Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures closed the Thursday session with 1-2 cent losses on profit taking and position squaring ahead of the New Year. This week’s EIA report indicated ethanol production for the week ending 12/22 increased 13,000 barrels per day from the week prior to 1.09 million bpd. That is the second largest weekly production on record. Stocks of ethanol were trimmed by 289,000 barrels to 22.031 million barrels, as all regions except the Gulf saw decreasing stocks. Traders expectations for Friday’s USDA weekly Export Sales report show a wide range of old crop corn sales ideas at 0.6-1.1 MMT, with 0-50,000 MT seen for new crop.

Mar 18 Corn closed at $3.52, down 1 3/4 cents,

May 18 Corn closed at $3.60 1/4, down 2 cents,

Jul 18 Corn closed at $3.69, down 1 1/2 cents

Sep 18 Corn closed at $3.76 1/2, down 1 1/2 cents

Soybean futures gave back a majority of Wednesday’s gains, down 9-10 3/4 cents in the nearby contracts. January soy meal was down $2.40/ton, as nearby bean oil was 57 points lower. Soybean old crop export sales are expected to be in the range of 0.8-1.5 MMT in Friday’s USDA report. Total sales expected for soy meal are 100,000-300,000 MT, with 5,000-25,000 MT seen for soy oil. A Reuters report shows that roughly half of the US shipments to China in 2017 consisted of more than 1% FM, the new standard effective in January. Increased cleaning will increase costs to US exporters. Following Wednesday’s explosion at a Rosario port that left one dead, workers started a 48 hour strike with the reason being safety concerns. The market showed little reaction, as exports there are typically slower around this time of year.

Jan 18 Soybeans closed at $9.45 3/4, down 9 3/4 cents,

Mar 18 Soybeans closed at $9.56 3/4, down 10 3/4 cents,

May 18 Soybeans closed at $9.67 3/4, down 10 3/4 cents,

Aug 18 Soybeans closed at $9.81 1/4, down 10 cents,

Jan 18 Soybean Meal closed at $311.80, down $2.40,

Jan 18 Soybean Oil closed at $32.50, down $0.57

Wheat futures ended Thursday with most KC contracts 1 to 1 1/4 cents in the green, as the CBT contracts were fractionally lower. MPLS was the weakest on the day, down 1 to 2 1/2 cents in most contracts. Support in the HRW contracts came from reports of sub-zero temps likely this weekend in portions of the Central-Southern Plains. Areas with little snow cover could be at risk of winter kill. Analysts are expecting to see 250,000-550,000 MT in all wheat export sales of old crop during the week of 12/21 in Friday’s USDA Export sales report, with none seen for new crop sales. Last week’s report showed robust sales of 796,300 MT for the week ending 12/14.

Mar 18 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.27 3/4, down 1/4 cent,

Mar 18 KCBT Wheat closed at $4.26 3/4, up 1 1/4 cents,

Mar 18 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.19, down 2 1/4 cents

Live cattle futures saw sharp gains in most nearby contracts on Thursday, with nearby Dec up $2.525 ahead of Friday’s expiration. Feeder cattle futures were also higher, with most contracts up 177.5 to 52.5 cents. The CME feeder cattle index on December 27 was down $2.48 to $145.88. Wholesale boxed beef values were higher on Thursday afternoon. Choice was up 68 cents at $202.28, with select 49 cents higher at $190.91. Estimated week to date FI cattle slaughter was 328,000 head through Thursday. That is 26,000 head fewer than the same week last year. Cash trade has been slow to develop this week, with bids of $118 and asks of $125 still far apart.

Dec 17 Cattle closed at $124.550, up $2.525,

Feb 18 Cattle closed at $122.250, up $1.250,

Apr 18 Cattle closed at $122.750, up $1.050,

Jan 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $145.600, up $0.425

Mar 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $142.225, up $0.500

Apr 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $142.675, up $0.375

Lean hog futures settled the Thursday session 12.5 to 52.5 cents higher. The CME Lean Hog Index for 12/26 was down 3 cents to $61.59. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was up $1.01 at $78.03 in the Thursday PM report. The loin was up $2.53 with the belly $6.13 higher as all other cuts were reported lower. The national base hog price was 61 cents higher at $57.95 on Thursday afternoon. The USDA weekly FI hog slaughter was estimated at 1,287,000 head through Thursday. That is down 39,000 head from the same week last year.

Feb 18 Hogs closed at $71.550, up $0.525,

Apr 18 Hogs closed at $75.700, up $0.425

May 18 Hogs closed at $80.075, up $0.175

Cotton futures finished the day with most front months steady to 25 points lower, as most deferred contracts were higher. The weekly Export Sales report is delayed until Friday, with most expecting sales to slow down from last week’s 326,520 RB. Online cash sales jumped to 28,905 bales reported on the Seam, with an average price of 70.78 cents/lb on December 27, 145 points lower than the previous day. The Cotlook A index was reported at 50 points lower than the previous day at 88.10 cents/lb on December 27. The USDA Adjusted World Price (AWP) was increased 262 points to 70.62 cents/lb on Thursday.

Mar 18 Cotton closed at 78.800, down 15 points,

May 18 Cotton closed at 78.880, down 4 points

Oct 18 Cotton closed at 75.280, down 25 points

Market Commentary provided by:

Brugler Marketing & Management LLC
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