AgriCharts Market Commentary

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Corn futures are trading steady to a penny higher this morning after settling Thursday 1 1/4 to 2 1/4 cents in the red. Export sales for last week were light, and weekly exports ran 31.8% below the previous week and were also lower than a year ago at 1.052 MMT. Total corn export commitments dropped to 27.36% ahead of last year from 30.58% last week. They are still on pace to reach the USDA projection for final exports, as they are 94% of the number, the same as the 5 year average for this date and ahead of last year’s 90%. Argentina’s Ag Ministry estimates the country’s 2016/17 corn production at 46.5 MMT. That is sharply higher than the USDA projection of 40 MMT and the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange at 39MMT.


Soybean futures are currently 2 to 3 cents below yesterday’s close. They posted losses of 6 3/4 to 9 cents on Thursday, as July closed at a 13 month low. July 17 meal was $1.70 lower, with soy oil down 24 points in the nearby month. Weekly export shipments outperformed last year by 178.6%, but were just under the previous week at 334,682 MT. Soybean export commitments are now 22% larger than last year, and are 104% of the USDA projected export total. Last year was just 93%, with the 5-year average running 98% for this date. The Argentine Ag Ministry estimates 2016/17 soybean production at 58 MMT, vs. USDA at 57MMT and BAGE at 57.5 MMT. BAGE says the Argentine soybean harvest is 79.6% complete, up 4.9% over last week.


Wheat futures are mixed this morning after settling mixed on Thursday. Chicago is fractionally lower, with KC a penny higher to lower and MPLS 1 to 2 cents higher. Both CBT and KC were a penny to 2 cents lower yesterday. MPLS was the firmest, fractionally to 2 cents higher in most contracts. All wheat exports were well above last year and 9% larger than a week ago at 733,589 MT. Total exports are 2.7 MMT shy of the 16/17 USDA export estimate, with just two reporting weeks left in the MY. Keep in mind that official Census exports typically run higher than the weekly FAS totals. Total commitments for wheat exports are 37.7% ahead of last year, and 101% of the USDA export projection. Last year they were 106% of that number, with the average at 104%. Russia’s SovEcon analytical group increased the country’s wheat production estimate to 63 MMT, an increase of 500,000 MT.


Live cattle futures ended Thursday $1.00 to $1.80 higher. Feeder cattle futures were mostly 72.5 cents to $2.45 higher. May expired at $147.525, down 55 cents on the day. The CME feeder cattle index was down 31 cents on May 24, at $143.09. Wholesale beef prices were mixed in the afternoon report, with choice boxes up 3 cents averaging $246.11, and select down 62 cents, with an average of $218.98. The Ch/Se spread has now widened to $27.13. The USDA reported a few live sales of $129-133, with dressed sales at $208-$212 in NE. Week to date estimated FI slaughter through Thursday was 461,000 head, up 10,000 head from the previous week and 15,000 head larger than the same week last year. The Cattle on Feed report will be released at 11:00 a.m. CST, with May 1 On Feed expected to be 100.6% or so of last year. The current year total export commitments for beef are 14.9% ahead of last year for this date.

Lean Hogs

Lean hogs ended Thursday 15 to 75 cents higher. The CME Lean Hog Index for 5/23 was up another 13 cents to $76.07.The USDA pork carcass cutout value was 44 cents higher in the Thursday afternoon report, with an average of $90.30. The national base hog carcass price was $1.42 higher with a weighted average of $71.73. WTD estimated FI hog slaughter was 1.762 million head, 12,000 larger than last week, and 36,000 head above the same time a year ago. Weekly export sales were 26.8% larger yr/yr. Pork exports were 21,870 MT, 6.1% larger than last year. Total pork export commitments are now 6.1% above last year.


Cotton futures are trading 5 lower to 12 higher this morning with July in the plus column. They were lower in the nearby contracts yesterday, with deferred months mostly higher. The new AWP (average world price) is down 3.19 cents from last week at 72.44 cents/lb. It is valid from today until next Thursday. All upland cotton export sales for the week ending May 18 dropped down to just 16,153 RB. That would be down 86.62% wk/wk and down 87.43% yr/yr. New crop sales, however, increased 43.08% on the week to 236,195 RB. Weekly export shipments ran 14.25% lower than last week, but showed a 40.7% increase over last year at 332,775 MT. The 2016/17 marketing year ends July 31. Cotton export commitments are 101% of the full year USDA forecast compared to 97% at this time last year and the average of 101% for this date.

Market Commentary provided by:

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