AgriCharts Market Commentary

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Corn futures are mostly a penny higher this morning ahead of the weekly USDA Export Sales report. They ended Wednesday with most contacts 1 1/2 to 2 3/4 lower. Preliminary open interest rose 4,637 contracts. The weekly EIA report indicated that a robust 1.059 million barrels per day of ethanol was produced during the week of August 11. That is 47,000 bpd larger than the previous week, and the second largest weekly production reported. So much for seasonal downtime! Ethanol stocks rose to 21.828 million barrels, 481,000 barrels larger than the previous week. Analysts are expecting 0-200,000 MT in old crop sales for this morning’s USDA Export Sales report, with new crop sales projected at 400,000-700,000 MT. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange expects 13.34 million acres of corn to be planted in Argentina for the 2017/18 marketing year, up from last year’s 12.6 million acres.


Soybean futures are trading 8 to 9 cents higher this morning after closing a penny higher yesterday. Sep soy meal was down $1.20/ton, with nearby bean oil 14 points in the green. A Chinese delegation agreed to purchase another 3.8 MMT of soybeans from the US on Tuesday in Omaha, NE. Those 11 commitments have not yet shown up in the sales reporting system. The USDA is expected to show 50,000-250,000 MT in 16/17 sales tomorrow, with 300,000-600,000 MT in 17/18 sales. That would be for business booked in the week ending August 10. Traders are also estimating 60,000-300,000 MT in soymeal sales and 8,000-35,000 MT in soyoil sales. NOPA’s crush of 144.718 mbu of soybeans during July was the second largest July crush recorded, behind July 2015. Meanwhile, soy oil stocks of 1.558 billion pounds on July 31 were the smallest since Dec 2016 stocks.


Wheat futures are 2-3 cents lower in MPLS spring wheat this morning, but fractionally mixed in the other two markets. They settled Wednesday with most KC and CBT contracts 6 to 10 1/4 cents lower in the front months. Preliminary open interest rose 8,650 contracts in Chicago, net new selling interest. MPLS was the strongest on the day, up 10 to 15 1/4 cents in the nearby contracts. Analysts are expecting tomorrow’s Export sales report to show 300,000-600,000 MT in 17/18 sales. Egypt’s GASC purchased 355,000 MT of wheat on Wednesday. Of the total, 60,000 MT was purchased from Ukraine, with 295,000 from Russia.The Ukrainian wheat harvest is estimated at 98% complete according to their ag ministry, with an estimated 26 MMT have been harvested so far.


Live cattle futures finished Wednesday trading with most contracts 42.5 cents to $2.075 in the red. Feeder cattle futures were down $2.80 to $3.625 on the day. The CME feeder cattle index was 83 cents lower than the previous day at $144.49 for August 15. Wholesale beef prices were lower in the Wednesday afternoon report, with choice down $1.44 at $197.51 and select boxes 83 cents lower at $195.04. The CH/SE spread is now at $2.47. Cash trade is still slow to develop this week, as bids of $110 were reported today. The FCE online auction failed to sell any of the 1,184 head offered this morning. Asking prices started out around $112, with the only lot hit at $112 being passed on. Weekly FI cattle slaughter was estimated at 350,000 head through Wednesday, 3,000 fewer than last week but 11,000 larger than the same week last year.

Lean Hogs

Lean hog futures were down a nickel to $1.75 on Wednesday. The CME Lean Hog Index for 8/14 was 40 cents lower than the previous day at $84.38. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was $2.30 lower in the Wednesday afternoon report, with a weighted average of $91.55. The loin and ham were lower, with the belly down $13.59. The national base hog carcass was down 48 cents at $76.58 in the PM report. FI hog slaughter was estimated at 1,338,000 week to date through Wednesday, 72,000 head larger than the previous week and up 42,000 from the same week in 2016.


Cotton futures are 2 lower to 11 higher this morning in limited activity. They saw losses of 4 to 34 points on Wednesday. The Cotlook A index for August 15 was down 50 points from the previous day to 78.2 cents/lb. The USDA cotton AWP will be updated later today, it is 62.46 cents/lb currently. The Seam reported cash sales of 2,171 bales on Tuesday, at an average price of 66.59cents/lb. India’s Ag Ministry estimates the country’s production at 33.09 million bales, up from 32.58 million bales last year. China sold 25,400 MT of the 29,500 MT offered at Wednesday’s auction of state reserves.

Market Commentary provided by:

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