AgriCharts Market Commentary
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Corn futures are currently 1 to 2 cents higher after settling higher on Monday. The Brugler500 Index was unchanged for the second week in a row at 387 as USDA made no change in crop condition ratings. As of Sunday, the national crop was 27% mature vs. the 5yr average 39%. In the first week reporting harvest progress, USDA shows 4% harvested vs. the 5yr average of 9% for this week. YTD corn export shipments are 746 thousand MT (29 million bushels) ahead of the first 11 days of the 2013 marketing year.
Soybean futures are trading a penny lower to as much as 10 cents higher this morning. The buying has been in the late 2015 contracts. There was some frost damage in the upper Midwest over the weekend, and traders were looking for lower USDA crop condition ratings. That didn’t happen, as they were UNCH. The Brugler500 Index crop condition rating is at 384. The weekly USDA report showed 24% of the crop is dropping leaves, when the five year average is 32%. By state, some of the laggards include MN at 12% dropping vs. the 37% 5-year average and ND @ 37% compared to 45% average. SD was 28% vs. 56% average, IA @ 13% vs. 36% average. Illinois and Indiana were closer with IL 20% vs. 25% and IN at 33% vs. 41% average. The NOPA soy oil stocks were smaller than expected at 1.214 billion pounds. A 1 billion pound figure would be deemed TIGHT, historically.
Wheat futures are trading mostly 1 to 3 cents higher. USDA weekly export inspections through 9/11 were 545,621 MT, up slightly from the previous week. Shipments YTD are down 33% from last year, while USDA is projecting a 24% drop for the year as a whole. Ukrainian wheat exports since July 31 have been estimated at 3.7 MMT, with Russia at 7.7 MMT. Both are well above their historical averages. The weekly crop progress report from the USDA showed the Spring wheat harvest progress at 74% done is getting closer to the 5yr average pace of 86% for this date. The winter wheat crop is 12% planted, slightly ahead of the five year average for this date. SovEcon raised its estimate of Russian wheat production to 60 MMT from 58 MMT.
Cattle futures are currently 10 to 20 lower, with feeders 10 to 40 cents lower. Cash cattle trade was down $2-3 late last week after hitting record levels the prior week, with volume at $160-162 in the south and $248-250 in the north. Asking prices appear to be in the $164-165 area. Wholesale beef prices were lower on the day with Choice boxes averaging 91 cents lower while Select 600-900 pound carcasses were $1.26 lower. Estimated Monday slaughter was 115K head on par with last Monday, and 4K head short of the same day a year ago.
Hog futures are trading 50 cents to $1 lower this morning. The CME Index was up another $1.14 at $101.34, firming the basis. The pork carcass cutout average price was 96 cents lower at $106.57. Carcass based cash hog prices in the WCB were 58 cents higher, and they were reported 76 cents higher in the IA/MN marketing area. Prices from the ECB were not reported Monday due to confidentiality restrictions. Estimated Monday slaughter was 404K head, up 4K head from last Monday, but off 28K head from a year ago.
Cotton futures are trading 10 higher to 30 lower this morning after a sharp correction on Monday. The US dollar index was stronger yesterday, but has backed off this morning with the FOMC meeting today and tomorrow. The cotton market continues to trade off between record large global stocks and the smaller USDA production and US ending stocks estimates from last Thursday. The weekly US crop condition ratings were slightly lower than the previous week. NASS reported 51% of the crop with bolls opening vs. the 5yr average of 49%. Harvest progress is at 6% vs. the 5yr average of 7% for this date. ICE Certified stocks are down to 50,669 bales as we approach the October contract delivery period. Another 2,387 bales were decertified on Friday.