Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures ended the Thursday session with most contracts 5 to 7 1/4 cents in the red. This morning’s Export Sales report indicated that 969,742 MT of old crop corn was sold in the week of 2/28, with 280,900 MT for new crop. Total sales were on the high side of estimates but down 35.13% from this week in 2018. Mexico was the lead buyer of 375,300 MT (and all of the new crop), with Japan buying 306,700 MT. Total commitments are now 1.5% below last year after being 17% ahead a few weeks back. China did purchase a cargo of US sorghum in that week, the first since last August. Trade estimates ahead of tomorrow’s monthly USDA update show Brazil corn production slightly higher at 94.66 MMT, with Argentina at 45.92 MMT. World ending stocks are seen at 309.06 MMT, slightly lower that the February report.

Mar 19 Corn closed at $3.56, down 6 1/2 cents,

May 19 Corn closed at $3.65 1/4, down 7 1/4 cents,

Jul 19 Corn closed at $3.74 1/4, down 6 3/4 cents

Sep 19 Corn closed at $3.81, down 6 1/2 cents

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Soybean futures managed to squeeze out fractional to 1 cent gains in most front months on Thursday. Meal futures were up 20 cents/ton in the nearby contract, with soy oil 10 points lower. Rumors of new Chinese buying (up to 2 MMT) partially offset the low sales reported this morning. The weekly Export Sales report tallied old crop soybean bookings nearly half of the low end of estimates at 311,442 MT, with 72,000 MT for new crop. Of that total 147,604 MT was sold to China, with 174,600 MT reported in net reductions for unknown. Soy meals sales totaled 230,523 MT for 18/19, with soy oil at 8,136 MT. Analysts expect USDA to trim Brazil’s production total to 115.7 MMT, with Argentina seen slightly higher at 55.23 MMT. They also see world carryout at 106.33 MMT, 0.39 below last month.

Mar 19 Soybeans closed at $8.90 3/4, up 1 cent,

May 19 Soybeans closed at $9.02 1/2, up 1/2 cent,

Jul 19 Soybeans closed at $9.16 1/2, up 3/4 cent,

Sep 19 Soybeans closed at $9.27 1/4, up 1/4 cent,

Mar 19 Soybean Meal closed at $302.00, up $0.20,

Mar 19 Soybean Oil closed at $29.41, down $0.10

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Wheat futures closed Thursday with MPLS steady to 2 cents lower. The winter wheat contracts were mostly 5 to 11 3/4 cents in the red. A stronger US dollar is not helping to keep US exports competitive on the international market. French milling wheat on the Matif was lower again on Thursday. All wheat export sales in the week of Feb 28 totaled 621,696 MT for 18/19 with 204,987 MT for new crop bookings. The old crop total was 58.81% larger than the same week last year and better than the trade had expected. Mexico bought 156,600 MT, with South Korea at 127,500 MT. Commitments for export are now 2.5% larger than the same time last year. The average trade guess for world wheat ending stocks in seen at 267.47 MMT, slightly below the Feb projection.

May 19 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.38 1/4, down 11 3/4 cents,

May 19 KCBT Wheat closed at $4.27 1/2, down 11 cents,

May 19 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.53, unch,

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Live cattle futures settled the Thursday session firm to 92.5 cents higher. Feeder cattle futures saw triple digit gains in the front months, with the help of weakness in corn. The CME feeder cattle index was up 17 cents on March 6 at $139.76. Wholesale boxed beef prices were higher on Thursday afternoon with the Ch/Select spread at $7.50. Choice boxes were up $1.11 at $226.04 with Select 17 cents higher at $218.54. USDA has week to date FI cattle slaughter at 466,000 head. Cash trade was reported at $128 in the South, with sales of $128-128.50 and $205 in the North. Beef export sales in the week of 2/28 were seen at 24,710 MT. December beef exports converted by USDA this morning were another monthly record at 261.981 million pounds. That was down 1.7% from November but slightly larger than last year. Total exports in 2018 were a record and 10.41% above 2017 (which was also a record). The Cold Storage report showed Jan 31 beef stocks of 510.07 million pound, slightly above a year ago.

Apr 19 Cattle closed at $128.950, up $0.050,

Jun 19 Cattle closed at $120.350, up $0.725,

Aug 19 Cattle closed at $116.525, up $0.925,

Mar 19 Feeder Cattle closed at $142.900, up $2.250

Apr 19 Feeder Cattle closed at $146.000, up $2.350

May 19 Feeder Cattle closed at $147.075, up $1.650

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Lean Hog futures were mixed on the day, with nearby April up 65 cents. The CME Lean Hog Index was down 9 cents from the previous day @ $51.85 on March 5. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was up $1.19 on Thursday afternoon at an average weighted price of $64.25. The national base hog carcass value was down 8 cents in the Thursday PM report, with a weighted average of $44.80. USDA estimated FI hog slaughter through Thursday at 1.895 million head. Export sales of pork in the final week of February were 24,436 MT. Pork export shipments in December totaled 526.062 million pounds. That was up 2.3% from last year and 2.5% larger than November. Exports to China were the largest for Dec since 2013 at 30.24 million pounds. US pork stocks in cold storage at the end of January were 562.71 million pounds, down 3.1% from the year prior.

Apr 19 Hogs closed at $57.725, up $0.650,

May 19 Hogs closed at $66.575, up $0.575

Jun 19 Hogs closed at $75.525, down $0.225

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Cotton futures posted losses of 92 to 115 points in the front months on Thursday. The US dollar index was stronger for the 6th day in a row, up 734 points on the day. Export sales of upland cotton in the week of Feb 28 were reported at 114,028 RB for old crop, with new crop at 25,692 RB. That was well below a year ago as total sales were 43.16% larger wk/wk. A net reduction of 1,227 RB was reported to China for 18/19, with 17,676 RB in sales for 19/20. Total export commitments for upland cotton are now lagging a year ago by 11%. The Cotlook A Index was up 150 points on March 6 to 82.65 cents/lb. The USDA Adjusted World Price (AWP) was updated to 63.42 cents/ lb on Thursday, up 75 points from the week prior. The now up to date Cotton On-Call report showed mills with a unfixed call sales position of 21,811 contracts on March 1, with unfixed call purchases at 15,078 contracts.

Mar 19 Cotton closed at 71.900, down 115 points,

May 19 Cotton closed at 73.110, down 110 points

Jul 19 Cotton closed at 74.300, down 92 points

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Market Commentary provided by:

Brugler Marketing & Management LLC
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Phone: 402-697-3623
Fax: 402-289-2353

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