AgriCharts Market Commentary

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Corn futures are trading fractionally lower this morning. They closed Thursday with most contracts a penny to 2 1/4 cents in the green, backing off earlier gains of 4-5 cents. Weekly corn shipments totaled 894,280 MT, a 14.2% decrease from a week ago and 35.19% lower than last year. YTD exports, however, are 27.79% above last year. Total export commitments are now 15.6% greater than last year. They are 100% of the USDA projection for final 16/17 exports vs. the average of 103% and last year’s 104%. On Thursday, China sold 258,382 MT of 2013 and 2014 corn, which was 21.4% of the 1.334 MMT offered. The International Grains Council dropped their 17/18 world corn production number 5 MMT to 1.02 billion MT.


Soybean futures are currently 2 cents in the red after gaining 5 to 7 1/2 cents in most contracts on Thursday. Front month soy meal was up $2.50/ton, with Aug 17 soy oil 12 points higher. The USDA announced a private export sale of 198,000 MT of soybeans for 16/17 and 66,000 MT for 17/18 to unknown destinations through their daily reporting system on Thursday, boosting the market. Soybean exports for the week totaled 573,657 MT, 60.3% above the previous week but 7.7% behind a year ago. Accumulated yearly exports are 19.3% above a year ago. Export commitments for the current marketing year are 16.9% larger than last year. They are now 106% of the USDA projection, compared to 102% last year and the average of 103%. Total soy meal sales of just 61,855 were announced, on the low end of expectations for 50,000-225,000 MT. Soy meal shipments ran 115,015 MT, with soy oil at 24,220 MT.


Wheat futures are mostly 3 to 5 cents higher in the KC HRW and CBT SRW contracts. MPLS spring wheat is up 2 cents. They settled Thursday with most KC and MPLS contracts 4 to 6 1/2 cents higher, while the CBT was up 1-2 cents. Total wheat shipments for the week were 476,606 MT, 13.35% lower than last week. Exports YTD are 25.6% larger than they were at this time last year but total commitments are only 1.6% larger. As a percent of the USDA total, they are 38%, vs. last year’s 37% and the average of 38%. The Spring wheat tour wrapped up on Thursday afternoon. The overall average for spring wheat was 38.1 bpa vs. 45.7 bpa last year and the 5-year average of 46.8 bpa. The IGC lowered their world wheat production estimate for 17/18 3 MMT to 732 MMT.


Live cattle futures came back to post gains of up to 90 cents on Thursday. Feeder cattle futures were up $1.35 to $1.875. The CME feeder cattle index was down 27 cents from the previous day at $151.30 on July 26. Wholesale beef prices were lower in the afternoon report, with choice boxes down 64 cents at $206.43 and select $1.21 lower at $196.66. Estimated FI cattle slaughter through Thursday was 467,000 head, 5,000 head above last week and 19,000 head larger than the same week last year. Cash sales activity was negligible. Export shipments for beef last week totaled 15,476 MT, 4.9% larger than last week and 7.7% above last year. Total export commitments are now 7.8% ahead of last year.

Lean Hogs

Lean hog futures ended Thursday with 2.5 to 25 cent gains in the front months and losses of 12.5 to 37.5 cents in the back months. The CME Lean Hog Index for 7/25 was 60 cents lower than the previous day at $89.84. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was 64 cents lower in the Thursday afternoon report, with a weighted average of $99.94. The national base hog carcass price was 36 cents higher with a weighted average of $82.11 in the afternoon report. Week to date FI hog slaughter was estimated at 1,743,000 head through Thursday, 5,000 head more than the previous week and 39,000 over the same week in 2016. Pork exports for the week of July 20 of 17,947 MT were 3.4% lower than last year. Export commitments for pork in 2017 are 8.3% larger than 2016 at this point.


Cotton futures are mostly 20 to 35 lower this morning, with black sheep October up 4. They were mostly 21 to 49 points higher on Thursday, with lightly traded Oct up 148 points. Weekly all upland cotton shipments were 326,790 RB, a 16.49% increase over last week and 80.07% above last year. YTD total export commitments are 61.9% above last year at this time. With just a little under 2 more reporting weeks, they are 109% of the USDA projection, vs. the average of 107%. A large carry over could be in store, with 1.183 million RB in 16/17 outstanding sales unshipped. The Cotlook A index for July 26 was 50 points higher at 85.00 cents/lb. The USDA cotton AWP now through August 3 is 66.29 cents/pound.

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