AgriCharts Market Commentary

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Corn

Corn futures are trading 1 to 1 cent higher this morning. They ended Tuesday with 1-2 cent losses, following wheat into the red. Tuesday morning’s USDA Export Inspections report showed 938,099 MT in corn shipments during the week of 2/15. That was up 10.87% from the previous week but still lags the same time last year by 20.64%. Since the beginning of September, the US has shown 16.645 MMT in export inspections for corn. That is down 31.93% from the same timeframe in the 16/17 MY. The weekly EIA report will be delayed until Thursday morning, due to Monday’s holiday.

Soybeans

Soybean futures are currently UNCH to fractionally lower after finishing the Tuesday session with most nearby contracts 4 to 5 cents higher. They retreated from 17 to 17 1/2 cent gains achieved earlier on Tuesday but have also faded overnight losses. Soy meal futures were up another $3.20/ton, with nearby soy oil 32 points in the green. Dry conditions in Argentina and too much moisture in Brazil continue to push the market higher. Brazilian production estimates are running 112 to 115 MMT, vs. 114 MMT last year. Argentine numbers are 49-50 MMT vs. USDA at 53 MMT. Export Inspections totaled just 960,066 MT during the week that ended February 15. That was a drop of 29.3% from the week prior and 12.14% lower than the same week in 2017.

Wheat

Wheat futures are mostly 1 to 3 cents lower this morning in the SRW and HRW contracts. MPLS spring wheat is 1 to 2 cents higher. They settled with 6 to 9 cent losses in most CBT and KC contracts on Tuesday, with MPLS 2 to 3 cents lower. The US dollar saw sharp gains on Tuesday, putting pressure on the wheat market. All wheat shipments for the week of 2/15 hit 422,298 MT in the weekly Export Inspections report. That was down 15.52% from the week before and 26.02% lower than the same time a year ago. FOB export prices in the Black Sea region have been rising, potentially aiding US competitiveness. Egypt’s GASC tendered for wheat for late March-early April shipment yesterday, with results expected later today.

Cattle

Live cattle futures ended Tuesday with most nearby contracts steady to 20 cents higher and back months lower. Feeder cattle futures were also mixed, with front months slightly higher. The CME feeder cattle index was up 29 cents on February 19 at $148.11. Wholesale boxed beef values were sharply higher on Tuesday afternoon. Choice boxes were up $3.35 at $215.92, with Select boxes $2.97 higher at $210.40. Estimated weekly FI cattle slaughter was 213,000 head through Tuesday. That is down 14,000 from the previous week on lighter Monday slaughter and 2,000 head fewer than the same week last year.

Lean Hogs

Lean hog futures saw gains of $1.05 to $1.35 on Tuesday. The CME Lean Hog Index on February 16 was $72.09, down 80 cents from the previous day. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was $1.36 higher at $79.72 in the Tuesday PM report. All primal cuts were reported higher. The national base hog weighted average price was down 15 cents at $64.29 Tuesday afternoon. The USDA estimated week to date FI hog slaughter at 879,000 through Tuesday. That is down 45,000 head from the previous week but 6,000 head more than the same time last year.

Cotton

Cotton futures are 50 to 60 points higher this morning after they posted 159 to 180 point gains in most nearby contracts on Tuesday. The back months were modestly higher. A rising US dollar may have prodded some foreign buyers into action. The USDA reported that 236,832 bales were classed in the upland category during the week of Feb 15. That brings the total for upland classings to 18.480 million bales for 17/18. The USDA Adjusted World Price or AWP is 69.15 cents/lb through Thursday. The Cotlook A index was up 25 points from the previous day on February 19 at 86.85 cents/lb.


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