AgriCharts Market Commentary
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Corn futures ended Monday trading mostly 6 3/4 to 7 1/2 cents lower, despite a lower US Dollar Index. Weekly export inspections for corn were impressive at more than 1.335 MMT for the week ending Thursday September 22. That was another 3% larger than last week, and nearly 65% larger than the total inspected during the same week a year earlier. Weekly data from NASS showed national crop condition ratings were unchanged vs. the previous week. Approximately 97% of the crop has reached the dent stage, and at least 73% of the crop is considered mature.
Soybean futures settled with losses from 8 3/4 cents to 9 3/4 cents to start the week. Pressure comes from a steady flow of impressive yield reports as well as further weakness in meal, with Sept down $5.70, and oil off 11 points. Weekly export inspections for soybeans were 383,953 MT in this week’s report. That figure is only about half of the amount reported a week earlier, and down about 30% from the same week a year ago. On Monday afternoon, NASS reported 68% of the national crop is dropping leaves; 4 points ahead of the five year average. The harvest is 10% complete vs. the 5yr avg for this date of 13% complete.
Wheat futures posted losses on Monday that were mostly 6 to 8 cents in SRW, 6 to 7 1/2 cents in HRW, and 8 to 9 1/4 cents in HRS. Wheat inspections reported on Monday morning for the week ending 9/22 were 875,049 MT, up 152% from the previous week, and 137% from the same period a year ago. YTD export inspections are 126.5% of a year ago. NASS has the winter wheat crop about 30% planted which is in line with the five year average. Emergence was about 8% on Sunday night; also in line with the respective five year average.
Live cattle futures were mostly down 45 to 80 cents on Monday. Feeders were also lower with most contracts losing between 77.5 and $1.85 on the session. Markets were adjusting to the COF and Cold Storage numbers released on Friday afternoon that showed frozen beef stocks on 8/31 were up 1.5% from a month earlier, and 1.34% from a year ago in the Cold Storage report. USDA had all cattle on feed at 101.5% of a year ago. Placements were 115.1%, and marketings were 117.6% with a noticeable jump from two more kill days in August this year than last. Wholesale beef prices in the Monday afternoon report were higher with choice boxes were up 23 cents and the weighted average select price gained 84 cents. Cash cattle trade last week was limited. The weighted average price for all grades of live steers delivered was $108.13. The weighted average dressed price was $167.15 delivered.
Lean hog futures lost another 30 to 95 cents on Monday. October forged a new life of contract low and posted a new low closing price at $53.05. The CME Lean Hog index for 9/22 is $59.88, down 60 cents, but still at a major premium to the Board. Friday’s Cold Storage report had frozen pork stocks on 8/31 were down 7.11% year/year, but up 1.45% month/month. The national base hog price reported by USDA this afternoon was down 50 cents at $50.38. Average price reported for the IA/MN marketing area was down 81 cents, and the WCB average was 40 cents lower. The USDA pork carcass cutout value in the afternoon report was $1.69 higher with a weighted average of $78.61. Estimated Monday FI slaughter was 441,000 head, on par with a week ago, and 13,000 head larger than a year ago.
Cotton futures ended Monday on the green side of unchanged, settling 1 to 11 points higher on the session. The US Dollar index is trading lower and crude oil futures were higher on Monday. USDA says there was about 2.4 times as much cotton ginned by September 15, 2016 as there was a year earlier, however this year’s running total is only about half a percent larger than the running total for this date in 2014. NASS says the crop is 2 points behind normal in terms of bolls opening, and is running even with its five year average harvest pace. Texas is 11% done, vs. its five year average of being 15% done by this week. As we anticipated, the weekly AWP rose to 58.85 from 57.79 last week. It will be in effect through Thursday.