a total of 9,319 MT of pork was sold for 2019 delivery in the holiday week ending 1/3.

Feb 19 Hogs closed at $55.100, down $0.050,

Apr 19 Hogs closed at $58.700, down $1.075

May 19 Hogs closed at $67.700, down $0.975

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Cotton futures closed the Thursday session with most contracts 9 to 33 points in the green. According to sources familiar with the ongoing trade talks (i.e rumors), China has offered to end ‘market distorting subsidies’, though they have given no information on how they would do it. The Cotlook A Index was down 50 points on February 13 to 79.40 cents/lb. The USDA Adjusted World Price was updated to 62.27 cents/lb this morning. That is good through next Thursday and down 234 points from the week prior. The weekly Export Sales report, showing data delayed by the shutdown, indicated old crop upland sales of 299,767 RB for the week that ended on 1/3. That was the second largest week total this MY, and 9.19% above the same New Year’s week last year! New crop sales for 2019/20 were tallied at 19,448 RB.

Mar 19 Cotton closed at 70.130, up 27 points,

May 19 Cotton closed at 71.710, up 31 points

Jul 19 Cotton closed at 73.070, up 33 points

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Market Commentary provided by:

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