AgriCharts Market Commentary
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Corn futures are trading 2 to 3 cents lower this morning. Funds were estimated buyers of 5,000 corn contracts on Monday. Trader talk is that Taiwan is tendering to buy 60,000 MT of corn from either the U.S. or South America. The YTD US export shipments are now 41,818,344 MT, well above the 15,954,578 MT at this time lats year. USDA reported on Monday night that 78% of the corn crop is silking, ahead of the 75% average for this date. They show 17% in dough stage, also slightly ahead of the 16% average. The Brugler500 crop condition index dropped to 390 from 392 last week. It was 393 on this date in 2004.
Soybean futures are trading 8 to 9 cents lower. Funds were said to have been net buyers of roughly 7,000 lots beans and 2,000 lots meal. Weekly soybean export inspections totaled 112,345 MT, up from 97,160 MT last week. YTD inspections are now at 43,022,455 MT (1.581 billion bushels) which compares to 35,333,329 MT last year. The USDA forecast is 1.620 billion bushels for the year. With a little over 6 weeks remaining, 39 million bushels need to be shipped, or 6.5 million per week. This weeks shipments totaled 4.1 million bushels. Private exporters reported to the USDA sales of 486,000 MT of soybeans for delivery to China during the 2014/2015 marketing year. Of the total, 66,000 tons are optional origin sales. The Brugler500 condition index dropped 3 points to 380. That is still the best rating since 1994 (+3 vs. 2004). We lost 2% of the acreage out of the Good category. Pod set is advanced, at 38% vs. the 5 year average of 31%.
Wheat futures are trading 1 to 2 cents lower. Funds were estimated to be net sellers of roughly 1,000 lots. Wheat export inspections YTD inspections are now at 3,643,897 MT, down from 5,116,841 MT at this time last year. Private exporters reported to the USDA export sales of 101,000 metric tons of wheat for delivery to Nigeria during the 2014/2015 marketing year. The US winter wheat harvest is still cruising along at 83% complete. The 5-year average would be 80%. Spring wheat heading matches the average pace of 93%. USDA shows 70% of the crop in good/ex condition, the same as last week but with 1% more rated excellent.
Cattle futures are trading steady to $0.20 lower. The trade tried to fade the bullish USDA COF report from Friday, but everything from December forward was higher. The Cattle Inventory report showed beef cow numbers down 2.5% vs. 2 years ago, with replacement heifers also down 2.4%. There was no July report in 2013 due to budget cuts, thus the 2 year comps. This was supportive to feeder cattle futures. Wholesale beef prices were higher, with Choice boxes up $1.92 at $259.30 (record high) and Select up $1.84 at $256.17. USDA pasture condition ratings continue to slip seasonally, with 52% rated good/ex vs. 53% last week but still better than the 44% a year ago.
Lean hogs are trading $1.17 to $1.37 lower. The average pork carcass cutout value was 85 cents lower on Monday at $130.94. The volatile belly primal was $2.36 lower than on Friday in the pm version. The CME Lean Hog Index was down $0.86 at $130.33. Monday estimated slaughter was 397,000 head, above both week ago and year ago. Cash hog prices continue to be under pressure, however. IA/MN area carcass base prices were reported $2.99 lower. The ECB hogs are $1.28 lower, and the WCB are $2.84 lower.