AgriCharts Market Commentary
Do you want to know what trades Alan Brugler recommends? Subscribe to Ag Market Professional, and become part of the Brugler client group! Not sure? Ask for a FREE SAMPLE and get two FREE GIFTS! Start here
Want this Ag News delivered to your inbox? Get the FREE Brugler Ag Newsletter, delivered 3 times daily.
Corn futures fell 4 to 6 cents on Wednesday, as nervousness about NAFTA trumped earlier weather concerns. A White House leak (or trial balloon) suggested work was underway for an executive order withdrawing the US from NAFTA. This week’s EIA report showed ethanol production for the week ending April 21 down 6,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 987,000 bpd. At the same time, ethanol stocks were seen as rising 235,000 barrels to 23.269 million barrels. Both the East and West Coasts stocks grew as the Midwest, Gulf and Rocky’s stocks were lowered. Ahead of the Thursday Export Sales report, analysts are expecting 700,000-900,000 MT of old crop sales, with new crop sales ranging from 50,000-250,000 MT. The USDA Ag attach in Argentina estimates the country’s corn production at 39 MMT.
Soybean futures closed mostly 3 1/2 to 8 3/4 cents lower on Wednesday. Soymeal was down $3.90 in the front month, with May 17 Soy oil33 points. Expected weather delays for this week in corn and wheat planting may cause soybean acreage to rise higher than first thought. Traders are expecting old crop soybean export sales to be 250,000-450,000 MT in tomorrow morning’s report. New crop sales are estimated to range 100,000-300,000 MT. Total soy meal sales are projected at 100,000-350,000 MT, with 8,000-40,000 MT expected for soy oil sales. As of Tuesday night, DTN reported the average US soybean cash price at $8.85, which is 49.25 cents lower than last year at this time. The national average basis at -69.50 cents is 4 cents weaker than last year. According to reports from China, the country is planning to cut their value added tax down from 13% to 11% for agricultural products, starting July 1. This is in effort to help lower the importing costs of soybeans.
Wheat futures settled mixed on Wednesday. MPLS was the strongest, 4 to 6 1/4 cents higher in the front months, with KC mostly fractionally higher. CHI was steady to 3 3/4 cents in the red. There is HRS area that is expected to see snow over the next couple days, with places in ND looking at close to 8” of snow. Some HRW acres as far south as central Kansas are forecast to see sub-freezing temperatures tonight. Wheat export sales are thought to be 300,000-500,000 MT for old crop sales for the week of April 20, with US new crop sales ranging 50,000-250,000 MT. Iraq is tendering for 50,000 MT of Australian, Canadian, or US wheat. There is speculation that wheat production in Russia could drop as much as 8.5% to 67.1 MMT due to difficult conditions for winter wheat.
Live cattle futures ended the day sharply higher, with April $2.20 higher. Feeder Cattle futures finished $1.125 higher in the April contract, with its last trading day tomorrow. Both Aug 17 and Sep 17 were limit up on the day. The CME feeder cattle index was at $139.44 on 4/25, up 13 cents from the previous day. Wholesale beef prices were mixed in the afternoon report. Choice boxes averaged $219.18, up 17 cents, with select losing 55 cents with an average price of $205.72. Of the 5,448 head in the Fed Cattle Exchange auction this morning, 1,945 head were sold. The majority of the sold were for 17-30 day delivery and averaged $125.42, with the rest having 1-9 and 1-17 day delivery and averaging $131.68 and $129.89 respectively. Most of the cattle in the North were asking $133-$135, with the 17-30 day delivery starting at $125, and the South asking $129-$132. Estimated FI cattle slaughter was 347,000 head through Wednesday, up 8,000 from a week ago and 12,000 head from the same Wednesday in 2016.
Lean hog futures were mixed on Wednesday, with May down 55 cents and a few back months higher. The CME Lean Hog Index for 4/24 was down another 33 cents to $60.16.The USDA pork carcass value was down 35 cents in the morning FOB Plant report, with an average of $73.47. The loin butt and ham cuts were all reported lower. National cash hog base prices averaged 82 cents higher in the morning report, with a weighted average of $54.46 and a range reported from $49.00-$56.00. Week to date FI hog slaughter was estimated at 1,323,000 head WTD through Wednesday, 138,000 ahead of last week and 36,000 head larger than the same week in 2016.
Cotton futures closed the session from 46 points lower to as much as 52 points higher. The US Dollar was 180 points higher on Wednesday to 98.965. There were 388 bales were sold on the Seam, up from only 11 the day before, with the average price at 71.70 cents/lb. The Cotlook A index for April 25 was down 45 cents from the previous day at 88.30. China sold 22,500 MT of cotton on Wednesday, in an auction of state reserves according to a Reuters report. Tomorrow’s upland cotton export sales are expected to be lower again this week.