AgriCharts Market Commentary
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Corn futures ended the day mostly a nickel lower. USDA had the harvest at 94% complete in the report this afternoon. Wisconsin is at 73%; the only state not at least 85% done. Indiana still has 9% left. The weekly Export Inspections report this morning was neutral at 529,801 MT. That was up from 409,212 MT last week but down from 769,223 MT a year ago. Accumulated exports since September 1 are still 42 million bushels ahead of last year. USDA reported 116,000 MT of grain sorghum sold to unknown this morning in the daily reporting system. As of last Tuesday the managed money net long position was slightly larger than the previous week with those funds adding both longs and shorts; but a few more longs. The national average cash price on Friday was just over $3.41.
Soybean futures closed lower on the day with the January contract down 5 1/4 cents; that was 7 cents above the daily low, and five cents off of the high. Weekly export inspections from USDA reported this morning were 2.784 MMT (102.3 million bushels). This is the third 100+ mbu week in the last 4 weeks. Shipments YTD are 19.41 MMT, 125 million bushels larger than last year. It is no surprise that crush plants were hiking their basis on Friday to keep beans from bypassing the plants into export channels. USDA announced a 235,000 MT sale to China under the daily reporting system. USDA estimates the harvest is 97% complete. Illinois finished its last 5% this past week. KY and NC still have a good bit left in the field.
Wheat futures closed mixed from a quarter-cent higher to as much as a nickel lower today. Weekly wheat export loadings were sharply higher than last week, coming in at 447,353 MT for the week ending November 20. The YTD is still 207 million bushels below year ago but this was an improvement. SovEcon cited Russian wheat prices that were higher this week along with rye, feed barley and wheat flour. The crop is now estimated to be 92% emerged, which is 3 points ahead of the 5yr average. Illinois is the farthest behind its respective five year average. Winter wheat condition ratings slipped 3 points lower on the Brugler500 Index, with some of the cold weather damage starting to show up, particularly in WA, NE and OH.
Cattle futures were lower on the day. Dec futures stayed above the $169 level on the session, but April closed below it. Feeders were limit down in four of the front five contracts. August futures held the $232 level. The sharp trade was largely a reaction to the USDA COF report released after the close on Friday. November 1 COF was 100.45% of a year ago. Placements were 99.12% of year ago. Both numbers had been expected to be smaller. Beef stocks in cold storage were 85.18% of a year ago, but slightly larger than the prior month. Today, wholesale beef prices were reported higher, with Choice 600-900 lb product up 48 cents and Select up 32 cents.Monday slaughter estimated at 115K head was 4K larger than last Monday.
Hog futures posted solid gains on the day in follow up to the monthly USDA Cold Storage report released on Friday after the close. It showed frozen pork stocks at the end of October were 92.88% of a year earlier, and down 3.68% from the previous month. In the afternoon report, the pork carcass cutout value was just two cents higher, at $93.41. Loins picked up $1.62/cwt, and Ribs were up $3.45. Bellies and Hams lost $2.25 and $1.05 respectively. The CME Lean Hog Index was down 9 cents at $88.86 this morning. The ECB hog market was reported $1.06 higher on the day, and the WCB was up 32 cents, while the IA/MN price was 13 cents higher, but just a penny below the weighted average price in the WCB. Estimated Monday slaughter was up 8K head from both a week ago and a year ago.
Cotton futures ended the session 60 to 71 points lower, with the March contract touching a new low. The managed money position reported by the CFTC in the Commitment of Traders report on Friday was net short, after their net position had been net long for five weeks in a row. They added lots of shorts and lost a few thousand longs as of the previous Tuesday close. The US dollar index traded at new highs earlier in the day, but finished more than 200 points lower. The USDA estimates the national crop is 77% harvested while the 5yr average pace is more like 83%. Cert stocks available for December futures delivery were reported at 23,824 bales as of November 21. There were 965 bales removed, but 2,060 additional bales certified. The Cotlook A index is up 50 points at 66.40.