Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures are mostly 1 to 2 cents lower at midday. The USDA Grain Crush report indicated that 476.129 mbu of corn was used for ethanol during January, slightly above last year but down 2.4% from December. Total commitments for corn exports are now just 8% behind last year, gaining 2.5% since last week! The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange estimates that the Argentine corn crop conditions are at 5.5% good with 0% in the excellent category, with 76.4% rated as poor/very poor. They left their estimate at 37 MMT for the 17/18 crop. Brazil’s Trade Ministry reported that 1.25 MMT of corn was exported during February. That was less than half of January’s total but well above the same month last year.

Mar 18 Corn is at $3.77, down 1 3/4 cents,

May 18 Corn is at $3.85, down 1 1/4 cents,

Jul 18 Corn is at $3.92 1/4, down 1 1/4 cents

Sep 18 Corn is at $3.97 1/2, down 1 1/4 cents

Soybean futures are showing fractional losses in most contracts on Friday. Nearby Soymeal futures is down $3.80/ton, with nearby soy oil up 18 points. The USDA reported private export sales of 121,000 MT of soybeans to unknown and 198,000 MT to China for 17/18 delivery. They also reported 20,000 MT of soy oil to unknown through their daily reporting system. Export commitments for soybeans are now 12.5% lower than the same time last year, gaining a little ground since last week with the larger sales. BAGE trimmed their expected Argentine soybean production number 3 MMT to 44 MMT. They also reported the country’s crop conditions at 2.9% gd/ex, with 76% p/vp. Brazil exported 2.864 MMT of soybeans during February according to their country’s Trade Ministry. That was 83.12% larger than January, but down from last year by 18.9%.

Mar 18 Soybeans is at $10.57, down 1/2 cent,

May 18 Soybeans is at $10.67 1/2, down 1/2 cent,

Jul 18 Soybeans is at $10.75 1/2, down 1 cent,

Sep 18 Soybeans is at $10.51, down 1 3/4 cents,

Mar 18 Soybean Meal is at $390.20, down $3.80,

Mar 18 Soybean Oil is at $32.30, up $0.18

Wheat futures are showing sharp losses in most contracts on Friday on a correction from yesterday and profit taking ahead of the weekend. Wheat export shipments totaled 330,694 MT last week, falling 20.9% from the previous week total and 35.53% behind the same week last year. Commitments for all wheat exports are now 12.4% lower than this time in 2017. They are 84% of the USDA projection, vs. 93% last year and the average of 92%. France’s soft wheat crop was rated at 83% gd/ex by the French AgriMer on Friday, down from 85% last week.

Mar 18 CBOT Wheat is at $4.89, down 16 1/2 cents,

Mar 18 KCBT Wheat is at $5.17 1/2, down 13 1/2 cents,

May 18 MGEX Wheat is at $6.23 1/4, down 11 1/2 cents

Live cattle futures are down 50 to 82.5 cents in the front months at midday. Feeder cattle futures are $1.125 to $1.225 lower on Friday. The CME feeder cattle index was down 61 cents on February 28 at $147.33. Wholesale boxed beef values were mixed on Friday morning. Choice boxes were up 46 cents at $222.76, with Select boxes $1.02 lower at $214.58. Estimated FI cattle slaughter was at 469,000 head through Thursday. That was 5,000 head more than the same week last year and 28,000 above the previous week. Bids of $128 were reported in the North with a few sales of $205, an improvement on sales of $126-127 earlier in the week. Total commitments for beef exports are now 19.3% larger than the same time a year ago.

Apr 18 Cattle is at $122.500, down $0.825,

Jun 18 Cattle is at $114.800, down $0.700,

Aug 18 Cattle is at $112.475, down $0.500,

Mar 18 Feeder Cattle is at $143.875, down $1.175

Apr 18 Feeder Cattle is at $145.625, down $1.125

May 18 Feeder Cattle is at $146.775, down $1.225

Lean hog futures are mixed at midday, with nearby April up 27.5 cents. The CME Lean Hog Index on February 28 was $68.36, down 21 cents from the previous day. Pork export commitments are 6.6% larger than a year ago. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was 97 cents higher at $78.35 in the Friday AM report, with only the belly and ham lower. The national base hog weighted average price was down 14 cents at $62.20. The USDA estimated FI hog slaughter at 1,834,000 through Thursday. That is up 32,000 head from the previous week and 66,000 head more than the same time last year.

Apr 18 Hogs is at $67.250, up $0.275,

May 18 Hogs is at $74.300, down $0.250

Jun 18 Hogs is at $79.750, down $0.325

Cotton futures are steady to 13 points higher on Friday. Exports of upland cotton were down 16.44% from last week at 278,682 RB, which was 12.69% lower than last year. Total upland export commitments are 19.4% larger than last year, slipping some from the previous week. They are now 98% of the USDA export projection, above the average of 84% and last year’s 98%. The Adjusted World Price or AWP was updated to 73.09 cents/lb on Thursday, up 340 points from the previous week. The Cotlook A index was up 70 points from the previous day on March 1 at 92.40 cents/lb.

Mar 18 Cotton is at 82.700, up 13 points,

May 18 Cotton is at 81.780, down 3 points

Jul 18 Cotton is at 82.170, up 6 points

Market Commentary provided by:

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