Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures ended the Friday session with fractional losses on pre-weekend profit taking. Nearby March managed to gain a nickel on the week. Private export sales of 17/18 corn were reported by the USDA this morning for 170,000 MT to Egypt and 195,000 MT to Unknown Destinations. The CFTC Commitment of Traders report indicated spec funds in corn futures and options cut back their net short position by 88,734 contracts. That net position was at -130,942 contracts as of Tuesday. Export commitments compared to the USDA forecast are now even with the average pace at 66%, but still lag last year’s 73%. Informa estimates that the 17/18 Argentina corn crop will be at 37 MMT, down 5 MMT from their previous estimate.

Mar 18 Corn closed at $3.61 1/2, down 1/4 cent,

May 18 Corn closed at $3.69 1/2, down 1/2 cent,

Jul 18 Corn closed at $3.77 1/4, down 1/2 cent

Sep 18 Corn closed at $3.84 1/2, down 1/2 cent

Soybean futures saw most contracts 5 to 6 1/4 cents lower on forecasts for increased chances of rains in Argentina. Meal futures were down $2.60/ton, with nearby soy oil 39 points in the red. The USDA reported a private export sale of 108,860 MT of 17/18 soybeans to Mexico this morning. Monday’s Stats Canada report is expected to show 14.3 MMT in canola stocks on Dec 31, 6.84% larger than a year ago. Brazil’s January soybean exports totaled 1.564 MMT, which was 71.48% larger than last year but down nearly 33.7% from December, according to the country’s ag ministry. On Friday, AgRural raised their 17/18 Brazil production estimate to 116.2 MMT, with Informa projecting 112.5 MMT. Safras & Mercado estimates that 5.69% of the country’s soybeans have been harvested, lagging the average of 7.6% and last year’s 10.1%.

Mar 18 Soybeans closed at $9.78 3/4, down 6 1/4 cents,

May 18 Soybeans closed at $9.90 1/4, down 6 1/4 cents,

Jul 18 Soybeans closed at $9.99 3/4, down 6 1/4 cents,

Sep 18 Soybeans closed at $9.97 3/4, down 5 3/4 cents,

Mar 18 Soybean Meal closed at $331.40, down $2.60,

Mar 18 Soybean Oil closed at $32.51, down $0.39

Wheat futures settled with losses of 3-5 cents in most CBT and KC contracts, as MPLS was down 8 in the March contract. Nearby March KC was 4.57% higher since last Friday, with weakness in the later part of the week limiting gains. Pressure was felt from a stronger US dollar, up 523 points on the day. Analysts are expecting Monday’s Stats Canada report to show 23.9 MMT in all wheat stocks as of Dec 31, slightly lower than last year. Egypt’s GASC’s bought 180,000 MT of Russian wheat. Russia’s IKAR is projection the Russian exports during 18/19 will total 32-36 MMT, as total production is seen at a wide range of 73-82 MMT.

Mar 18 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.46 3/4, down 4 1/4 cents,

Mar 18 KCBT Wheat closed at $4.63 1/4, down 3 3/4 cents,

Mar 18 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.03 3/4, down 8 cents

Live cattle futures finished the Friday session with 20 to 42.5 cent gains in the front months. Feeders were the leaders, as most nearby contracts were up triple digits. The CME feeder cattle index was up 50 cents on February 1 at $148.03. Wholesale boxed beef values were lower on Friday afternoon. Choice boxes were down 50 cents at $209.10, with Select boxes $1.09 lower at $203.45. Estimated FI cattle slaughter is 629,000 head through Saturday. That is up 41,000 from last week and 33,000 head larger than the same week last year. Cash trade was fairly quiet this afternoon, with most sales earlier in the week at $126.

Feb 18 Cattle closed at $126.850, up $0.425,

Apr 18 Cattle closed at $126.125, up $0.200,

Jun 18 Cattle closed at $118.000, up $0.250,

Mar 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $150.925, up $1.375

Apr 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $151.775, up $1.650

May 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $151.775, up $1.550

Lean hog futures closed the day 37.5 to 90 cents higher in the front months. Nearby Feb was 4.05% higher than last Friday. The CME Lean Hog Index was up 2 cents on January 31 at $73.87. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was 19 cents lower at $81.63 in the Friday PM report. The loin, rib, and belly were all reported lower. The national base hog weighted average price was up $1.08 to $71.59. The USDA estimated weekly FI hog slaughter at 2,438,000 through Saturday, which is 68,000 larger than last week, and 111,000 head more than this week last year. Money managers in lean hog futures and options trimmed 7,265 contracts off their CFTC net long position to 52,503 contracts.

Feb 18 Hogs closed at $75.200, up $0.375,

Apr 18 Hogs closed at $73.550, up $0.725

May 18 Hogs closed at $79.325, up $0.900

Cotton futures were down 78 to 105 points in most nearby contracts. A higher US dollar pressured the market lower. Front month March dropped 3.95% from last week. Thursday afternoon’s CFTC Cotton On-Call report showed 154,655 contracts for unfixed call sales, with 31,827 contracts in unfixed call purchases. Spec traders in cotton futures and options backed 11,786 contracts off their large net long position to 96,376 contracts as of Jan 30. The USDA Adjusted World Price or AWP was updated to 71.35 cents/lb, down 395 points from the previous week. The Cotlook A index on February 1 was 87.85 cents/lb, up 25 points from the previous day.

Mar 18 Cotton closed at 77.300, down 105 points,

May 18 Cotton closed at 78.610, down 84 points

Jul 18 Cotton closed at 79.460, down 78 points

Market Commentary provided by:

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