Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures are trading 1 to 1 cents lower this morning after closing the Monday session with most contracts 1 to 2 cents higher. Support came from feed demand shown in Friday’s Cattle on Feed report. This morning’s Export Inspections report indicated corn shipments of 632,793 MT. That was an increase of 58.85% over last week, but still lags this time last year by 27.77%. Total shipments YTD are now lagging last year by 43.92% at 6.584 MMT. Monday afternoon’s USDA Crop Progress report showed corn harvest 90% completed. That lags the 5 year average pace of 95% and is 6% lower than this week last year. This is not a market factor, with overall stocks levels high.

Soybean futures are 1 to 3 cents lower this morning. They settled Monday with fractional losses in the front months as back months were higher. December meal was up $1.60/ton, with nearby bean oil 49 points lower. The USDA showed soybean export inspections at 2.131 MMT for the week of November 16. That was 2.46% lower than the previous week and 20.3% below this week last year. Inspections YTD are 2.752 MMT behind last year (a total of 101 mbu). The Crop Progress report showed the Soybean harvest advancing just 3% from last week at 96% complete. The average for this week is 97% complete, with last year running 98%.

Wheat futures are currently fractionally lower in the SRW and HRW contracts after seeing losses of 5 to 10 cents in most contracts on Monday. MPLS spring wheat was the weakest on Monday, but is showing a little Turnaround Tuesday bounce this morning of 1 to 1 cents. All wheat exports during the week ending November 16 fell to 259,264 MT. That is a drop of 15.94% from the previous week and 40.27% lower than the same week in 2016. Russia’s SovEcon estimates that wheat exports during November will total 3.4-3.5 MMT. Monday afternoon’s Crop Progress report indicated the winter wheat crop was 88% emerged as of Sunday. The crop was rated at 52% gd/ex, down 2% from the previous week. Iraq is seeking another 50,000 MT of wheat from Australia, Canada, or the US, with the tender to close November 26.

Live cattle futures ended the Monday session with losses of $1.20 to $1.75 following Friday’s bearishly construed Cattle on Feed report. Feeder cattle futures were down $2.075 to $2.575. The CME feeder cattle index on November 17 was down 54 cents to $156.91. Wholesale beef prices were mixed on Monday afternoon. Choice was down $1.06 at $206.18, with select boxes 20 cents higher at $188.05. USDA indicated FI cattle slaughter at 120,000 head on Monday, 3,000 larger than a week ago and 3,000 above the same week in 2016.

Lean hog futures finished Monday with most contracts steady to $1.40 higher. The CME Lean Hog Index for 11/16 was down 55 cents to $65.42. The national base hog average price was 50 cents lower at $56.46 this afternoon. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was $1.31 higher at $82.27 in the Monday afternoon report. The picnic was the only cut that was reported lower, down $2. The weekly USDA AMS hog slaughter report showed 465,000 on Monday. That is up 1,000 from the previous week and 11,000 more than the same week in 2016.

Cotton futures are 12 lower to 41 higher this morning, with most of the buying interest in nearby December. They were up 68 to 159 points on Monday, despite the US dollar rising 408 points. The dollar is also modestly higher this morning. A large unpriced on call position is capturing attention. The afternoon Crop Progress report showed the US cotton harvest picking up during the week ending Sunday, at 74% complete. The average for that week is 72% with last year at 66% complete. The USDA Adjusted World Price (AWP) was updated to 61.37 cents/lb, 1 point lower than the previous week. Online cash cotton sales reported by The Seam increased to 24,820 bales, with prices up to 67.28 cents/lb. The Cotlook A index for November 17 was 40 points higher to 79.80 cents/lb.

Market Commentary provided by:

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