AgriCharts Market Commentary

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Corn futures are trading 1 to 2 cents higher this morning after they were mostly 2 1/2 to 3 3/4 cents lower on Monday. US corn export inspections for the week ending 2/23 were 1.46 MMT. That was up 25% from last week, and nearly double for the same week in 2016. DTN's national average cash price for Friday equates to a -37 3/4 cent basis vs. the March 17 futures contract. That compares to a -40 3/4 cent basis the day March took over as the lead month, and -34 1/2 cents on January 9. Gulf barge bids and asks were steady at 44 and 49 cents over March, respectively. There were 102 contracts worth of warehouse receipts registered for delivery, but no notices issued overnight against March futures.


Soybean futures are currently 4 to 6 cents higher, after they were mostly 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cents lower on Monday. Bean meal and bean oil both settled slightly lower on the session. Export inspections for soybeans were 704,945 MT, down 35.6% from last week and 33.2% vs. the same week a year ago. On Feb 2 inspections were 227.17 million bushels (mbu) ahead of last year at that time. As of this week's report, the year/year lead is down to 180.65 mbu. The China National Grain and Oils Information Center stated that the country’s soybean imports may slow due to low crush margins. Avian flu is a concern, with liquidation of flocks and bans on open air marketing of live poultry. There were 500 delivery notices vs. March soybeans overnight, all issued by an ABN AMRO client. All of the receipts are in Chicago or Morris. Delivery notices vs. meal and soy oil were modest at 249 and 1,059 contracts respectively.


Wheat futures are trading 1 to 3 cents higher, following sharp losses on Monday that hit double digits in some March contracts. There were 958 delivery notices vs. March Chicago wheat overnight, issued by JPM and WFC clients to miscellaneous stoppers. There were 145 contracts put out against KC HRW vs. 777 registered in Wichita or Salina. US wheat export inspections for the week of Feb 23 were 537,877 MT. That is down just 6.12% wk/wk, but still 38.8% above this time last year. The strong pace needs to continue in order to meet the USDA's recently revised full year forecast. Egypt is seeking wheat for April 1-10 delivery, with results expected later today. Japan is looking for 85,417 MT of US wheat in their weekly tender. Ukraine’s winter wheat crop is estimated at 81.7% good to satisfactory. Russia projects their grain exports at 37 MMT, vs. their previous estimate of 40 MMT.


Live cattle futures were up $1.625 in the front month yesterday, and 55 cents higher for April 17. February cattle futures expire today. Feeder futures were mostly at least $2 higher. The CME feeder cattle index was at $127.06 for 2/24, down 14 cents. Choice boxed beef was up 4.4% last week, and the average select price was up 3.3%. They were both higher again on Monday with choice boxes up $2.52 and select boxes averaging $1.60 higher. That was the first day since January 5 where the afternoon average price for choice was reported higher than the $200 mark. Estimated FI slaughter on Monday was 116,000 head, up 12,000 head vs. the same Monday a year ago.

Lean Hogs

Lean hog futures finished slightly higher on Monday. The CME Lean Hog Index for 2/23 was at $77.39, down 34 cents vs. 2/22. The USDA’s average pork carcass value in the PM report was $80.45, down $1.46. The average price of the belly primal plunged $13.31 from the Friday price, but the loin average was up $1.81 and the Rib cut was up $3.03 to offset some of the damage to carcass value. Average cash hog base prices were down nearly a dollar on the day with the national average at $67.58. ECB prices were not reported, but the IA/MN average only slipped 39 cents while the WCB average was down 44 cents. Estimated Monday FI slaughter was 441,000 head, which is 9,000 head larger than a week earlier, and 36,000 head larger than the same day last year.


Cotton futures are trading 20 to 55 points higher after they ended Monday mixed with the Dec17 contract 17 points higher, and the March17 contract down 45 points on the session. Cash sales reported on the Seam totaled 13,246 bales with prices rising to 72.79 cents. The AWP is 65.58 through Thursday. The US Dollar Index was slightly higher, as were crude oil futures. As of 2/16, accumulated cotton exports reached 50% of the USDA forecast for the marketing year that ends July 31. The five year average for that date is only 44%.

Market Commentary provided by:

Brugler Marketing & Management LLC
1908 N. 203rd St.Omaha, NE 68022
Phone: 402-697-3623
Fax: 402-289-2353