AgriCharts Market Commentary

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Corn Market Commentary

Corn futures are fractionally lower to start the week after closing 4 to 5 cents higher on Friday. Nearby Dec was up 1.56% over the course of the week. Total corn export commitments through the second week of the new MY are 50.1% larger than the same time last year. They are 27% of the full year USDA export projection, with the normal pace at 26%. The Friday afternoon Commitment of Traders report indicated that money managers in corn futures and options added 77,806 contracts to their net short position as of Tuesday. That net position was at -141,276 contracts on that date, which was the largest fund net short position since January. A total of 773,429 MT of corn was sold from Chinese state reserves in an auction on Friday, 19.47% of the offered amount.

Soybeans Market Commentary

Soybean futures are mostly 6 to 7 cents lower this morning. They settled with losses of 2 to 3 cents in the front months to end a week that saw Nov up 2.02%. Soybean meal was down $5.50/ton on Friday, while soy oil was up 49 points. Weekly export sales data shows that soybeans export commitments (exports and unshipped sales) for 18/19 were down 7.2% from last year. Compared to the USDA export number, they are 32% complete, with last year running 34% at this time and the 5-year average at 42%. Spec traders in soybean futures and options added 1,544 contracts to their largest reported net short position since January 23 at 69,813 contracts. AgRural estimates that Brazil has 1.9% of their planned soybean area planted, vs. 0.3% for the 5-year average.

Wheat Market Commentary

Wheat futures are trading 1 to 2 cents higher this morning in the KC and CHI contracts, while spring wheat futures are fractionally mixed. They were down 1 to 2 1/4 cents in most KC and CBT contracts on Friday, with MPLS 5 to 6 cents lower. All three markets saw gains in the Dec contracts for the week, with CBT up 2%, KC 1.74% higher, and MPLS 1.79% in the green. Total export commitments for wheat have picked up over the past few weeks but are still lagging LY by 22%. USDA is projecting a 13.76% increase in exports from 17/18 to 18/19. Combined shipments and outstanding sales are now 37% of that projection of 1.025 bbu, with the typical pace at 55% by this time. Spec funds in Chicago wheat futures and options flipped 19,794 contracts to a net short position of -1,379 contracts as of Tuesday. Their net position in KC futures and options was still long 37,084 contracts, but 6,455 fewer than the week prior. Russia’s IKAR trimmed their production estimate by 0.4 to 69.2 MMT for 2018 wheat production on Friday. Consultant SovEcon their estimate of Russia’s wheat exports by 0.9 to 33 MMT.

Cattle Market Commentary

Live cattle futures ended the Friday session with 40 to 65 cent gains. Feeder cattle futures were up 20 cents to $1.25 on the day. The CME feeder cattle index on September 20 was up $1.83 at $156.29. Wholesale boxed beef values were mixed on Friday afternoon. Choice boxes were up 28 cents to $204.80, while Select boxes were 20 cents lower at $194.71. USDA estimated FI cattle slaughter at 657,000 head through Saturday. That is up 5,000 from last week on larger weekend slaughter and 19,000 head above the same week in 2017. Cash cattle traded $110.50-111 for most regions on Friday. The Cattle on Feed report indicated September 1 Cattle on Feed at 11.125 million head, up 5.91% from a year ago. August placements were at 2.07 million head, up 7.37% and above the average trade estimate. Marketings during August were 0.2% larger at 1.983 million head.

Lean Hogs Market Commentary

Lean hog futures finished Friday with losses of 70 to 95 cents in the front months, with Oct gaining a sharp 7.25% on the week. The CME Lean Hog Index was up $1.45 on September 19 to $57.44. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was 23 cents higher at $79.18 in the Friday afternoon report. The national base hog carcass value was up $1 @ $59.37 on Friday afternoon. Weekly FI hog slaughter through Saturday is estimated at 2.341 million head. That is up 26,000 head from last week but down 155,000 head from the same week last year. Money managers in lean hog futures and options added 6,249 contracts to their net long position of 21,825 contracts as of 9/18.

Cotton Market Commentary

Cotton futures are trading 17 lower to as much as 3 points higher this morning. They saw 3 to 52 point gains on Friday, although Dec was down 3.3% on the week. As of September 13, upland cotton export commitments were 26.9% larger than the same week in 2017. Commitments, totaling 8.933 million RB, are 61% of the USDA 18/19 export projection vs. the normal pace of 41%. The weekly Commitment of Traders report showed specs in cotton futures and options at their least bullish bet since November 2017 at 60,679 contracts. Mills had trimmed 1,109 contracts from their unfixed call sales position as of 9/14 to 36,040 contracts for December according to Thursday’s CFTC Cotton on Call report. The Cotlook A index was up 15 points from the previous day at 88.30 cents/lb on September 20. The USDA weekly AWP was updated to 71.59 cents/lb on Thursday, down 2.20 cents from the week prior.


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