AgriCharts Market Commentary
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Corn futures are heading into the holiday weekend up 4 to 6 cents. At $4.37 1/4, Dec15 corn marks a new calendar year high. These prices have not been matched since December 29 of last year, and 359 days ago before that. With no trade tomorrow, corn prices increased in price by 34 cents this week, an increase of 8.28%. USDA put weekly export sales at 833,200 MT, including 238,900 MT of new crop. Net sales increased by 19.63% from the previous week. Japan was the biggest old crop buyer, at 162,500 MT, while 238,900 MT of new crop was sold to Mexico and unknown destinations. Informa has decreased its US corn production estimate, down to 13.412 bbu. The June WASDE report had production at 13.630 bbu but is likely to drop due to the lower harvested acreage estimate used on June 30. Informa also increased their Brazilian production by 70.86 mbu, up to 3.228 bbu. Average ethanol prices are higher at the pumps this week, up a penny in South Dakota, 6 cents in Nebraska and Iowa, and 9 cents in Illinois.
Soybean futures finished the Thursday trade mixed, with prices ranging from 3 cents down to 2 cents higher. Contracts traded within an 18-23 cent range on Thursday. Soybean prices saw prices increase by 43 cents from June 26th. This morning, USDA reported net soybean sales of 117,200 MT, after a net reduction of -10,300 MT of old crop. New crop sales dropped by 37% week over week; total net sales dropped 63.5% from the week ending June 18. Soy meal sales totaled 263,700 MT (a 16% decline from the previous week but on the upper end of expectations) while soy oil sales were 5,300 MT. Informa reduced its soybean production estimate this morning to 3.808 bbu, compared to 3.850 bbu by USDA in the June WASDE. Reuters reports that India has approved a $7.9 billion irrigation expansion over five years in order to increase productivity in rural dry areas, lessening its reliance on the summer monsoon season.
Wheat futures finished mixed on the day. CHI wheat was 2 cents down to 5 cents higher (23 cents higher from last week). KC steady to 2 cents lower (17 cents higher from last week). MPLS traded down 2 cents to up 5 cents (10 cents higher than last week). USDA Weekly Export Sales estimates ran from 250,000 to 450,000 MT for the week ending June 25. This morning, USDA put the actual number for last week right in the middle at 363,900 MT. Japan was the largest buyer at 87,400 MT. Net sales declined by 16% from the week ending June 18. Shipments were down as well, off ~7%. The Ukraine Ag Minister reports that 10.9 MT of wheat was exported for the MY, 12.37% ahead of 2013/14 figures and a new record for them. Consultant Informa updated their US winter wheat production estimate this morning. They are now at 1.477 bbu, down from 1.481 bbu that was reported in June. They also lowered Canadian wheat production estimates, down 91.86 mbu to 1.094 bbu. Egypt bought only 60,000 MT of wheat at their tender, from Romania at a reported $212.47 c&F or about $5.78 per bushel.
Live cattle futures closed mostly higher, with August and October prices gaining 15 and 42 cents, but December losing 2 1/2. Feeder futures finished the session 80 cents to $1.05 lower due to higher feed costs. Live cattle prices are up $2.70 from last Friday. USDA reported net weekly beef export sales through June 25 totaled just 6,600 MT, a 42% decrease from the previous week. Packers paid $240-242 today in NE and $153-153.50 in the south. Wholesale prices are off this afternoon according to the USDA. Choice boxes down $2.17 to $250.12, and select boxes $1.21 lower to $248.05. The spread between the two is now $2.07 beating the low from yesterday by nearly a dollar, and marking the tightest spread since March 24 ($2.05). You are not being paid to add finish to those cattle. Week to date slaughter numbers are 14,000 head higher than last week, but only 96.37% of the same period in 2014.
Lean hog futures closed 30 cents to $1.70 higher on Thursday. Prices were 4.22% higher, about $3.32, in the hog market from last Friday close. USDA reported net weekly pork export sales came in at a new marketing year high at 38,979 MT last week. Shipments were also a new MYH at 38,843 MT, 47.89% higher than the previous high for the week ending June 4. The CME Lean Hog Index is off 17 cents, currently at $77.15. The pork carcass cutout price is reported as $80.99, 48 cents lower according to the USDA afternoon report. Ribs declined by $14.39 this afternoon (6.3% from Thursday to Thursday), down to an average price of $181.83. Bellies and hams are the only cutouts that saw price Thursday price increases, up $1.63 and $1.68 to $124.04 and $54.50. Both the IA/MN and WCB regions have reported cash hog prices to be 87 cents higher in their afternoon reports. The ECB region did not report any price changes due to confidentiality. Hog slaughter numbers week to date are 3.99% larger than the same period a year ago.
Cotton futures finished the weekly trade 27 points higher in both July and October, but 15 and 4 points lower in December and next March. For the week, cotton futures finished 80 points lower. USDA reported net weekly export sales of 143,200 running bales, including 52,300 RB of old crop. Total export sales were 16.63% ahead of the week ending June 18. Total net sales in June were 237,128 RB, only 71.4% of the May export sales according to weekly data. The marketing year for old crop ends on July 31. The Cotlook A Index is up 50 points to 74.80, while the Forward A Index is up 45 points to 77.20. Current certified bale stock according to ICE is steady today, with 167,195 bales, with 15 new certified bales, and 385 decertified bales. There are 264 bales awaiting review. ICAC increased estimated world cotton ending stocks for 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16 yesterday with a cumulative increase of 110,000 MT in 2015/16 (old crop carryover rolls into new crop stocks).