Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures are trading to cent per bushel lower this morning. They settled fractionally higher on Tuesday as volatility remains notably lacking. The USDA Export Inspections report showed just 609,281 MT of corn shipments during the week of 12/21. That was 4.33% lower than last week and 37.95% behind the same week last year. Exports of corn for the 17/18 marketing year YTD are at 9.842 MMT, which is lagging last year by 40.03%. The weekly EIA report will be delayed until Thursday morning due to the shortened holiday week. Consultant Michael Cordonnier is sticking with his 88 MMT forecast for Brazilian corn production, with Argentina at 42 MMT.

Soybean futures are mostly 3 to 4 cents higher this morning. They saw gains of 9-10 1/4 cents on Tuesday amid short covering ahead of the end of the year. January soy meal was up $2.40/ton, as nearby bean oil was 46 points higher. Export inspections of US soybeans for the week that ended 12/21 totaled 1.283 MMT. That dropped 28.43% from last week and is 25.42% lower than this time last year. Chinese soybean imports totaled 8.684 MMT during November, which is 10.83% larger than November 2016. Imports from the US rose to 4.662 MMT, which still lags a year ago by 17.01%, while imports from Brazil came in at 2.76 MMT, well above last year.

Wheat futures are currently fractionally lower in the SRW and HRW contracts, but 2 cents higher in the MPLS spring wheat. The front KC and CBT months were down 2 to 2 1/2 cents, with MPLS steady to 1 1/2 cents lower. All wheat export inspections for the week that ended on December 21 totaled 493,550 MT. That was 21.03% lower than the week prior and was 8.71% behind this time in 2016. Since June 1, export inspections have hit 14.23 MMT. That is 5.96% behind 16/17. Import data from China shows the country’s wheat imports during November totaled 155,817 MMT, well above the same month last year. China’s Jan-Nov wheat imports have totaled 4.115 MMT, 30.6% larger than 2016. Canada and Australia were the main origins for the Chinese imports. Egypt’s GASC is seeking wheat for early February delivery, with results expected later today.

Live cattle futures rallied $1.20 to $2.90 on Tuesday, reacting to Friday’s friendly Cold Storage report. Feeder cattle futures also showed sharp gains of $2 to $2.85. The CME feeder cattle index on December 25 was down 64 cents to $148.72. Wholesale boxed beef values were sharply higher on Monday afternoon. Choice was up $3.04 at $202.60, with select $2.95 higher at $190.83. Estimated FI cattle slaughter was 119,000 head on Tuesday, after Monday’s kill was quiet due to the Holiday. That is 4,000 head fewer than the same week last year.

Lean hog futures were mixed on Tuesday, with the nearby contracts steady to $1.55 higher and back months 5 to 32.5 cents lower. The CME Lean Hog Index for 12/21 was down 24 cents to $61.76. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was down 75 cents at $76.48 in the Monday afternoon report. The national base hog price was 7 cents higher at $56.59 on Monday afternoon. The USDA weekly FI hog slaughter was estimated at 467,000 head on Tuesday. That is up 23,000 head from the same week last year.

Cotton futures are 2 to 37 points lower this morning. They were down 9 to 52 points on Tuesday. Friday’s USDA cotton classing report showed 1.128 million bales of cotton classed as upland for the week ending 12/21, bringing the 2017 crop total to 14.295 million bales. China imported 72,363 MT of cotton during November, 31.69% larger than a year ago. Of that total 12,756 MT was from the US, 30.04% lower than November 2016. The Cotlook A index was 210 points higher from the day prior on December 22 to 88.60 cents/lb. Online cash sales of 14,080 bales reported by the Seam averaged 70.88 cents/lb on December 22, 68 points lower than the previous day.

Market Commentary provided by:

Brugler Marketing & Management LLC
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