AgriCharts Market Commentary

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Corn Market Commentary

Corn futures are trading fractionally higher since ending the Wednesday session with most contracts 2 to 3 cents in the green. Preliminary open interest rose 17,242 contracts as harvest expands. The weekly EIA report indicated that ethanol plants produced 1.051 million barrels per day during the week of 9/14. That was up 31,000 bpd from the week prior. If plants are taking downtime, it is hard to see in the numbers. Ethanol stocks at 22.746 million barrels were down 148,000 barrels from the previous week. Gulf stocks were up 501,000 barrels, with the East Coast down 592,000. Analysts are expecting USDA to show 0.5-1.2 MMT in 2018/19 US corn export sales during the week of 9/13. A couple more South Korean buyers purchased 123,000 MT of optional origin corn on Wednesday, following purchases of 134,000 MT on Tuesday.

Soybeans Market Commentary

Soybean futures are 1 to 2 cents lower this morning. They posted 15 to 16 cent gains in most contracts on Wednesday, taking back Tuesday’s losses plus some. There was some net new buying, with preliminary open interest up 3,574 contracts. Soybean meal was up $5.90/ton, while soy oil was 13 points higher. The range of trade estimates for 18/19 soybean export bookings in the week of Sept 13 is 400,000-900,000 MT. Soy meal expectations are running 50,000-350,000 MT, with 0-30,000 MT in soy oil sales. The National average cash price according to DTN was $7.12 on Tuesday evening. That would put the national basis at -1.02, nearly 32 1/2 cents below last year at this time. According to a Stats Canada survey, canola production for 2018 is expected at 21 MMT, down 1.33 MMT from 2017 production. China sold 92,988 MT of 2013 soybeans from an auction of state reserves on Wednesday.

Wheat Market Commentary

Wheat futures are trading 1 to 3 cents lower in the early going, with MPLS spring wheat the firmest and Chicago the weakest. They saw 10 to 12 cent gains in most CBT and KC contracts on Wednesday, with MPLS up 5 to 7 3/4 cents. The Chicago activity was short covering, with preliminary open interest declining 1,072 contracts. Expectations ahead of Thursday’s Export Sales report are for 250,000-500,000 MT in all wheat bookings for the week that ended on 9/13. A Stats Canada survey showed expected all wheat production at 31.02 MMT for 2018, up 1.04 MMT from the production total in 2017. Durum accounted for 0.75 MMT in that jump at 5.71 MMT in 2018. Global buying interest has really picked up in recent days, notably in North Africa and extending over to Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Syria purchased 200,000 MT of Russian wheat in a tender this week as well.

Cattle Market Commentary

Live cattle futures ended Wednesday trade with most contracts steady to 20 cents lower. Feeder cattle futures were mixed on the day, with front months 10 to 42.5 cents lower and deferred contracts higher. The CME feeder cattle index on September 18 was down 54 cents at $153.08. Wholesale boxed beef values were lower on Wednesday afternoon. Choice boxes were down $1.04 to $205.25, while Select boxes were $1.23 lower at $194.18. USDA estimated FI cattle slaughter at 353,000 head through Wednesday. That is down 4,000 from last week but 7,000 head above the same week in 2017. The weekly FCE auction saw no sales on the 528 head offered, with asks around $111-111.50. Analysts are expecting (Reuters survey) that the USDA will show August placements of 2.013 million head on Friday up 4.4% from last year, with marketings during that month up 0.4% at 1.987 million head.

Lean Hogs Market Commentary

Lean hog futures settled Wednesday mixed with nearby Oct up 82.5. The CME Lean Hog Index was up $1.10 on September 17 to $54.58. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was 82 cents higher at $78.39 in the Wednesday afternoon FOB plant report. The national base hog carcass value was up $3.15 @ $56.21 on Wednesday afternoon. Week to date FI hog slaughter through Wednesday was estimated at 1.272 million head. That is down 66,000 head from last week and 87,000 head from the same week last year. Wednesday’s run was bigger than a week ago, but still 23,000 head below the same day in 2017.

Cotton Market Commentary

Cotton futures are trading 3 to 15 points lower this morning. They were 2 to 92 points higher in most contracts on Wednesday. A weaker US dollar was supportive yesterday, and we also got some short covering after a big drop on Tuesday. The weekly Export Sales report will be released later this morning, with traders closely monitoring the volume going to China. The Cotlook A index was down 50 points from the previous day at 90.80 cents/lb on September 18. The USDA weekly AWP is currently at 73.79 cents/lb, and will be adjusted lower today.

Market Commentary provided by:

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