Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures saw steady to fractional gains in most contracts on Thursday. 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 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. 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, expected world ending stocks were tightened 3.46 to 203.09 MMT.

Mar 18 Corn closed at $3.65 3/4, up 1/2 cent,

May 18 Corn closed at $3.73 1/4, up 1/2 cent,

Jul 18 Corn closed at $3.81, up 3/4 cent

Sep 18 Corn closed at $3.87 1/4, up 1/4 cent



Soybean futures were 3 to 4 3/4 cents higher in most contracts on Thursday. Meal futures were up $6.30/ton, with nearby soy oil down 35 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. 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 rise the same amount to 530 mbu. On the world side Brazil production was increased 2 to 112 MMT, while Argentina offset that amount with a drop from 56 MMT to 54 MMT. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange now estimates the crop at 50 MMT, down 1 from their previous report. The world ending stocks projection was slightly lower at 98.13 MMT.

Mar 18 Soybeans closed at $9.87 3/4, up 4 3/4 cents,

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

Jul 18 Soybeans closed at $10.08 1/4, up 4 1/4 cents,

Sep 18 Soybeans closed at $10.05, up 4 cents,

Mar 18 Soybean Meal closed at $341.70, up $6.30,

Mar 18 Soybean Oil closed at $32.21, down $0.35



Wheat futures settled the Thursday session with most CBT and KC contracts 3 to 6 1/2 cents in the red, as MPLS was fractionally to 1 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. US ending stocks were raised 20 mbu by the USDA this morning to 1.009 bbu. That came from a 25 mbu reduction to US exports and a 5 mbu increase in food use. 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. Egypt’s GASC is seeking wheat for March 12-22 delivery, with the tender to close Friday. Russia has dominated that market as of late.

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

Mar 18 KCBT Wheat closed at $4.74 1/2, down 6 1/2 cents,

Mar 18 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.13, up 3/4 cent



Live cattle futures closed mixed on Thursday, as nearby Feb was up 17.5 cents and back months were lower. Feeder cattle futures were steady to $1.05 in the red on the day. The CME feeder cattle index was down 8 cents on February 7 at $148.02. Wholesale boxed beef values were mixed on Thursday afternoon. Choice boxes were down 84 cents at $208.53, with Select boxes 65 cents higher at $203.79. Estimated FI week to date cattle slaughter was 464,000 head through Thursday. That was down 5,000 from the previous week but 15,000 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. Estimated beef production for 2018 was trimmed 35 million pounds to 27.725 billion pounds as lower 3 and 4 quarter production ideas offset increases for 1Q and 2Q.

Feb 18 Cattle closed at $125.775, up $0.175,

Apr 18 Cattle closed at $123.725, down $0.250,

Jun 18 Cattle closed at $115.525, down $0.200,

Mar 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $147.250, down $1.050

Apr 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $148.650, down $0.700

May 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $148.925, down $0.425



Lean hog futures were mixed on Thursday, with nearby Feb down 45 cents and back months higher. 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 42 cents lower at $76.92 in the Thursday PM report. The national base hog weighted average price was down $1.26 cents at $69.59 Thursday afternoon. The USDA estimated FI hog slaughter at 1,858,000 through Thursday. That is down 3,000 head from the previous week but 96,000 head more than the same time last year. Pork export sales were just 12,670 MT for the week of 2/1. That was down 53.7% from last week and 7.2% below the same week last year. First quarter pork production was the only one of the 2018 quarters to be adjusted this morning by the USDA, down 75 million pounds.

Feb 18 Hogs closed at $73.400, down $0.450,

Apr 18 Hogs closed at $69.450, up $0.225

May 18 Hogs closed at $75.025, down $0.075



Cotton futures ended the day with most contracts steady to 66 points higher. 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 closed at 76.620, up 66 points,

May 18 Cotton closed at 77.560, up 27 points

Jul 18 Cotton closed at 78.500, up 19 points






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