AgriCharts Market Commentary

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Corn futures are trading to 1 cent per bushel lower this morning. They ended the Wednesday session with most contracts 5 to 6 cents higher, following wheat. Wednesday’s weekly EIA report showed ethanol production for the week that ended 4/20 dropping 24,000 barrels per day to 985,000 bpd. That is the lowest weekly production (and implied corn consumption) since the week of October 6. Ethanol stocks rose 357,000 barrels despite the cutback, to 21.701 million barrels. The Midwest was the only region to see stocks shrink. The average trade guess for USDA old crop weekly export sales is 0.8-1.2 MMT, with new crop ranging 200,000-400,000 MT. The USDA report will be released at 7:30 AM CDT. China’s corn acreage is expected to be down nearly 823,000 acres from last year in effort to help trim stocks.


Soybean futures are currently 5 to 6 cents higher after closing 4 to 6 cents higher on Wednesday. Soy meal was $4.10/ton higher yesterday, with front month soy oil down 23 points. Ahead of this morning’s USDA Export Sales report, analysts are expecting to see old crop soybean sales in the range of 400,000-700,000 MT. New crop totals are expected to be similar. Sales of soy meal are projected at 100,000-30,000 MT, with soy oil at 8,000-30,000 MT. The USDA Ag Attach expects the Brazilian soybean crop to be 115 MMT for 2018/19, matching the current 17/18 projection.


Wheat futures are mostly 3 to 4 cents lower this morning in the SRW and HRW futures. MPLS spring wheat is 1 cent higher on concerns about planting delays. They saw gains of 6 to 7 cents in most MPLS contracts on Wednesday. CBT and KC led the way yesterday, 12 to 15 cents higher. Scattered reports of freeze damage in KS helped firm the market. After last week’s Export Sales report showed a net reduction in old crop wheat sales, this week’s report is estimated to have a net reduction (due to deferrals) of 100,000 MT to net sales of 200,000 MT. New crop wheat is expected to see sales of 150,000-350,000 MT in the week that ended April 19. The annual Hard Winter Wheat Quality tour will take place next week, giving participants an opportunity to more accurately estimate the Kansas and Oklahoma crops.


Live cattle futures settled 27.5 to 82.5 cents higher yesterday. Feeder cattle futures were 75 cents to $1.20 higher. The CME feeder cattle index was up 12 cents on April 24 at $138.20. Wholesale boxed beef values were higher on Wednesday afternoon. Choice boxes were up 88 cents at $218.53, with Select boxes $1.04 higher at $203.15. Estimated week to date FI cattle slaughter was 355,000 head. That is even with the previous week and up 5,000 head from the same week in 2017. Wednesday’s FCE online auction saw none of the 3,194 head sold, with feedlots passing on offers of $120.25 and $121.

Lean Hogs

Lean hog futures were mixed on Wednesday, with front months 40 cents to $1.10 higher and back months lower. The CME Lean Hog Index was up $1.12 from the previous day to $59.00 on April 23. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was up 41 cents at $68.49 Wednesday afternoon. The loin was the only cut reported lower. The national base hog weighted average price was 28 cents higher at $58.35. The USDA estimated FI weekly hog slaughter at 1.395 million head through Wednesday. That is 1,000 head above last week and 65,000 head above the same week in 2017.


Cotton futures are 16 to 54 points lower, excluding nearby May. May is in deliveries and is 34 higher with open interest declining rapidly. They posted sharp 175 to 250 point gains in the nearby contracts on Wednesday. The US dollar index was up 484 points but not much of a drag on prices. Drier weather is seen over most of TX during the next week. The Cotlook A index was down 60 points from the previous day at 93.20 cents/lb. The Adjusted World Price, effective through today, is currently at 74.16 cents/lb. China sold 14,648 MT of cotton from states reserves on Wednesday, totaling 48.82% of the total offered.

Market Commentary provided by:

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