AgriCharts Market Commentary

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March 23, 2018

Corn futures settled with most contracts 1 to 2 cents higher, with May down 1.44% since last Friday. This morning’s delayed USDA Export Sales report indicated 1.47 MMT in old crop corn export sales for the week ending 3/15, on the low side of expectations. That was down 41.31% from last week’s MY high, but 21.47% larger than the same week in 2017. There were 14,492 MT in net reductions for new crop corn sales. Export shipments of corn for that week totaled 1.375 MMT, 10.42% lower than a year ago and 2.2% off of last week. Accumulated exports so far this MY are at 21.587 MMT, down 22.19% from last year. Brazil’s first season corn crop is 43% harvested according to AgRural, lagging the average of 52%. Planting of the second crop was reported at 99% complete.

May 18 Corn closed at $3.77 1/4, up 1 1/4 cents,

Jul 18 Corn closed at $3.85 3/4, up 1 1/2 cents,

Sep 18 Corn closed at $3.92, up 1 1/2 cents

Dec 18 Corn closed at $3.99 1/4, up 1 1/4 cents


March 23, 2018

Soybean futures ended Friday with most contracts fractionally mixed to 1 1/2 cents lower. Nearby May was down 2% on the week. Growing concerns of a possible trade war with China fed the selling. China announced a list of $3 billion in possible tariffs on US goods overnight, which did not include US soybeans. Nearby May soy meal was up $9.90/ton, with front month soy oil down 46 points. Export sales of old crop soybeans slid into the bottom of the range of expectations at 759,094 MT. That was a drop of 40.2% from the previous week but 61% larger than this time last year. Sales of new crop were reported at 140,000 MT. Shipments for the week of 3/15 were reported at just 548,681 MT, down 39% from the week prior and 35.4% lower than last year. Sales of soy meal totaled 194,619 MT, with soy oil tallying 36,504 MT. AgRural estimates that the Brazil soybean crop is now 65% harvested, ahead of the average of 62% but lagging last year’s 68%.

May 18 Soybeans closed at $10.28 1/4, down 1 1/2 cents,

Jul 18 Soybeans closed at $10.39 1/4, down 1 1/2 cents,

Aug 18 Soybeans closed at $10.41 1/4, down 1 1/4 cents,

Nov 18 Soybeans closed at $10.26 1/2, down 1/4 cent,

May 18 Soybean Meal closed at $377.90, up $9.90,

May 18 Soybean Oil closed at $31.42, down $0.46


March 23, 2018

Wheat futures settled the day with 8-9 cents gains in the HRW and HRS contracts, as SRW was 4-5 cents higher. Pre-weekend profit taking helped. Nearby KC was down 4.05% on the week, with MPLS 1.47% lower and CBT down 1.6%. The 5-day QPF now shows most of the rain chance for early next week confined to the eastern parts of the Southern Plains, with western KS now showing little to no rainfall. All wheat export sales were reported at 265,208 MT during the week of 3/15, on the high end of most analysts’ expectations. That is 62.9% larger than last week’s total, but still 36.6% smaller that this time last year. New crop sales were shown at 163,383 MT. Exports of all wheat were tallied at 472,845 MT, up 41.23 % from a week ago but 27.11% lower than this time last year.

May 18 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.60 1/4, up 4 1/2 cents,

May 18 KCBT Wheat closed at $4.79 1/4, up 8 1/4 cents,

May 18 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.02 3/4, up 9 3/4 cents


March 23, 2018

Live cattle futures were down 4.29% on the week in nearby April, as the front months lost $1.425 to $2.20 on Friday. Feeder cattle futures were $1.225 to $1.925 lower on the day, with March losing 3.05% this week. The CME feeder cattle index was down $1.41 on March 22 at $137.98. Wholesale boxed beef values were sharply lower on Friday afternoon. Choice boxes were down $2.12 at $223.09, with Select boxes $1.62 lower at $216.40. Estimated weekly FI cattle slaughter is at 607,000 head through Saturday, 12,000 above last week but 6,000 below the same week in 2017. Export sales of beef during the week of March 15 totaled just 6,045 MT, a marketing year (MY) low. A reduction of 2,700 MT was reported for Japan. Shipments of beet were reported at 16,744 MT, the seconds largest this year. This afternoon’s Cattle on Feed report showed February placements of 1.817 million head, up 7.26%, with marketings up 1.64% at 1.675 million head. March 1 cattle on feed ran 8.75% larger than last year at 11.715 million head.

Apr 18 Cattle closed at $116.050, down $2.100,

Jun 18 Cattle closed at $106.200, down $2.200,

Aug 18 Cattle closed at $104.950, down $1.425,

Mar 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $135.700, down $1.825

Apr 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $136.100, down $1.925

May 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $137.300, down $1.225

Lean Hogs

March 23, 2018

Lean hog futures finished the day with $1.325 to $2.925 losses, as April was down 10.73% this week. Thursday afternoon, China proposed a 25% tariff on US pork in response to President Trump’s proposal of tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum. The CME Lean Hog Index on March 21 was down 60 cents from the previous day to $63.03. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was steady $70.74 on Friday afternoon. The national base hog weighted average price was $1.03 lower at $52.96 in the Friday PM report. The USDA estimated FI hog slaughter at 2.291 million head through Saturday. That is down 4,000 head from the previous week but 100,000 head more than the same week last year. Pork export sales for the week ending 3/15 were shown at 19,528 MT. Exports of pork were slightly below last week at 24,074 MT, but were 1.5% above last year.

Apr 18 Hogs closed at $58.425, down $2.900,

May 18 Hogs closed at $65.225, down $2.925

Jun 18 Hogs closed at $74.150, down $1.325


March 23, 2018

Cotton futures were steady to 33 points lower on Friday. All upland cotton old crop export sales were tallied at 338,370 RB for the week of 3/15 by the USDA this morning. That was 5.27% larger than the previous week and 3.09% above this time last year. New crop sales were 147,533 RB. Shipments of all upland cotton were reported at 425,093 RB, a jump of 11.95% from this time last year. The Cotlook A index was down 50 points from the previous day on March 22 at 91.95 cents/lb. China sold another 16,000 MT of cotton offered at an auction of state reserves on Friday, totaling 53.16% of the amount offered. The Adjusted World Price (AWP) was updated to 73.92 cents/lb on Thursday, 120 points lower than the previous week.

May 18 Cotton closed at 81.830, down 32 points,

Jul 18 Cotton closed at 82.220, down 18 points

Oct 18 Cotton closed at 78.960, unch,

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