AgriCharts Market Commentary

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Corn futures are trading fractionally higher this morning, after finishing Thursday with losses of 2 1/4 to 6 cents in most contracts. Weekly shipments for corn totaled 1.21 MMT in Thursday’s export sales report, even with last year and 22.1% over a week ago. Total accumulated export commitments are now 118.81% of last year’s total to this point. Compared to the USDA projected export total, corn commitments are 98% complete, vs. last year’s and the average of 99%. Ethanol production in Mexico is expected to increase in the future, as the country’s biofuel industry plans to add 10 new ethanol plants over the next 5 years and the permitted blend level has been increased. Argentina’s Ag ministry increased their country’s 16/17 corn production number 1 MMT to 47.5 MMT. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange is at 39 MMT, with the USDA estimating 40 MMT.


Soybean futures are currently 2 to 3 cents per bushel higher after losing 12 1/2 to 14 3/4 cents on Thursday. July 17 soy meal was down $4.10, with soy oil 30 points lower in the front month. Soybean export shipments were only 296,131 MT for the week of June 15, 39.4% lower than last week and 3.8% above last year. Soybean export commitments are still 18.3% larger compared to last year. They are 106% of the current WASDE forecast, compared to 98% last year and the average of 100%. The Argentine ag ministry lowered their 2016/17 soybean production estimate to 57 MMT from 58 MMT.


Wheat futures are close to UNCH this morning in the KC and MPLS contracts, and up 2 cents per bushel in Chicago SRW. They ended Thursday with losses in the CBT contracts, and with KC fractionally mixed. MPLS spring wheat was the firmest, 7 1/2 to 11 cents in the green. Weekly export shipments hit 717,849 MT, a 15% jump over last week and 23.9% larger than last year. Total commitments for 17/18 are 7.7% ahead of last year, and 28% of the USDA projected export total, vs. 26% last year and the average of 27%. Japan purchased 69,961 MT of US wheat in their weekly MOA tender on Thursday. Egypt’s supply ministry stated Thursday that they intend to import 6.2 MMT of wheat during the 17/18 marketing year beginning in July. That is up from their typical average of 5.5 MMT.


Live cattle futures settled 57.5 cents to $1.15 lower on Thursday. Feeder cattle futures were down 35 cents to $1.20. The CME feeder cattle index was up 11 cents on June 21 at $148.18. Wholesale beef prices were sharply lower in the afternoon report, with choice boxes $2.54 lower at $242.88. Select was down $1.98, with an average of $216.92. After trading $121-$123 yesterday, a few cash cattle sales of $120 were reported in KS on Thursday. Estimated FI cattle slaughter through Thursday was 465,000 head, 2,000 head fewer than last week and 17,000 head more than the same week a year ago. Total beef export commitments are 12.1% larger than last year at this point. USDA has been reinspecting all beef shipments from Brazil since March and is prohibiting those admittedly small imports right now. The USDA Cold Storage report last night showed May stocks down 10.57% from May 2016 and 9.94% lower than April at 412.872 million pounds.

Lean Hogs

Lean hog futures posted losses of 32.5 cents to $2.35 on Thursday. The CME Lean Hog Index for 6/20 was up another $1.48 to $88.03. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was down $1.57 in the afternoon report, with a weighted average of $99.52.The national base hog carcass price was 71 cents lower with a weighted average of $86.09 in the afternoon report. Prices ranged from $84.00-$88.00. FI hog slaughter was estimated at 1,723,000 head through Thursday, 13,000 more than last week and 37,000 head above last year. Pork Exports totaled 19,931 MT, down 5.1% from a week ago and 4.4% larger than last year. Accumulated pork export commitments are 5.6% above a year ago. Thursday afternoon’s Cold Storage report saw May stocks at 592.127 million pounds, down 3.89% from last year and down 1.17% from April.


Cotton futures are mixed this morning, with July 25 to 30 higher but benchmark December 10 points lower. The pattern was similar yesterday, with nearby July 25 points higher. The new AWP is 64.60 cents/lb through next Thursday, a drop of 2.71 cents/lb from the previous week.US weekly export shipments improved 11.22% vs. the previous week and were up 57.15% over a year ago at 259,438 MT. All upland cotton export commitments are 64% larger than last year. China sold 15,800 MT of cotton offered at an auction of state reserves on Thursday, which was 51.88% of the total offered.Chinese cotton production for 2017/18 is estimated at 24.66 million bales by the country’s Cotton Information Center. That is 0.66 million bales over the USDA projection and 1.91 million bales above 16/17 production.

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