AgriCharts Market Commentary
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Corn futures settled mostly 9 1/2 to 12 cents lower with the most weakness in the May contract. Confirmation of relatively advanced planting progress for the national crop from the USDA on Monday night, combined with a bounce in the US Dollar Index today, gave the bulls a reason to take some money off the table. Sharply lower wheat futures were also detrimental. Celeres cut 6 MMT off of their Brazilian safrinha corn estimate, now pegged at 52.8 MMT, suggesting a total corn production of 81.5 MMT. Informa also reduced its Brazilian corn production estimate, taking it down 2.7 MMT to 81 MMT (USDA: 84 MMT), but their Argentinean production estimate was unchanged at 27.5 MMT (USDA: 28 MMT).
Soybean futures finished mostly 7 1/2 to 14 cents lower. May futures settled with the largest loss on the day after putting in a new high for the move at $10.47 1/2 and posting a 32 1/2 cent trading range. May soybean meal poked out a new high, but then closed $5.80 lower, also victim to the Turnaround Tuesday effect. US soybean planting was only 8% done as of Sunday night. Brazil exported 10.086 MMT of soybeans in April, bringing Jan to Apr exports to 20.9 MMT, up 60% year over year. Informa trimmed its 2015/16 Brazilian production estimate by 0.4 MMT to 100.1 MMT (USDA: 100 MMT), and its Argentinean estimate by 4.5 MMT to 55 MMT (USDA: 59 MMT).
Wheat futures were down double digits in most contracts today, giving back much of the recent gains. May HRW futures lost 19 cents, and May SRW was down 17 1/4 cents, but May HRS were able to keep their intraday loss to less than a dime. News from the Kansas wheat quality tour is variable, but most yield projections are ranging from 40 to 80 bushels per acre. Early in the tour, the scouts are finding that most of the wheat is headed and some of it is flowering already; also noting lots of mud! The US winter wheat crop was rated 364 on the Brugler500 Index this week, up 5 points from the week before. Conditions in KS improved by a point from the previous week, while TX and OK conditions were up 3 and 5 points respectively. Each of those three states saw improved topsoil moisture as well. Spring wheat plantings in Montana and South Dakota as of Sunday night were up 22 points and 23 points from their respective five year averages. Emergence in those two states was up 14 points and 24 points from average, at 21% and 52% respectively. A Reuters survey shows trade ideas for the Stats Can wheat stocks report averaging 13.8 MMT. That would be down 24% from year ago.
Live cattle futures were mostly 30 to 57.5 cents higher today. Feeders posted triple digit gains in the front three contracts with help from the drop in feed grains. The CME Feeder Cattle Index for 5/2 was 11 cents higher to $143.43. Cash cattle trade recorded a few dressed sales from $188 to $192 on Monday. Last week, average prices for live cattle were down $3.00 week/week, and down $6.00 for dressed. Choice boxed beef prices were down $3.83 in the USDA afternoon report, and select boxes lost $2.94. At $205.94 and $197.02 respectively, these are the lowest prices reported for boxed beef during 2016. Week to date USDA FI slaughter was estimated 1,000 head smaller than a week ago, and 3,000 head smaller than the same period a year ago.
Hog futures were higher on the day, but only by 5 to 22.5 cents. The CME Lean Hog Index for 4/29 was 64 cents higher to $71.11. The average carcass cutout value in the USDA afternoon report was down $1.16, averaging $82.57. Butts, Pics and Ribs continued to rally, but Hams were sharply lower and Bellies were down again. The national average cash hog base price was 69 cents higher today. The average price for the IA/MN area was $1.05 higher, and WCB prices were 97 cents higher. WTD FI estimated slaughter was 4,000 head larger than a week ago, and 19,000 head larger than it was during the same period last year.
Cotton futures were sharply lower on the day after July tested its recent high, and December posted a new high for the move earlier in the session. July settled 131 points lower and December ended down 107 points. The US Dollar Index posted a daily gain after six losing sessions in a row. Crude oil futures were down more than $1/barrel. The ICAC raised its 2015/16 world ending stocks figure by 321,500 RB to 93.7 million RB on Monday (USDA: 102.22 mil RB). The group increased its 2016/17 world ending stocks by 918,600 RB to 89.98 mil RB. World cotton production is estimated to increase by 4.5% year over year to 105.45 mil RB in 2016/17. The Cotlook A Index was down 45 points to 71.25. ICE reported that there were 58,340 certified bales in warehouses on May 2, with 1,044 new certs, and 450 decertified bales. There were 609 bales awaiting review at the Memphis, TN delivery point. The USDA AWP for this week is 52.33, up from 50.53 last week. The MLG dropped to 0, from 1.47 during the past week.