Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures are trading 1 to 1 1/2 cents higher this morning. They ended Thursday with fractional to 2 cent gains in the front months. Preliminary open interest plunged 41,861contracts, with many exiting May ahead of options expiration today and not re-entering other months. This morning’s USDA Export Sales report showed old crop corn sales in the week of April 18 in the middle of the range of estimates at 779,872 MT. That was down from the previous week but 23.51% larger than the same week in 2018. Japan was the top buyer of 349,400 MT, with 310,500 MT sold to Mexico. The report did show 60,000 MT in sorghum sales to China, with 190,000 MT in unshipped sales on the books for 18/19. The International Grains Council estimates show 19/20 ending stocks at 275 MMT, up 9 MMT from their prior estimate on an increase to production. That would still be well below the prior year at 311 MMT. Argentina’s corn harvest is 28.1% complete according to the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange, slightly above the 27.1% normal pace. --provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Soybean futures are mostly 3 cents lower following overnight trading activity. They ended Thursday with 4 cent gains in the nearby contracts, bouncing from multi-month lows on short covering. Preliminary open interest dropped 7,534 contracts. Meal futures were up $5.60/ton, with May soy oil down 28 points. US exporters sold 596,301 MT of 18/19 soybeans during the week ending on April 18, near the high end of expectations. That was a 56.6% jump from the week prior and 60.6% larger than this week last year. Unknown purchased 230,700 MT, with 212,113 MT for China. Soy Meal sales totaled 397,978 MT, with soy oil at 19,630 MT. Chinese customs data showed 4.92 MMT of soybeans imported in March, with 1.51 MMT US origin (down 50% yr/yr). BAGE data puts the Argentine soybean harvest at 50.7% complete, above the 39.6% average. Their production estimate is 55 MMT. --provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Wheat futures are trading 1 3/4 to 2 1/2 cents higher across all three markets. They settled Thursday with fractional to 3 cent gains in the CBT and MPLS contracts on Thursday, with KC fractionally mixed. Parts of The Dakotas and MN are expected to see snow this weekend, likely delaying planting even further. May futures options expire today. USDA reported 425,255 MT in all wheat old crop export bookings for the week of April 18. That is up 33.8% from the week prior and 43.09% larger than the same time last year. There are nearly 5.25 MMT in unshipped 18/19 sales (80% larger yr/yr) with just under a month and a half left in the MY. New crop sales totaled 226,189 MT. A total of 600,000 MT of optional origin wheat is sought in a Saudi Arabia tender. The world wheat production estimate for 19/20 was increased by 3 MMT by IGC, with carryover for new crop up 4 MMT to 274 MMT. Their Russian production projection is 79.5 MMT. --provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Live cattle futures saw sharp losses in most contracts on Thursday, as June closed a tick off limit down. Long liquidation was the theme, with preliminary open interest in June alone dropping 8,813 contracts. Feeder cattle futures felt the pressure from live cattle, down $2.975 to $3.55 in the front months. The CME feeder cattle index was down 6 cents to $145.78 on April 23. Wholesale boxed beef prices were lower on Thursday morning. Choice boxes were down 3 cents at $232.93 with Select boxes 53 cents lower @ $219.75. USDA estimated this week’s FI cattle slaughter at 478,000 head through Thursday. That was down 7,000 head from the week prior but 3,000 above the same week last year. Cash trades have been $126 in the South on Wednesday and $127 sales in NE on Thursday (down $3 wk/wk). Beef export sales in the week of April 18 totaled 23,110 MT, the third largest this year. ---provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Lean Hog futures posted limit losses in all 2019 contracts yesterday except May. Preliminary open interest rose 552 contracts, suggesting modest net new selling rather than the massive long liquidation you might expect given the price swing. Volume was actually very similar to Wednesday. We’ll be back to the expanded $4.50 daily margin today. The USDA Export Sales report showed just 15,505 MT in pork bookings for the week ending 4/18. That was well below last week and far below two weeks ago. China was shipping but not buying. The CME Lean Hog Index was up another 72 cents from the previous day @ $82.79 on April 23. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was $3.26 lower in the Thursday afternoon report, at $83.72. The often-volatile belly led the way, down $22.78 per hundredweight. The national average base hog was at $81.24 on Thursday, up 50 cents from the day prior. Estimated week to date FI hog slaughter is 1.752 million head through Thursday. That was down from last year and the week prior due to Monday’s plant down time. --provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Cotton futures are trading 22 to 42 points lower this morning. The dollar, energy and equities are all trading lower this morning. They were up 36 to 120 points in most contracts on Thursday. All old crop upland cotton export sales were reported at 238,967 RB by the USDA this morning. That was up 9.84% wk/wk but down 23.4% from this time last year. Turkey was the top buyer of 88,400 RB, with 74,600 RB for India. Chinese purchases totaled 13,095 RB. New crop sales were shown at 48,928 RB, with 17,600 MT to China. Actual shipments for the week of 4/18 totaled 317,980 RB, down 24.35% from the same week last year. The Cotlook A Index was down 55 points at 87.20 on April 24. The weekly Average World Price (AWP) was updated on Thursday to 68.68, down 20 points from last week. --provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Market Commentary provided by:

Brugler Marketing & Management LLC
1908 N. 203rd St.Omaha, NE 68022
Phone: 402-697-3623
Fax: 402-289-2353

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