AgriCharts Market Commentary

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Corn futures are trading 5 to 6 cents lower this morning on pre-weekend profit taking. They were5 to 8 1/2 cents higher in most contacts on Thursday, and Dec finished over the $4 mark. Preliminary open interest was up a modest 2,414 contracts. Weekly shipments picked back up to 1.042 MMT, as they were 18.3% larger wk/wk but still 16.04% lower yr/yr. As of this July 13, total export commitments were 16.5% larger than last year at this time. They are currently 99% of the USDA export forecast, lagging the average and last year’s 103%. The weather is also literally a HOT topic. On Thursday, China sold 921,782 MT of 1.574 MMT of 2013 and 2014 corn offered at an auction of state reserves.


Soybean futures are currently 6 to 7 cents in the red after posting 11 1/2 to 14 1/2 cent gains on Thursday. Preliminary open interest rose 6281 contracts, some net new buying interest. Front month soy meal was up $3.90/ton, with Aug 17 soy oil 51 points higher. The Export Sales report showed exports for the week of July 13 were reported at 357,968 MT, down 12.1% from a week ago and 3.6% from last year. Total soybean export commitments are now 16.2% greater than last year. As a percent of the USDA projection, they are 106%, ahead of last year and the average of 102%. Total soy meal sales came in at 117,287 MT, with shipments of 154,998 MT. Soy oil sales for 16/17 were at 25,393 MT, as exports totaled 27,634 MT.


Wheat futures are showing losses of 1 to 2 cents per bushel in the CHI and KC contracts at the moment after settling Thursday with gains of 2 to 4 cents in most months. MPLS spring wheat futures are steady to 2 cents higher. The USDA announced weekly all wheat shipments totaled 550,169 MT, a 15.7% jump over last week and 52.6% larger than last year. Wheat total export commitments are now 36% of the final USDA export projection, vs. last year and the average of 35%. Compared to last year, they are 1.8% larger to this point. Reports of ND spring wheat acres being baled for livestock feed are verified, but estimates range from 5%-50% of planted acreage in some locations, but the state total is iffy. Iraq is seeking 50,000 MT of wheat, with US, Canada and Australia listed as accepted origins.


Live cattle futures finished Thursday with losses of 80 cents to $1.80 in most contracts. Feeder cattle futures followed with losses of $2.05 to $2.375, with pressure coming from both cattle and corn. The CME feeder cattle index was down $1.94 on July 19 to $147.22. Wholesale beef prices were mixed in the afternoon report, with choice boxes down 8 cents at $207.65. Select was up 9 cents, with an average of $195.58. Week to date estimated FI cattle slaughter was 465,000 head through Thursday, 10,000 below last week and 16,000 above the same week last year. There were a few cash sales of $118 Thursday, UNCH from Wednesday. USDA beef export shipments were 14,756 MT for the week ending 7/13. Export commitments for beef are current 9.7% larger than this time last year.

Lean Hogs

Lean hog futures ended Thursday with mixed trade, as Aug was down $1.475. The CME Lean Hog Index for 7/18 was 6 cents lower than the previous day at $92.40. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was 67 cents lower in the Thursday afternoon report, with a weighted average of $104.02. The national base hog carcass price was 51 cents lower with a weighted average of $84.28 in this afternoon’s report. FI hog slaughter through Thursday was estimated at 1,738,000 head, 16,000 head fewer than last week but 38,000 more than the same week in 2016. The USDA reported pork export shipments of 18,110 MT; well above last week but 10.1% behind last year for the same week. Total pork export commitments are 7.2% larger than a year ago.


Cotton futures are 70 to 80 points lower this morning, erasing gains of 54 to 87 points from Thursday. The US dollar was 520 points lower yesterday, and is lower again this morning. The Cotlook A index for July 19 was at 84.20 cents/lb, up 50 points from the previous day. All upland cotton export sales were 27,216 RB for old crop, with 166,210 RB sold for new crop. Total sales were 16.79% larger than a week ago but 25.73% lower than last year. The marketing year ends July 31. Export shipments were shown at 280,526 RB, 43.65% above the previous week and 50.8% larger than this time last year. All upland cotton total export commitments are 108% of the full year WASDE forecast, vs. 104% last year and the average of 106%. Some will be rolled to 2017/18 delivery. The new AWP good Friday through next Thursday was updated to 64.87 cents/lb, down 60 points. China sold 25,200 MT of the 30,100 MT of cotton offered at Thursday’s auction of state reserves.

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