AgriCharts Market Commentary
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Corn futures settled mostly 7 higher on Tuesday, benefitting from continued losses on the US Dollar chart. March 17 futures closed at their highest price since October 27. Private exporters reported to the USDA an export sale to unknown destinations of 102,944 MT this morning. Export inspections for the week ending January 12 were at 888,009 MT, up 9.8% vs. last week and up 52.7% vs. the same week last year. Rains in Argentina have brought most planting to a halt, with only an estimated 91% completed. US Sorghum export inspections were down from last week but nearly 2x the same week last year. YTD sorghum shipments are less than 53% of this same week a year ago due to reduced Chinese interest.
Soybean futures traded sharply higher by 18 1/2 to 23 cents, reaching a 6 month high. Crop losses are expected in Argentina due to heavy rains. A private forecaster predicts a production to drop to 51 MMT. USDA is at 57 MMT. That is a 220 million bushel difference in potential world trade! Soy meal was up $14.90 in the March 17 contract. The NOPA report, released this morning, showed 160.18 mbu of soybeans were crushed during December. That was 1.56% higher than last year, but down 576,000 bu from November. NOPA oil stocks were higher than expectations at 1.434 billion pounds. Weekly US export inspections were reported at 1,409,466 MT and down nearly 4% week/week, but were still nearly 1% larger than the same week last year.
Wheat futures closed higher in CBT and KC contracts, but sharply lower in MPLS contracts. MPLS was down 16 at $5.66 after touching $5.90, while March 17 CBT wheat closed at 4.33 1/2, its highest price since early November. March17 KC wheat settled at its highest price since August 22. Japan is seeking 117,605 MT of US and Canadian wheat, including 68,055 MT of US specific wheat, with the tender to close this Thursday. Weekly export inspections for wheat were 344,436 MT, up nearly 31% vs. last week and nearly 1% larger than the same week last year. Morocco awarded 359,998 MT of imports for US soft wheat under the preferential tariff quota.
Live cattle futures finished higher in all contracts, from 50 cents to $1.075; feeder cattle futures followed suit and were 47.5 to 75 cents higher. The CME Feeder Index for 1/13 was $131.99, 4 cents lower than the previous day. Wholesale beef prices were mixed in the afternoon report with the average choice price up 23 cents at $191.62 and select down 23 cents with an average of $187.23 reported. WTD estimated FI slaughter was at 180,000 head for Tuesday.
Lean hogs were a dime to 30 cents higher in the front three contracts today. The CME lean hog index for 1/13 was another $1.18 higher at $64.10. The basis has firmed to -$1.70G. USDA's afternoon report had the weighted average carcass price up 59 cents at $80.53. Cash hog base prices reported this afternoon were 44 cents higher with the national average at $62.40. Prices reported were between $58 and $63.75. WCB was 26 cents higher and IA/MN was 9 cents higher.
Cotton futures closed the day 9 to 16 points lower. This was unusually steady trade considering the sharply lower US Dollar Index. Crude oil futures were sharply higher. The USDA All Cotton classing total is currently at 14.510 million RB, 24.9% above the same time last year. The world average price (AWP) through next Thursday is now 63.34 cents, vs. 61.61 last week. The Cotlook A index for Jan 16 was 81.60 unchanged from the previous day.