AgriCharts Market Commentary
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Corn futures are trading 1 to 2 lower at midday. Dow Jones released its analyst survey for the planting intentions report and it came in with the average guess for corn acreage at 88.684 million. The IGC is anticipating a nearly 50 MMT drop in global production in 2015, to 941 MMT. They see world corn feeding also slowing, with ending stocks dropping 20 MMT from this year. USDA extended the signup deadline for the ARC and PLC programs another 7 days to April 7 this morning. Sign up to date is less than 80% of total acreage. As a reminder, the default is PLC if you fail to get in there on time.
Soybean futures are currently trading 6 to 7 cents lower. Preliminary OI was up 4,984 contracts yesterday, a little net new selling. Argentine sources also report excellent early yields. Harvest is estimated to be 4% completed there. About 1/2 million acres have been lost to flooding but the extra moisture has been helpful to crops in other areas. Dow Jones reports an average trade estimate of 85.872 million soybean acres. That would be up 2.5% from last year but is smaller than the other wire surveys in the 85.9-86 million range.
Wheat futures are trading 6 to 8 cents higher this morning, with most of the action appearing to be profit taking ahead of the weekend. They posted double digit losses yesterday on a combination of poor export sales and a technical failure to take out chart resistance. Preliminary open interest rose 9,966 contracts in Chicago on new selling interest as the snowball started to roll. A Dow Jones survey put 2015 US all-wheat planting at 55.612 million acres, including 40.578 million acres of winter wheat. Other surveys have been in the 55.8 million range. IGC is projecting a 10 MMT drop in world wheat production in 2015, with ending stocks dropping 2 MMT.
Live cattle futures are trading $.25 to $1.00 higher at midday, led by the front two contracts. Wholesale beef prices are a little lower this morning, with USDA showing the Choice boxed beef average down 24 cents at $250.43 per cwt. The Select quote is down 34 cents at $246.62. Feedlots are asking $165-166 or more for live sales this week and $265 or higher for carcass based. A few bids have been reported at $162 this morning in the South and $259-260 in the North.
Hog futures are showing nickel/dime changes at midsession as traders hunker down for the USDA Hogs & Pigs report this afternoon. Trade estimates for the USDA Hogs and Pigs report call for a 6.8% year over year jump in the US hog herd. The breeding herd is expected to be in the vicinity of 103.6% of year ago, with market hog numbers 107.2% of last year. The pork carcass cutout value retreated $1.17 in the morning USDA report, to $66.08. Cash hogs were not reported for the WCB due to insufficient numbers. The ECB is reported to be $.27 higher at $54.83.
Cotton futures are trading 30 to 60 points higher at midday after modest losses on Thursday. The US dollar index was stronger early in the day, but has retreated. This gives a boost to heavily export dependent markets. USDA put the weekly cotton export sales for all Upland cotton for the week ending March 19 at 198,600 running bales. The updated LDP/MLG for this week will be 3.53 cents per pound, down from 5.65 last week. Certified stocks for March 26 were reported at 9,771 bales, with 644 new certs. The Cotlook A Index was down 0.70 to 69.95.