AgriCharts Market Commentary

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Corn futures are steady to fractionally lower this morning. They closed the Monday session with most contracts 5 to 7 3/4 cents in the red, seeing pressure from sharp declines in wheat and soybeans. Separate private export sales of 115,000 MT of 17/18 corn to unknown destinations and 206,000 MT of 18/19 corn to Japan were reported by the USDA Monday morning. The USDA also reported that 1.409 MMT of US corn was inspected for export during the week of 3/15. That was 2.33% larger than the previous week and 3.78% above the same time last year.


Soybean futures are trading 1 to 2 cents in the green this morning. They ended Monday with sharp losses of 26 to 27 cents in the nearby contracts, as Nov was down 18 1/4 cents. There was a surprisingly small decline in open interest, dropping 3,224 contracts to indicate some long liquidation. Front Month soy meal was $14.30/ton lower, with May soy oil 8 points higher. Monday morning’s USDA Export Inspections report indicated that just 490,536 MT of 17/18 soybeans were shipped for the week that ended 3/15. That was down 47.36% from a week ago and 30.08% lower than that week in 2017. Rain in Argentina over the weekend also fueled some selling pressure.


Wheat futures are mostly 3 to 5 cents higher this morning. They settled with 9 to 15 1/4 cent losses in the MPLS contract on Monday, as Chicago SRW was down 15 to 17 cents. KC HRW contracts were hit the hardest, as the nearby contracts neared limit lower moves, down 25 to 29 1/4 cents. Much needed rains developed across Kansas on Sunday into Monday morning. Parts of south-central KS saw almost 2 inches, with the far western areas receiving little moisture. State condition reports showed improvement in OK ratings for the week that ended on Sunday, with TX and KS shown deteriorating. However, conditions have likely improved in parts of KS since the rating were submitted. Wheat export inspections for the week of 3/15 totaled 443,269 MT, 3.37% larger than the previous week but 31.9% lower than a year ago. Japan is seeking 127,338 MT of wheat from the US and Canada, with the weekly MOA tender to close on Thursday. Most of that total is sought from the US at 91,942 MT.


Live cattle futures were mostly $1 to $1.60 lower on Monday as cattle were also caught in the big risk off day. Feeder cattle futures were down $1.225 to $2.00 on the day. The CME feeder cattle index was down 98 cents on March 16 at $141.73. Wholesale boxed beef values were mixed on Monday afternoon. Choice boxes were down 72 cents at $224.87, with Select boxes 43 cents higher at $217.29. Estimated FI cattle slaughter was 118,000 head on Monday, 5,000 above last week and 2,000 head above the same week in 2017.

Lean Hogs

Lean hog futures saw losses of $2.00 to $2.30 in most contracts on Monday. The CME Lean Hog Index on March 15 was down 41 cents from the previous day to $65.52. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was 59 cents lower at $71.98 in the Monday PM report. The national base hog weighted average price was 79 cents lower at $56.50 on Monday afternoon. The USDA estimated FI hog slaughter at 462,000 head on Monday. That is up 2,000 head from the previous week and 21,000 head more than the same week last year.


Cotton futures are showing slight gains this morning, since finishing the Monday session with most contracts 108 to 162 points in the red. There was red ink in a number of different asset classes on Monday as some cash headed temporarily to the sidelines. Last week’s CFTC Cotton on Call report showed mills trimming their May unfixed call sales position by 1,039 contracts to 31,952 contracts as of March 9. The Cotlook A index was UNCH from the previous day on March 16 at 92.85 cents/lb. The Adjusted World Price (AWP) was updated to 75.12 cents/lb on Thursday, 99 cents above the previous week. China sold another 20,700 MT of cotton offered at an auction of state reserves on Monday, totaling 69.13% of the amount offered.

Market Commentary provided by:

Brugler Marketing & Management LLC
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