Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures are trading mostly 1 to 2 cents higher this morning on short covering ahead of the monthly USDA supply/demand update. They were 5 to 7 1/4 cents lower on Thursday. The weekly Export Sales were 969,742 MT for the week ending 2/28, with another 280,900 MT for new crop. Total sales were on the high side of estimates but down 35.13% from this week in 2018. 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. The trade is expecting little or no change to the US carryout in today’s report. Trade estimates 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 than the February report.

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management



Soybean futures are 3/4 to 2 cents higher this morning. They managed to squeeze out fractional to 1 cent gains in the 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 slow weekly Export Sales for the previous week. China hiked projected full year soy imports to 85 MMT from 83.65 MMT. USDA showed old crop soybean bookings at only 311,442 MT. Of that total 147,604 MT was sold to China. Soy meal 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. US soybean carryout could be smaller than last month due to strong crush activity. Sentiment leans toward exports being UNCH or reduced.

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management



Wheat futures are currently 2 to 3 cents higher in the Chicago and KC contracts, with MPLS spring wheat steady to a penny lower. On Thursday MPLS was steady to 2 cents lower but the winter wheat contracts were mostly 5 to 11 3/4 cents in the red. 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. Commitments for export are now 2.5% larger than the same time last year. The average trade guess for world wheat ending stocks in the WASDE update today is 267.47 MMT, slightly below the Feb projection.

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management



Live cattle futures settled firm to 92.5 cents higher on Thursday. Feeder cattle futures saw triple digit gains in the front months, with the help of corn. The CME feeder cattle index was up 17 cents on March 6 at $139.76. Wholesale boxed beef prices were higher. 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. December beef exports were another monthly record (17th month straight) 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 last night showed Jan 31 beef stocks of 510.07 million pounds, slightly above year ago.

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management



Lean Hog futures were mixed yesterday, 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. Futures expect cash to rally, but the puzzle pieces haven’t settled into place yet. USDA estimated FI hog slaughter through Thursday at 1.895 million head. 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.

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management



Cotton futures are trading anywhere from 7 lower to 1 higher this morning. They 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. It is seeing some pre-weekend profit taking this morning. sales of upland cotton in the week of Feb 28 totaled 114,028 RB for old crop, with new crop at 25,692 RB. That was well below a year ago but sales were 43.16% larger wk/wk. 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. 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.

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management






Market Commentary provided by:

Brugler Marketing & Management LLC
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Phone: 402-697-3623
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E-mail: alanb@bruglermktg.com
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