Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures are currently 3 to 4 cents higher after ending Wednesday steady to a penny lower in most contracts. EIA weekly ethanol production slowed 28,000 barrels per day in the week of 8/10 to 1.072 million bpd. Ethanol stocks grew to 23.017 million barrels, up 94,000 barrels from the previous week and the largest stockpile since mid-March. Traders are looking for USDA to show old crop corn export sales in the week of 8/9 were 300,000-600,000 MT, with new crop estimated at 0.3-1 MMT. Celeres estimates that corn production in Brazil will total 104.1 MMT in 18/19 on increased acreage from a larger second crop following soybeans. Argentina acreage is seen at 14.33 million acres for 18/19, up nearly 7.4% from last year.

Soybean futures are trading 16 to 17 cents higher this morning after China indicated that it would return to the bargaining table with the US for low level talks. That’s not the same as having a deal, but you can’t get a deal if you aren’t talking! The front months closed 8 to 11 cents lower on Wednesday. Nearby soy meal was down $6.30/ton, with soy oil 40 points lower. NOPA monthly crush was 167.733 mbu in July, the second largest monthly figure ever. It was a 5.34% jump from June and up 15.9% from July 2017. Fat board crush margins and record large 4th quarter soybean stocks made it feasible. July 31 soy oil stocks were slightly lower than June at 1.764 billion pounds. Trade estimates are running anywhere from 100,000-400,000 MT for old crop export sales and 300,000-700,000 MT for new crop sales ahead of this morning’s weekly FAS report. Brazil consultant Celeres estimates that the country’s soybean acreage will grow by 3.1% in 18/19 to 89.45 million acres. They also expect the country to produce 119.6 MMT of soybeans. China sold 127,270 MT of 2013 soybeans from state reserves on Wednesday, totaling 42.12% of the amount offered.

Wheat futures are 5 to 7 cents higher this morning. They ended the Wednesday session with most contracts 9 to 13 cents lower, with MPLS the weakest. Rains over the last 24-hours are helping to build up soil moisture ahead of winter wheat planting. The weekly USDA Export Sales report will be released this morning at 7:30 a.m. CDT. Analysts’ estimates are running 200,000-500,000 MT for 18/19 all wheat export sales. This is for the week that ended August 9. US SRW FOB prices are now below Russia, though freight costs still benefit the latter into the eastern Mediterranean.

Live cattle futures saw 20 to 40 cent gains in most contracts on Wednesday. Feeder cattle futures were up 12.5 to 87.5 cents. The CME feeder cattle index was down 30 cents from the previous day at $150.34. Wholesale boxed beef values were mixed on Wednesday afternoon. Choice boxes were up 31 cents at $209.95, while Select boxes were 66 cents lower at $200.61. USDA FI cattle slaughter was estimated at 354,000 head through Wednesday. That is down 3,000 head from the previous week and 7,000 head above the same week in 2017. Wednesday’s FCE saw no sales on the 488 head offered, with lots offered at $110 and no bids reported. Bids of $108 were shown out in the country on Wednesday with no takers.

Lean hog futures were up 60 cents to $1.125 on the day. The CME Lean Hog Index was down $1.47 on August 13, to $56.81, as was anticipated by the expired August futures. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was down $1.25 from the previous day at $68.49 on Wednesday afternoon. The national base hog carcass value was down 55 cents in the Wednesday PM report, with the weighted average @ $42.23. USDA estimated weekly hog slaughter at 1.403 million head through Wednesday. That is up 93,000 head from last week, and 57,000 head above the same week last year.

Cotton futures are trading 58 to 88 points higher this morning on the potential for renewed dialog between the US and China on trade. They posted losses of 175 to 233 points in most contracts on Wednesday. Crude oil was down $2.13/barrel on Wednesday, and the dollar was rising. The dollar is weaker this morning. Weekly export sales will be updated by USDA at 7:30 AM CDT, with the first full week in the 18/19 MY being shown. Carry over from last year puts total export commitments already 38.7% larger than a year ago, with 2019/2020 commitments at 1.328 million RB. The Cotlook A index was down another 250 points from the previous day at 92.75 cents/lb on August 14. The weekly AWP, currently at 79.67 cents/lb, will be updated on Thursday afternoon.

Market Commentary provided by:

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