Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures are showing fractional gains ahead of Friday’s barrage of USDA reports. Old crop corn export sales totaled 437,745 MT for the week of Jan 4 in this morning’s USDA report. That was an improvement over last week’s MY low, but still lags the first week in 2017 by 27.44%. Analysts expectations were in the range of 350,000-650,000 MT. Shipments of 889,815 MT were also reported, a 28.24% jump over the same time last year. Ahead of Friday’s USDA reports, analysts are expecting 17/18 world ending stocks to be trimmed nearly 1.5 MMT to 202.6 MMT. Thursday’s CONAB report showed expected 17/18 Brazilian production at 92.3 MMT, up 0.1 MMT from December’s estimate.

Mar 18 Corn is at $3.49 3/4, up 3/4 cent,

May 18 Corn is at $3.57 3/4, up 3/4 cent,

Jul 18 Corn is at $3.65 3/4, up 3/4 cent

Sep 18 Corn is at $3.73 3/4, up 3/4 cent

Soybean futures are trading 3 to 4 1/2 cents lower in the nearby contracts on Thursday. Meal futures are down $3.10/ton, with nearby soy oil 3 points higher. The USDA reported another daily private export sale of 132,000 MT to Unknown destinations for 17/18 on Thursday. This morning’s weekly Export Sales report showed 17/18 sales of soybeans at 607,381 MT for the week ending 1/4, with 9,000 MT for new crop. That is compared to estimates of 500,000-800,000 MT, and is 74.1% larger than this time last year. Export shipments tallied 1.546 MMT, an 8% jump over last year. Total soy meal sales were at 226,905 MT, with soy oil showing a net reduction of 1,612 MT. Brazil’s CONAB raised their 17/18 soybean crop projection 1.2 MMT to 110.4 MMT, with a couple other South American firms now expecting 114-114.1 MMT. Argentina’s crop is seen at 52 MMT by the Rosario Grain Exchange down 2.5 MMT from their previous estimate.

Jan 18 Soybeans are at $9.42 1/2, down 4 1/2 cents,

Mar 18 Soybeans are at $9.51 3/4, down 3 1/4 cents,

May 18 Soybeans are at $9.62 3/4, down 3 1/4 cents,

Jul 18 Soybeans are at $9.72 1/4, down 3 cents,

Jan 18 Soybean Meal is at $309.80, down $3.10

Jan 18 Soybean Oil is at $33.32, up $0.03

Wheat futures are fractionally to a penny lower in most winter wheat contracts, with spring wheat contracts 1-4 cents lower. This morning’s Drought Monitor saw moderate to severe drought expanding across the Southern Plains. That is showing little market effect on Thursday. The USDA indicated all wheat old crop export sales of just 71,463 MT for the week ending Jan 4. That is another MY low, and just 18.36% of the total for the same week last year. Shipments of wheat picked up 26.37% from last week and 67.33% from a year ago at 288,242 MT. Japan purchased 91,087 MT of US and Canadian wheat in their weekly MOA tender, with 56,981 MT US origin. The USDA is seen reducing world ending stocks slightly to 268.1 MMT in the Friday morning WASDE report.

Mar 18 CBOT Wheat is at $4.33 1/4, down 1 cent,

Mar 18 KCBT Wheat is at $4.39 3/4, down 3/4 cent,

Mar 18 MGEX Wheat is at $6.30, down 4 cents

Live cattle futures are down 10 to 30 cents in most front months on Thursday. Feeder cattle futures are $1.10 to $1.30 lower in the nearby contracts at midday. The CME feeder cattle index on January 9 was $151.57, down 85 cents from the previous day. Wholesale boxed beef values were lower on Wednesday afternoon. Choice boxes averaged 43 cents lower at $210.06, with Select boxes down 46 cents per cwt at $203.23. Estimated weekly FI cattle slaughter was 354,000 head through Wednesday. That is 7,000 head more than the same week last year. The USDA reported weekly Beef export sales of 14,705 MT for 2018 this morning, as 38,249 MT were carried over from 2017 unshipped sales into 2018.

Feb 18 Cattle are at $116.725, down $0.150,

Apr 18 Cattle are at $118.450, down $0.225,

Jun 18 Cattle are at $110.675, down $0.100,

Jan 18 Feeder Cattle are at $143.150, down $1.225

Mar 18 Feeder Cattle are at $140.925, down $1.300

Apr 18 Feeder Cattle are at $141.250, down $1.100

Lean hog futures are posting sharp losses in most contracts at midday, with nearby Feb $1.725 lower. The CME Lean Hog Index was up 72 cents on January 8 at $66.37. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was down 8 cents at $79.45 in the Wednesday afternoon report. The picnic primal was down a sharp $6.46, as the belly was up $4.30. The national base hog weighted average price was up $1.87 to $69.43. The USDA week to date FI hog slaughter was estimated at 1,385,000 head through Wednesday. That is up 103,000 head from the same week last year. The USDA reported pork export sales of 12,600 MT for the first week of 2018. There was also 84,700 MT in unshipped sales from 2017 rolled to 2018.

Feb 18 Hogs are at $70.800, down $1.725,

Apr 18 Hogs are at $73.975, down $1.800

May 18 Hogs are at $79.000, down $1.250

Cotton futures are continuing to rally on Thursday, with most front months at or nearing limit gains. The US dollar is helping, down 474 points at the moment. Upland old crop cotton export sales for the week that ended Jan 4 were 274,533 RB, with 92,928 RB for new crop. Old crop sales were 16.35% above last year for this week and a jump of 41.55% from last year. Exports of upland cotton tallied 281,647 RB, a climb of 35.1% from last week and up 33.77% over this time in 2017. The Cotlook A Index for January 9 was 10 points higher than the previous day at 88.80 cents/lb. Online cash sales of 23,823 bales were reported on the Seam on Tuesday, with an average price of 70.5 cents/lb, up 83 points from the day prior.

Mar 18 Cotton is at 82.65, up 300 points,

May 18 Cotton is at 82.87, up 291 points

Jul 18 Cotton is at 82.92, up 277 points

Market Commentary provided by:

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