Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures are steady to fractionally mixed at midday. This morning’s Export Sales report showed old crop corn export sales for the week of Feb 1 near the top of the range of expectations at 1.77 MMT. That was a slight drop from the previous week but 82.11% larger than the same week in 2017. The USDA showed a reduction to the US ending stocks of 125 mbu in their monthly supply and demand report. That was from a 125 mbu hike in exports to 2.05 bbu. As expected they also trimmed Argentine corn production to 39 MMT, down 3. They left Brazil corn production at 95 MMT, while CONAB cut their number 4.34 MMT to 88.01 MMT citing a smaller second crop. As a result of all that, world ending stocks were down 3.46 to 203.09 MMT.

Mar 18 Corn is at $3.65 1/4, unch,

May 18 Corn is at $3.73, up 1/4 cent,

Jul 18 Corn is at $3.80 1/2, up 1/4 cent

Sep 18 Corn is at $3.86 3/4, down 1/4 cent

Soybean futures are 2 to 5 1/2 cents higher on Thursday. Meal futures are up $5.30/ton, with nearby soy oil down 19 points. The USDA reported 743,223 MT of old crop soybean export sales during the week of 2/1, edging out expectations. That was more than double last week’s sales and 61.4% larger than this week last year. There were 205,700 MT in reductions reported for Unknown Destinations, which were most likely switched. Soy meal sales were tallied at 160,753 MT, with soy oil at 7,793 MT. This morning’s WASDE report showed US soybean exports trimmed 60 mbu by the USDA, causing ending stocks to raise the same amount to 530 mbu. On the world side Brazil production was increased 2 to 112 MMT, while Argentina offset that amount now at 54 MMT. The world ending stocks projection was slightly lower at 98.13 MMT.

Mar 18 Soybeans are at $9.88, up 5 cents,

May 18 Soybeans are at $9.98 3/4, up 4 1/2 cents,

Jul 18 Soybeans are at $10.08, up 4 cents,

Aug 18 Soybeans are at $10.08 1/4, up 2 1/2 cents,

Mar 18 Soybean Meal is at $340.70, up $5.30

Mar 18 Soybean Oil is at $32.37, down $0.19

Wheat futures are mostly 4 to 6 1/4 cents lower in the CBT and KC contracts, with MPLS steady to 2 cents higher. All wheat old crop export sales were reported in the range of expectations this morning at 393,437 MT in this morning’s Export Sales report. That was 24.7% lower than the same time last year but 36.1% larger than last week. There was also 22,080 MT shown for 18/19 sales. US ending stocks were raised 20 mbu by the USDA this morning to 1.009 bbu. That mainly came from a 25 mbu reduction to US exports. Meanwhile, world ending stocks were cut 1.92 to 266.1 MMT, on larger domestic use. Japan’s MOA reported that the country purchased 100,517 MT of Australian, Canadian, and US wheat on Thursday, with 33,442 MT sourced from the US.

Mar 18 CBOT Wheat is at $4.56, down 4 1/2 cents,

Mar 18 KCBT Wheat is at $4.74 3/4, down 6 1/4 cents,

Mar 18 MGEX Wheat is at $6.13 3/4, up 1 1/2 cents

Live cattle futures are a nickel to 50 cents lower at midday. Feeder cattle futures are 77.5 to 85 cents lower in the front months. The CME feeder cattle index was up 15 cents on February 6 at $148.10. Wholesale boxed beef values were mixed on Thursday morning. Choice boxes were down 33 cents at $209.04, with Select boxes $1.01 higher at $204.15. Estimated FI week to date cattle slaughter was 346,000 head through Wednesday. That was down 5,000 from the previous week but 11,000 head larger than the same week last year. The USDA reported beef export sales at 18,508 MT, which was a drop of 26.5% from last week but 16.1% larger than last year. Beef production for 2018 was trimmed 35 million pounds to 27.725 billion pounds as lower 3 and 4 quarter production offset increased the 1 and 2 quarter.

Feb 18 Cattle are at $125.550, down $0.050,

Apr 18 Cattle are at $123.575, down $0.400,

Jun 18 Cattle are at $115.425, down $0.300,

Mar 18 Feeder Cattle are at $147.350, down $0.950

Apr 18 Feeder Cattle are at $148.525, down $0.825

May 18 Feeder Cattle are at $148.650, down $0.700

Lean hog futures are steady to 15 cents lower on Thursday. The CME Lean Hog Index on February 6 was at $75.38, up 54 cents from the previous day. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was 33 cents lower at $77.01 in the Thursday AM report. The national base hog weighted average price was down 48 cents at $70.37 Thursday morning. The USDA estimated FI hog slaughter at 1,393,000 through Wednesday. That is down 3,000 head from the previous week and 72,000 head more than the same time last year. Pork export sales were tallied at just 12,670 MT for the week of 2/1. That was down 53.7% from last week and 7.2% behind the same week last year. First quarter pork production was the only of the 2018 quarters to be adjusted this morning by the USDA, down 75 million pounds.

Feb 18 Hogs are at $73.725, down $0.125,

Apr 18 Hogs are at $69.075, down $0.150

May 18 Hogs are at $75.100, unch,

Cotton futures are mostly 55 to 74 points higher at Thursday’s midday. All upland cotton old crop export sales were reported at 402,411 RB during the week of Feb 1. That was the second largest weekly total this MY and 93.41% above the same week last year. There was also 118,509 MT reported for new crop, a MY high. The USDA Cotton Ginnings report showed 18.689 million RB ginned as of Feb 1. That was 1.259 million RB more than the previous mid-January report. The US supply and demand table saw US exports cut 300,000 bales to 14.5 million bales. That cause ending stocks to increase that same amount to 6 million bales. The USDA Adjusted World Price or AWP was updated to 69.45 cents/lb this morning, which was down 195 points from the previous week. The Cotlook A index on February 7 was 86.95 cents/lb, down 25 points from the previous day.

Mar 18 Cotton is at 76.7, up 74 points,

May 18 Cotton is at 77.87, up 58 points

Jul 18 Cotton is at 78.86, up 55 points

Market Commentary provided by:

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