AgriCharts Market Commentary

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Corn

August 16, 2017

Corn futures are trading fractionally higher this morning. They ended Tuesday trade with most contacts 4 1/2 to 8 cents in the red, on improved crop condition ratings. Maturity is still lagging. The USDA Crop Progress report showed that 16% of the crop was dented, as MO and KY were the only states reported to be ahead of their average. Brugler500 corn ratings were up 4 points from last week to 360 points. MI was down 17 points, as CO increased 33 points. A Brazilian ethanol plant, the first in the country that will rely solely on corn, has begun operations. This will dilute the idea that Brazilian ethanol is “advanced” because it is only made from sugar cane. China is planning to sell 1.2 MMT of corn from state reserves from 2013 and 2014 on Friday, with an additional 803,800 MT offered on Thursday. US export corn is within $3.50/MT or so of Brazilian FOB offers, but still $7-8 above Argentina.

Soybeans

August 16, 2017

Soybean futures are currently 2 to 3 cents higher after posting 11 to 15 cent losses on Tuesday, despite USDA showing a slight deterioration in crop conditions. Sep soy meal was down $2.90 /ton, with nearby bean oil 71 points lower. Soybean ratings in MN lost 11 points last week, as IA was down 9, with the Dakotas seeing a sharp increase. The NOPA report, released Tuesday morning, showed members crushing 144.718 mbu during July, 0.7% larger than July 2016 and 4.81% above June’s crush. Soy oil stocks as of July 31 were at 1.558 billion pounds, down 8.52% from June and tighter than expectations. Brazil has reportedly sold nearly 53.37 MMT of soybeans for export during 2017, which is 3.5% larger than the entire amount of soybeans shipped in 2016.

Wheat

August 16, 2017

Wheat futures are 3 to 4 higher in the Chicago and KC contracts after closing Tuesday with most nearby contracts 10-13 cents lower. Volatile Minneapolis spring wheat is 17 to 18 cents higher. The growing size of Russian export estimates is weighing on the market. Whether they can execute on that volume of shipments will determine how much of the pie remains for others. The Dakotas and MT are well above their harvest progress averages, while ID, MN, and WA are lagging. The Brugler500 index showed spring wheat ratings down 1 point to 273, as very poor ratings outweighed higher g/e ratings. ID, MN, and ND saw slight increases, with WA and MT down 14 and 8 points respectively. Taiwan’s tender for 98,850 MT of US wheat will close on Wednesday. Egypt’s GASC is tendering for wheat for late Sep shipment, with the US listed as accepted origin. Results are expected later today.

Cattle

August 16, 2017

Live cattle futures finished the Tuesday session with most contracts $1 to $2.70 higher.Feeder cattle futures were up $3.05 to $3.975 on the day. The CME feeder cattle index was 58 cents lower than the previous day at $145.32 for August 14. Wholesale beef prices were mixed in the Tuesday afternoon report, with choice up 3 cents at $198.95 and select boxes down 57 cents at $195.87. The CH/SE spread is now at $3.08, giving feedlots very little incentive to add finish to cattle. Cash trade has yet to develop this week, as bids were around $110 Tuesday morning. The FCE is showing 1,184 head for sale in today’s online auction. Weekly FI cattle slaughter was estimated at 235,000 head through Tuesday, 2,000 fewer than last week but 10,000 larger than the same week last year.

Lean Hogs

August 16, 2017

Lean hog futures settled Tuesday with most contracts 7.5 cents to $1.35 higher. The CME Lean Hog Index for 8/11 was 47 cents lower than the previous day at $84.78. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was 26 cents lower in the Tuesday afternoon report, with a weighted average of $93.85. The loin, butt, picnic, and belly were reported lower. The national base hog carcass was down 35 cents at $76.99 in the PM report. FI hog slaughter was estimated at 892,000 week to date through Tuesday, 72,000 head larger than the previous week and up 31,000 from the same week in 2016.

Cotton

August 16, 2017

Cotton futures are trading 15 to 17 points higher this morning. They were 33 to 82 lower on Tuesday, pressured by improved crop conditions and a higher US dollar. The US dollar index was up 414 points on Tuesday. The Brugler500 Index shows cotton conditions at 358 points, up 5 points on the week. TX and OK saw the largest increases, up 12 points, with SC down 20 points. The USDA report showed 80% of the crop was setting bolls, with 10% of the bolls opening. China sold 25,400 MT of the 30,000 MT offered at Tuesday’s auction of state reserves.


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