Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures bounced back from Friday’s bearish USDA reports to close Tuesday with gains of 2 cents in most nearby contracts. The weekly Export Inspections report indicated just 584,389 MT of corn was shipped during the week of Jan 11. That is a drop of 31.28% from the week prior and 35.85% below the same time in 2018. For the 17/18 marketing year, inspections are just 63.77% of the total for the same time in the previous year. Friday’s NASS Crop Production report showed corn yield increases over 2016 in most states along the Corn Belt, with exception to the Dakotas, KS, IA and WI. The weekly EIA report will be delayed until Thursday, due to Monday’s holiday.

Mar 18 Corn closed at $3.48 1/4, up 2 cents,

May 18 Corn closed at $3.56 3/4, up 2 cents,

Jul 18 Corn closed at $3.65, up 2 1/4 cents

Sep 18 Corn closed at $3.72 3/4, up 2 cents

Soybean futures ended the Tuesday session with gains of 5 to 7 3/4 cents most front months. Meal futures were up $5.80/ton, with nearby soy oil down 34 points. The USDA reported 1.231 MMT in soybean export inspections during the week of Jan 11. That was a 1.51% increase from the week before but still lags last year for this time by 13.46%. Full 17/18 shipments are now 14.09% (185.8 mbu) behind the same time last year. This morning’s monthly NOPA report indicated that a record amount of 166.382 mbu of soybeans was crushed by their members during December, nearly 1 mbu larger than expectations. That was a 3.87% jump over December 2016 and 1.73% larger than November. With the large production, stocks of soy oil also grew nearly 16% from November to 1.538 billion pounds.

Mar 18 Soybeans closed at $9.68, up 7 1/2 cents,

May 18 Soybeans closed at $9.79 1/2, up 7 1/2 cents,

Jul 18 Soybeans closed at $9.89, up 7 3/4 cents,

Sep 18 Soybeans closed at $9.89 1/2, up 7 cents,

Mar 18 Soybean Meal closed at $322.80, up $5.80,

Mar 18 Soybean Oil closed at $32.79, down $0.34

Wheat futures settled the day with most CBT and KC contracts 2 to 4 1/4 cents lower. MPLS was down in the nearby contract but higher in the back months. Export inspections of wheat for the week that ended Jan 11 totaled 368,651 MT. That was a 56.73% improvement over the previous week but still 4.38% behind same week in 2017. Exports so far in the 17/18 MY are at 15.136 MMT, down 6.5% from the same time in the 16/17 MY. Japan is seeking 24,160 MT of US wheat in their weekly MOA tender, with a total of 91,733 MT sought from Australia, Canada, and the US. Egypt’s GASC purchased 295,000 MT of Russian wheat on Tuesday following Monday’s tender.

Mar 18 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.16 1/2, down 4 cents,

Mar 18 KCBT Wheat closed at $4.22, down 4 1/4 cents,

Mar 18 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.11 1/2, down 1 1/4 cents

Live cattle futures saw gains of 25 to 92.5 cents in most contracts on Tuesday. Feeder cattle futures were up $1.10 to $1.275 in the front months. The CME feeder cattle index on January 15 was $145.38, down 46 cents from the previous day. Wholesale boxed beef values were sharply lower on Tuesday afternoon. Choice boxes averaged $2.45 lower at $205.58, with Select boxes down $2.15 per cwt at $199.89. Estimated weekly FI cattle slaughter was 236,000 head othrough Tuesday. That is even with last week. There are already reports of $118 bids in parts of the country on Tuesday.

Feb 18 Cattle closed at $118.100, up $0.725,

Apr 18 Cattle closed at $120.375, up $0.925,

Jun 18 Cattle closed at $112.350, up $0.725,

Jan 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $145.600, up $1.250

Mar 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $143.925, up $1.275

Apr 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $144.075, up $1.075

Lean hog futures finished Tuesday with most front contracts $1.05 to $2.325 higher. The CME Lean Hog Index was up $1.35 on January 12 at $71.15. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was down 38 cents at $81.45 in the Tuesday afternoon report. The loin and belly primals were both reported higher. The national base hog weighted average price was up 10 cents to $69.93 on Tuesday afternoon. The USDA FI hog slaughter was estimated at 859,000 through Tuesday, which is 115,000 larger than the same week last year, but 60,000 head lower than last week.

Feb 18 Hogs closed at $73.900, up $2.325,

Apr 18 Hogs closed at $76.150, up $1.825

May 18 Hogs closed at $81.000, up $2.000

Cotton futures were mostly 16 to 36 points lower on Tuesday. The US dollar was down a sharp 516 points on the day. During 2017, Chinese cotton imports totaled 1.16 MMT, which was a 27% increase over the previous year. On Friday, the USDA increased the average midpoint farm price for cotton 3 cents to 69 cents/lb, with a range of 67-71 cents. The USDA Adjusted World Price (AWP) was increased 35 points to 71.21 cents/lb on Thursday. The Cotlook A Index for January 15 was 100 points lower than the previous day at 92.35 cents/lb, following the 300 point increase on Jan 12.

Mar 18 Cotton closed at 81.430, down 25 points,

May 18 Cotton closed at 81.670, down 29 points

Jul 18 Cotton closed at 81.860, down 36 points

Market Commentary provided by:

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