AgriCharts Market Commentary

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Corn futures closed the day with steady to penny gains on Wednesday. The USDA announced a private export sale of 130,000 MT of 17/18 corn to unknown destinations this morning. The weekly EIA report showed ethanol production picking up to 1.068 million barrels per day. That was 52,000 bpd larger than the previous week, as stocks of ethanol dropped 132,000 barrels to 22.753 million barrels. The USDA sees the US planted acreage number at 90 million acres in their annual Ag Outlook Forum. The average farm price for corn is seen a dime higher at $3.40 in 18/19. Traders are expecting to see 1-1.5 MMT in old crop corn export sales, with 0-100,000 MT in new crop sales. South Korea purchased 120,000 MT of US corn in a tender on Thursday. Argentina corn production is seen at 35 MMT by the Rosario Grain Exchange, with the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange at 37 MMT.

Mar 18 Corn closed at $3.66 3/4, up 1 cent,

May 18 Corn closed at $3.74 3/4, up 3/4 cent,

Jul 18 Corn closed at $3.82 1/2, up 3/4 cent

Sep 18 Corn closed at $3.89 1/2, up 3/4 cent


Soybean futures ended the day with losses of 1 to 2 1/2 cents in most contracts. Soy meal futures were down $1.10/ton, with nearby soy oil 3 points lower. A private export sale of 110,000 MT of soybeans was reported by the USDA this morning to unknown destinations. That sale was spilt with 55,000 MT for 17/18 and 18/19 each. In the annual Ag Outlook Forum, the USDA expects to US producers to plant 90 million acres of soybeans. The average soybean price in 2018/19 is expected to be down a nickel to $9.25. Export sales for old crop are expected to range 600,000 to 900,000 MT with 0-200,000 MT for new crop. Soy meal is seen at 200,000-450,000 MT, with soy oil at 10,000-35,000 MT. The Rosario Grain Exchange expects the 17/18 Argentine crop at 46.5 MMT, which is s shade under the new BAGE projection of 47 MMT.

Mar 18 Soybeans closed at $10.32, down 2 1/4 cents,

May 18 Soybeans closed at $10.43 1/4, down 2 1/4 cents,

Jul 18 Soybeans closed at $10.52 1/2, down 2 1/2 cents,

Sep 18 Soybeans closed at $10.38 1/2, down 1 1/2 cents,

Mar 18 Soybean Meal closed at $376.90, down $1.10,

Mar 18 Soybean Oil closed at $32.04, down $0.03


Wheat futures finished the day with most CBT and KC contracts 4 to 6 cents higher, as MPLS was up 1-3 cents. Analysts are expecting the USDA's Export Sales report to show all wheat old crop sales of 250,000 to 500,000 MT for the week of Feb 15. They also estimate that new crops sales will total 0-100,000 MT in Friday's report. The USDA released a projection of 46.5 million acres of wheat planted for the 2018/19 marketing year. That is above estimates and planted acres from last year. They also expect the average cash price for wheat to hit $4.70 in 2018/19, 10 cents higher than 17/18. Russia's IKAR expects the country to export 37.5 MMT of wheat during 17/18, nearly 0.9 MMT larger than their previous estimate.

Mar 18 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.51 1/4, up 4 cents,

Mar 18 KCBT Wheat closed at $4.70 3/4, up 5 cents,

Mar 18 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.03, up 1 3/4 cents


Live cattle futures settled the Thursday session with weakness in the front months. Nearby Feb was $1.30 lower, with deferred contracts slightly higher. Feeder cattle futures were 27.5 to $1.025 lower. The CME feeder cattle index was up 6 cents on February 21 at $148.05. Wholesale boxed beef values were higher on Thursday afternoon. Choice boxes were up $1.03 at $218.40, with Select boxes 14 cents higher at $212.06. Estimated weekly FI cattle slaughter was 441,000 head through Thursday. That is down 19,000 from the previous week and 4,000 head fewer than the same week last year. Most cash trade has been reported at $128-$128.50 so far this week. Analysts are estimating that Friday’s USDA Cattle on Feed report to show on feed numbers as of Feb 1 up 7.4% from a year ago at 11.575 million head. Thursday afternoon’s Cold Storage report showed beef stocks at the end of January at 499.554 million pounds. That is 2.36% more than December and nearly 7.18% lower than January 2017.

Feb 18 Cattle closed at $128.350, down $1.300,

Apr 18 Cattle closed at $125.375, down $0.850,

Jun 18 Cattle closed at $116.800, down $0.250,

Mar 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $146.000, down $0.650

Apr 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $148.075, down $1.025

May 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $149.125, down $0.925

Lean Hogs

Lean hog futures posted strong 70 cent to $1.65 gains on Thursday. The CME Lean Hog Index on February 20 was $70.78, down 63 cents from the previous day. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was 3 cents lower at $78.70 in the Thursday PM report. The national base hog weighted average price was down 38 cents at $63.55 this afternoon. The USDA estimated week to date FI hog slaughter at 1,802,000 through Thursday. That is down 48,000 head from the previous week but 40,000 head more than the same time last year. The USDA expects the US to produce 26.8 billion pounds of pork during 2018, up from 25.6 billion pounds in 2017. They also see the average price down $2.52 to $48/cwt in 2018. Pork stocks in cold storage at the end of January were reported at 567.984 million pounds this afternoon. That was an increase of 15.9% over last month, and 8.35% larger than last year. That yr/yr increase came from a large jump in belly stocks over last year’s all-time low for the month of January.

Apr 18 Hogs closed at $71.275, up $1.375,

May 18 Hogs closed at $77.425, up $1.275

Jun 18 Hogs closed at $82.950, up $1.650


Cotton futures were mixed on Thursday, with nearby March 163 points higher on thin trade. Deferred contracts were mostly steady to 92 points lower. Cotton acreage is expected to hit 13.3 million acres in 2018 according to the USDA's Ag Outlook Forum. That is well above the 2017 number of 12.6 million acres. The average prices expected is at 63 cents/lb, down 6 cents from the previous week. The USDA Export Sales report is delayed until Friday morning because of the President’s Day holiday. The current USDA Adjusted World Price or AWP was updated to 69.69 cents/lb on Thursday, 54 points higher than the previous week. The Cotlook A index was up 185 points from the previous day on February 21 at 88.70 cents/lb.

Mar 18 Cotton closed at 80.540, up 163 points,

May 18 Cotton closed at 79.470, down 92 points

Oct 18 Cotton closed at 77.420, down 52 points

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