Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures are showing gains of 2 to 4 3/4 cents in most front months at midday. The USDA reported a private sale of 110,000 MT to Japan for 17/18 delivery this morning. The weekly Export Sales report showed old crop sales continuing their robust pattern at 1.857 MMT for the week of 3/1, well above last year and up 8.15% wk/wk. There were 70,281 MT tallied for new crop sales. In the USDA’s monthly supply and demand report, US ending stocks were trimmed 225 mbu by the USDA to 2.127 bbu thanks to a jump in crush and exports. Production in Brazil was cut by just 0.5 to 94.5 MMT (CONAB now at 87.28 MMT), with Argentina dropping 3 MMT to 36 MMT. With the reduction in production and US ending stocks, the world ending stock projection was cut by 3.92 to 199.17 MMT.

Mar 18 Corn is at $3.84, up 4 3/4 cents,

May 18 Corn is at $3.91 1/2, up 4 1/4 cents,

Jul 18 Corn is at $3.98 1/4, up 3 3/4 cents

Sep 18 Corn is at $4.02 1/2, up 2 3/4 cents

Soybean futures are currently 3 to 6 cents in the red on Thursday, with thinly traded March steady. Nearby Soymeal futures are up $1/ton, with front month soy oil down 17 points. This morning’s USDA Export Sales report showed old crop soy sales blowing past expectation during the week of March 1 at 2.51 MMT. That was well above last year and nearly 3 times as large as last week. New crop sales were reported at 143,900 MT. Soy Meal sales were reported at 200,614 MT, with sales of soy oil at 34,042 MT. The USDA added 25 mbu to the US ending stocks number to 555 mbu, coming from a cut in exports. Argentine production was slashed by 7 MMT to 47 MMT, below most expectations. Brazil’s production number was increased 1 MMT to 113 MMT by the USDA. CONAB had a similar idea as they put 17/18 production at 113 MMT. World ending stocks are now seen at 94.4 MMT by the USDA, a drop of 3.74 MMT.

Mar 18 Soybeans are at $10.55, unch ,

May 18 Soybeans are at $10.59 1/4, down 6 cents,

Jul 18 Soybeans are at $10.68 1/4, down 5 3/4 cents,

Aug 18 Soybeans are at $10.68 1/2, down 4 3/4 cents,

Mar 18 Soybean Meal is at $381.20, up $1.00

Mar 18 Soybean Oil is at $31.76, down $0.17

Wheat futures are mostly 2 to 5 cents lower in the CBT and KC contracts on Thursday. MPLS is showing gains of 1 to 3 1/4 cents. The USDA showed all wheat old crop export sales for the week of 3/1 at 391,476 MT, within the range of expectations. That was well above last week and fairly even with this time last year. New crop sales were shown at 36,898 MT. US ending stocks for 17/18 wheat were tallied at 1.034 mbu by the USDA this morning. That 25 mbu addition was due to a reduction in exports. World ending stocks were pegged at 268.89 MMT, a 2.79 MMT jump from the February report. The US and India were the main culprits.

Mar 18 CBOT Wheat is at $4.95 1/2, up 2 1/2 cents,

Mar 18 KCBT Wheat is at $5.19, down 2 cents,

Mar 18 MGEX Wheat is at $6.23 1/4, up 3 1/4 cents

Live cattle futures are posting $1.10 to $1.40 losses at midday. Feeder cattle futures are down $1.35 to 2.25. The CME feeder cattle index was down 29 cents on March 6 at $144.96. Wholesale boxed beef values were mixed on Thursday morning. Choice boxes were down 9 cents at $223.48, with Select boxes up $2.25 at $217.45. Estimated FI cattle slaughter was 348,000 head through Wednesday, 2,000 head fewer than last week but 1,000 head larger than the same week in 2017. Sales of $126 were reported this morning across most regions. Export sales for the week of 3/1 were shown at 19,657 MT. Export data from January was released by Census, showing a record for beef exports at 243.674 million pounds. That was 15.3% larger than last year but down 6.6% from December, which is seasonal.

Apr 18 Cattle are at $121.800, down $1.175,

Jun 18 Cattle are at $113.450, down $1.375,

Aug 18 Cattle are at $111.350, down $1.100,

Mar 18 Feeder Cattle are at $142.425, down $1.350

Apr 18 Feeder Cattle are at $143.175, down $2.200

May 18 Feeder Cattle are at $144.625, down $2.250

Lean hog futures are trading 20 to 65 cents in the red on Thursday. The CME Lean Hog Index on March 6 was up 14 cents from the previous day to $67.66. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was a sharp $2.45 lower at $72.26 in the Thursday morning report. The belly led the way down by $9.46, with the loin primal $2.22 lower. The national base hog weighted average price was 86 cents lower at $61.92. The USDA estimated week to date FI hog slaughter at 1,355,000 head through Wednesday. That is down 14,000 head from the previous week but 31,000 head more than the same time last year. Pork export sales during the week ending 3/1 were tallied at 19,859 MT. During January, pork export shipments totaled 486.448 million pounds, according to census data converted by the USDA. That was down 5.4% from December, but 6.2% larger than last January.

Apr 18 Hogs are at $67.600, down $0.200,

May 18 Hogs are at $72.300, down $0.300

Jun 18 Hogs are at $77.975, down $0.625

Cotton futures are currently showing triple digit gains in the nearby contracts at midday. The Export Sales report showed 383,926 RB in old crop sales for the week that ended 3/1. That was 30% larger than the previous week and 54.23% above last year. New crop sales were a MY high of 252,120 RB. The USDA updated their US supply and demand table this morning showing a reduction of 500,000 bales in ending stocks to 5.5 million bales. That came from a slight cut in production and an increase in exports. The March Cotton Ginning’s report showed that 910,350 RB were ginned since the past report. That brought the total for the year to 19.599 million RB. The Cotlook A index dropped 270 points lower from the previous day on March 7 at 91.90 cents/lb. The Adjusted World Price (AWP) will be updated later today.

May 18 Cotton is at 84.48, up 162 points,

Jul 18 Cotton is at 83.92, up 137 points

Dec 18 Cotton is at 78.340, up 29 points

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