Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures are showing fractional movement in most contracts at midday, with nearby March down 3/4 cent and other contracts steady to higher. The USDA Export Inspections report indicated that 947,642 MT of corn was shipped during the week of 3/1. That was a drop of 28% from the previous week and down 34.65% from the same week in 2017. As of last Tuesday, managed money held a net long position of 59,120 contracts, moving 40,446 contracts to the long side since the previous week. Consultant Informa is projecting 33.5 MMT for the 17/18 Argentine corn crop. A Bloomberg survey found that trade average guess was 36.5 MMT. The average expectation for Brazil was 91.6 MMT vs. the February USDA figure of 95 MMT. AgRural projects the crop at 89.9 MMT, as they estimate 63% of the second crop is planted vs. 75% last year.

Mar 18 Corn is at $3.76 1/2, down 3/4 cent,

May 18 Corn is at $3.85 1/2, up 1/4 cent,

Jul 18 Corn is at $3.92 1/2, unch ,

Sep 18 Corn is at $3.98, up 1/4 cent

Soybean futures are 5 to 6 cents in the green on Monday. Nearby Soymeal futures are down 90 cents/ton, with front month soy oil 7 points higher. US exporters shipped 990,113 MT of soybeans for the week that ended 3/1. That was 29.21% above the week prior and 4.47% larger than this time last year. Friday’s CFTC commitment of Traders report showed spec funds holding a net long position of 147,380 contracts as of last Tuesday in soybean futures and options. The average trade guess for Argentina’s soybean crops is 48.5 MMT in a Bloomberg survey, with Informa apparently at 44 MMT. Brazil was 113.9 MMT in the same survey, but AgRural is up at a record 117.9 MMT! SAFRAS estimated that 31% of the Brazilian crop is harvested, lagging the 39% average and last year’s 46%. The delay is all in the south, with Mato Grosso ahead of the 5 year average.

Mar 18 Soybeans are at $10.66 1/2, up 5 3/4 cents,

May 18 Soybeans are at $10.76 1/4, up 5 1/4 cents,

Jul 18 Soybeans are at $10.84 1/2, up 5 1/4 cents,

Aug 18 Soybeans are at $10.81 3/4, up 5 1/4 cents,

Mar 18 Soybean Meal is at $389.30, down $0.90

Mar 18 Soybean Oil is at $32.13, up $0.07

Wheat futures are mostly 4 to 7 1/4 cents higher in the May contracts, as March is showing limited volume ahead of next week’s expiration. In this morning’s USDA Export Inspections report, 400,937 MT of all wheat shipments were recorded. That was a jump of 43.07% from last week’s report but was down 31.3% from this time last year. The Commitment of Traders report released on Friday showed spec traders at a net short position of 60,632 contracts in CBT wheat futures and options. In KC wheat futures and options, they held a net long position of 11,008 contracts. The ABARE in Australia estimates that the 18/19 wheat crop will total 23.7 MMT, 11.8% larger than their depressed total from 17/18.

May 18 CBOT Wheat is at $5.04, up 4 cents,

May 18 KCBT Wheat is at $5.41, up 7 1/4 cents,

May 18 MGEX Wheat is at $6.25 1/4, up 5 cents

Live cattle futures are posting gains of $1-1.35 in most front months on Monday. Feeder cattle futures are up $1.35 to $1.65 at midday. The CME feeder cattle index was down $1.30 cents on March 1 at $146.03. Wholesale boxed beef values were higher on Monday morning. Choice boxes were up 48 cents at $223, with Select boxes $0.47 higher at $215.11. Estimated weekly FI cattle slaughter was 608,000 head, up 6.3% from last week and up 3.8% from the same week in 2017. Cash cattle trade was mostly $126 on Friday, with $203-205 reported in the north. The managed money net long position in live cattle futures and options was at 99,777 contracts as of Feb 27, 1,047 contracts larger than the previous week.

Apr 18 Cattle are at $123.525, up $1.350,

Jun 18 Cattle are at $115.575, up $1.175,

Aug 18 Cattle are at $113.200, up $1.100,

Mar 18 Feeder Cattle are at $145.125, up $1.450

Apr 18 Feeder Cattle are at $146.900, up $1.625

May 18 Feeder Cattle are at $147.875, up $1.350

Lean hog futures are currently 85 cents to $1.10 higher in the nearby contracts at midday. The CME Lean Hog Index on March was $68.09, down 27 cents from the previous day. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was 90 cents higher at $79.01 in the Monday morning report. The loin was down 10 cents, with all other primal higher. The national base hog weighted average price was 35 cents higher at $62.42. The USDA estimated weekly FI hog slaughter at 2.417 million head. That is up 28,000 head from the previous week and 101,000 head more than the same time last year.

Apr 18 Hogs are at $68.525, up $0.950,

May 18 Hogs are at $75.500, up $0.850

Jun 18 Hogs are at $80.850, up $1.100

Cotton futures are showing strong gains in most contracts, with March down 12 points in low volume. Spec funds in cotton futures and options added 5,531 contracts to their net long position as of last Tuesday Feb 27. That position was at 71,677 contracts on that date. 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 down 120 points from the previous day on March 2 at 91.20 cents/lb.

Mar 18 Cotton is at 82.6, down 12 points,

May 18 Cotton is at 83.69, up 160 points

Jul 18 Cotton is at 83.8, up 145 points

Oct 18 Cotton is at 78.790, up 32 points

Market Commentary provided by:

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