AgriCharts Market Commentary

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Corn futures are mostly 1 1/2 cents per bushel lower this morning. They posted fractional to 1 1/4 cent gains in most contracts on Wednesday, helped by positive ethanol data. Preliminary open interest rose 9,385 contracts on some new buying interest. Wednesday morning’s EIA report indicated that daily ethanol production (and thus corn use) in the week that ended 7/13 was back up 31,000 barrels per day at 1.064 million bpd. Ethanol stocks were drawn down by 625,000 barrels to 21.768 million barrels on large reductions in the Midwest and Gulf. Analysts are looking for this weekly Export Sales report to show 300,000-600,000 MT in old crop corn sales. New crop sales are seen at 200,000-500,000 MT for the week that ended 7/12. A South Korean importer purchased 60,000MT of US corn in a tender on Wednesday.


Soybean futures are mostly 5 cents lower this morning. They ended their third consecutive day higher by showing 2-3 cent gains on Wednesday. Preliminary open interest dropped 457, showing light short covering. Nearby soy meal down 90 cents/ton, with soy oil 34 points higher. The USDA reported a private export sale of 199,500 MT of soybeans to Pakistan for 18/19 delivery through their daily reporting system. Trade estimates ahead of today’s FAS report are showing 200,000-500,000 MT of old crop soybean sales in the week that ended 7/12. New crop is expected to be in a range of 100,000-500,000 MT. Soy meal sales are seen at 75,000-350,000 MT, while 8,000-40,000 MT is projected for soy oil. China sold 140,068 MT of soybeans from state reserves in an auction on Wednesday, totaling 28.29% of the amount offered.


Wheat futures are currently steady to 2 cents lower in the HRW and SRW futures and 3 to 5 cents higher in Minneapolis after ending the Wednesday session with MPLS 4 to 5 1/4 cents lower. KC was steady to down 3 cents, with nearby CBT down 3 1/4 and higher in the back months. The current 5-day QPF shows rain forecasted for much of the Dakotas and MN, with that area expected to dry out in the extended 8-14 day outlook. A poll of analysts shows expectations for the USDA Export Sales report at 150,000-500,000 MT in all new crop wheat sales for the week of 7/12. That would be well above last week’s extremely low 136,408 MT. President Trump indicated on Wednesday that the US may work out a separate trade deal with Mexico as an alternate path to the current NAFTA talks.


Live cattle futures settled with most contracts $1.50 to $2.525 higher on Wednesday. Feeder cattle futures were also sharply higher, up $2.70 to $3.175 in the nearby contracts. The CME feeder cattle index was up 22 cents from the previous day at $148.59 on 7/17. Wholesale boxed beef values were higher on Wednesday afternoon. Choice boxes were up 41 cents to $204.80, while Select boxes were 23 cents higher at $197.09. Estimated FI cattle slaughter was 355,000 head through Wednesday. That was up 12,000 from the same week last year but down 4,000 head vs. last week. A Reuters poll of analysts shows estimates for July 1 cattle on feed at 11.257 million head, up 4% from last year. Wednesday’s Fed Cattle Exchange saw sales on 142 of the 428 head offered at $112. There was also a lot that passed on an offer of $111.

Lean Hogs

Lean hog futures saw losses of 25 to 70 cents in most contracts on Wednesday. The CME Lean Hog Index was down 65 cents on July 16, to $79.69. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was down $1.85 on Wednesday afternoon at $82.35. The belly was the only primal reported higher. The national base carcass price was $70.62 in the Wednesday PM report, down $1.36 from the day prior. USDA estimated weekly FI hog slaughter at 1.353 million head through Wednesday. That is 59,000 head above last year, but down 4,000 head from the week previous.


Cotton futures are trading 24 to 39 points lower this morning. They were steady to 37 points lower in the front months on Wednesday, pressured by a little bit of profit taking. Dryness seen for most of TX in the next week is piling on top of the already deteriorating crop conditions. The weekly Export Sales report will be released at 7:30 a.m. CDT, with traders watching for any Chinese activity on either the purchasing or cancellation side. The Cotlook A index was steady from the previous day at 97.70 cents/lb on July 17. The weekly USDA AWP currently at 76.17 cents/lb will be updated on Thursday.

Market Commentary provided by:

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