Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures are trading steady to a penny lower this morning. They posted fractional to 4 1/4 cent gains in most contracts on Thursday. The USDA reported 371,981 MT for old crop weekly export sales, just half of estimates and well below this time last year. New crop sales were a supportive 474,577 MT. Total export commitments are down 6.3% from a year ago, when importers were buying in anticipation of a smaller South American crop. In a tender on Wednesday a South Korean importer purchased 60,000 MT of US corn. Analysts with ProAgro estimate Ukraine’s 2019 corn crop at 31.2 MMT, down 4.4 MMT from the year prior. China is rumored to be picking up additional US sorghum cargos.

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management



Soybean futures are 2 to 3 cents higher this morning. They ended the Thursday session with most contracts 2 to 3 cents lower. March meal futures expired up 1.60/ton, with soy oil down 29 points. The USDA Export Sales report showed 1.912 MMT of old crop soybean bookings in the week that ended on March 7. That was 50.6% larger than the same week in 2018, with the bulk of it to China. Year to date soybean commitments for export are now 16.4% below a year ago, catching up from previous weeks. Heavy rains have slowed the Brazilian harvest in Parana, which is now behind last year’s pace and about 66% completed according to local sources. Argentine crushers are pushing for a decrease in the export tax on soy products to make them more competitive in the world market.

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management



Wheat futures are 1 to 2 cents lower heading into the morning break. They closed Thursday with most CBT and MPLS contracts 1 to 5 1/4 cents higher, with CBT steady to fractionally lower. All wheat sales totaled 262,973 MT for old crop in the week of 3/7, well shy of estimates. New crop sales totaled 83,038 MT. Nigeria was the lead buyer of both old and new at 106,300 MT and 48,020 MT respectively. Even with the lower sales total this week, commitments are now 3% above a year ago. ProAgro estimates the Ukraine 2019 wheat harvest at 28.3 MMT, up from 27.6 MMT in 2018. Ukrainian wheat exports from last year’s crop are running 5% below the previous year due to lack of inventory. Turkey purchased 290,000 MT of wheat in their tender on Thursday. Tunisia, Bangladesh and Algeria have also been drawn into the market by the recent price decline.

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management



Live cattle futures saw 50 cent to $1.025 gains in most contracts on Thursday. Feeder cattle futures were up 25 to 75 cents in most contracts, with March down 45 cents. The CME feeder cattle index was down 69 cents on March 13 at $138.39. Wholesale boxed beef prices were lower in the Thursday afternoon report, with the Ch/Se spread at $8.94/cwt. Choice boxes were down 54 cents at $227.70, as Select was 52 cents lower @ $218.76. USDA estimated the WTD FI cattle slaughter at 447,000 head. That is down 19,000 head from last week as flooding in most of NE and parts of IA caused transportation issues on Thursday. Cash trades this week have been reported at $127 across most regions. US Beef export sales in the week of March 7 totaled 12,811 MT.

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management



Lean Hog futures posted $2.025 to $2.70 gains in most contracts on Thursday. The CME Lean Hog Index was up 74 cents from the previous day @ $53.12 on March 12. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was up 95 cents on Thursday afternoon at an average weighted price of $68.80. The national base hog carcass value was up $1.08 in the PM report at an average weighted price of $51.52. USDA estimated the weekly FI hog slaughter was at 1.864 million head through Thursday, down 25,000 from last week but 16,000 head above last year. USDA reported 50,288 MT in all pork export sales (largest single week since 2016) during the week of 3/7, with 23,846 MT sold to China, and 8,900 MT purchased by Mexico.

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management



Cotton futures are trading 4 to 35 points higher this morning. They sustained 79 to 142 point losses on Thursday. A stronger US dollar was seen as pressure. The Cotlook A Index was down 20 points on March 12 to 81.55 cents/lb. The USDA Adjusted World Price (AWP) was updated to 64.10 cents/ lb on Thursday, up 68 points from the week prior. The USDA Export Sales report indicated 166,125 RB of old crop upland cotton sold in the week of 3/7. That was up 45.69% from last week but still 48.31% below that week last year. China purchased 49,269 RB of that total; welcome news after recent cancellations. Export Commitments for 18/19 upland cotton are now 11.8% below a year ago as sales have been lagging. A total of 27,338 bales traded on The Seam on Wednesday, with an average price of 68.09 cents/lb.

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management






Market Commentary provided by:

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