Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures saw slight gains on Tuesday, as most contracts were fractionally to 1 1/2 cents higher. The average trade guess for US corn ending stocks ahead of Thursday’s monthly USDA report is 2.313 bbu. That would be a reduction of nearly 39 mbu from February and bring it closer to the 16/17 carryout of 2.293 bbu. Analysts are expecting Brazil production to be trimmed 3.4 MMT to 91.6 MMT and Argentina at 36.5 MMT, down 2.5. The weekly EIA report will be released on Wednesday, with last week’s report showing daily production of 1.044 bpd for the week of 2/23. South Korean mills and processor groups purchased 60,000 MT and 136,000 MT of optional origin corn in separate tenders on Tuesday.

Mar 18 Corn closed at $3.79 3/4, up 1 1/2 cents,

May 18 Corn closed at $3.88 1/4, up 1 cent,

Jul 18 Corn closed at $3.95 1/2, up 1 cent

Sep 18 Corn closed at $4.00 1/2, up 1/2 cent

Soybean futures closed the day with 2-3 cent losses in the nearby months, as new crop contracts were steady to 4 cents higher. Nearby Soymeal futures were down $4.80/ton, with front month soy oil up 29 points. The USDA reported a private export sale of 120,000 MT of soybeans to China for 17/18 delivery this morning through their daily reporting system. Analysts are expecting that the USDA will leave the US ending stocks number at 530 mbu in Thursday’s March WASDE report. The range of traders’ estimates is from 490 to 590 mbu. Brazilian production is expected to be raised 1.9 to 113.9 MMT, as that is estimated to be more than offset by a 5.5 MMT drop in Argentine production to 48.5 MMT.

Mar 18 Soybeans closed at $10.64 1/2, down 2 1/4 cents,

May 18 Soybeans closed at $10.74 3/4, down 2 3/4 cents,

Jul 18 Soybeans closed at $10.83, down 2 3/4 cents,

Sep 18 Soybeans closed at $10.60 1/4, up 3/4 cent,

Mar 18 Soybean Meal closed at $384.50, down $4.80,

Mar 18 Soybean Oil closed at $32.30, up $0.29

Wheat futures settled with fractional to 2 1/4 cent losses in most CBT contracts, as KC was down 2 to 4 1/4 cents. MPLS saw steady to 4 3/4 cent gains in most contracts. Analysts are expecting to see the old crop US ending stocks number slightly higher at 1.015 bbu in Thursday’s USDA WASDE report. The USDA Export Sales report will also be released on Thursday morning. Egypt’s GASC purchased 175,000 MT of Russian wheat in this morning’s tender for mid April delivery. Taiwan is seeking 92,465 MT of US wheat for April/May delivery, with the tender to close March 13.

Mar 18 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.02, down 1/4 cent,

Mar 18 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.29 1/4, down 4 1/4 cents,

Mar 18 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.27 1/4, up 4 1/4 cents

Live cattle futures ended the Tuesday session with losses of 5 to 67.5 cents in the nearby contracts. Feeder cattle futures were 10 to 85 cents lower, with a few back months slight higher. The CME feeder cattle index was down 19 cents on March 3 at $145.25. Wholesale boxed beef values were higher on Tuesday afternoon. Choice boxes were up 12 cents at $223.35, with Select boxes $0.36 higher at $215.20. Estimated FI cattle slaughter was 234,000 head through Tuesday, even with last week and 3,000 head larger than the same week in 2017. A few cash sales of $126 were reported on Tuesday. Wednesday’s FCE online auction is showing 474 head of cattle for sale, mainly from KS and TX.

Apr 18 Cattle closed at $122.825, down $0.400,

Jun 18 Cattle closed at $114.775, down $0.575,

Aug 18 Cattle closed at $112.450, down $0.675,

Mar 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $144.300, down $0.850

Apr 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $146.125, down $0.750

May 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $147.100, down $0.575

Lean hog futures finished the Tuesday trade session with most contracts 40 cents to $1.50 in the red. The CME Lean Hog Index on March 2 was down 40 cents from the previous day to $67.69. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was $1.70 lower at $77.92 in the Tuesday afternoon report. The butt was the only cut reported higher, with the belly down $7.46. The national base hog weighted average price was 16 cents higher at $62.51. The USDA estimated FI hog slaughter on Monday at 910,000 head. That is up 5,000 head from the previous week and 26,000 head more than the same time last year.

Apr 18 Hogs closed at $68.200, down $0.600,

May 18 Hogs closed at $74.250, down $1.500

Jun 18 Hogs closed at $79.950, down $1.025

Cotton futures showed sharp losses in most nearby contracts on Tuesday, with deferred months slightly higher. Last week’s Cotton On Call report showed mills getting out of the rest of their unfixed call sales for March during the week of 2/23. Their number of unfixed sale for May was at 33,641 contracts on that date, with the total for all months at 141,824 contracts. Trade guesses ahead of Thursday’s USDA report show 17/18 exports 390,000 bales above the February projection at 14.89 million bales. The Cotlook A index was up 25 points from the previous day on March 5 at 91.45 cents/lb. Cash sales on the Seam were reported at 20,314 bales, with prices averaging 75.09 cents/lb.

Mar 18 Cotton closed at 83.840, down 157 points,

May 18 Cotton closed at 82.430, down 280 points

Jul 18 Cotton closed at 82.490, down 249 points

Market Commentary provided by:

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