AgriCharts Market Commentary

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Corn futures are currently 1 cent higher after ending the Tuesday session with losses of 2 to 3 cents in most contracts. Condition ratings in SD improved 14 points, with CO up 10 and ND 7 points higher. Corn conditions inIl and IN were down 12 and 5 points from last week respectively, with KY, MO, and WI the only other states with poorer conditions. The FJ Crop tour estimated the Indiana average yield at 171.23 bpa, which is more than 4 bushels above the 3-year average for those routes. The Nebraska tour average was 165.42 bpa, which is nearly 3 bushels per acre above the 3-year average. Safras Mercado estimates that 40.4% of the 16/17 Brazilian second season corn crop is sold, down from 68.5% last year, They also estimate the crop is 86.8% harvested, vs. 95.7% a year ago. That supply will be overhanging the market for a while.


Soybean futures are trading 6 to 7 cents higher this morning after fractional to 2 cent gains on Tuesday. Sep soy meal was down 50 cents/ton, with nearby bean oil up 26 points. Soy oil is up 75 points this morning after the US announced an anti-dumping duty on biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia (presumed to force more domestic production using BO). Cash deposits on imports of up to 68.28% will be required while the investigation continues. Monday afternoon’s USDA Crop Progress report showed IN, MI, NE, ND, and OH all lagging their averages for the setting pod stage. Most of the ECB was reported lower, with a majority of the WCB showing improving conditions. FJ Tour pod counts for Indiana were higher than the 3-year average. Nebraska average 1131 pods in a 3x3 square, which is 51 below the three year average. Celeres is projecting 2017/18 Brazil soybean production to run 109.1 MMT compared to 113.8 MMT for 16/17. They are expecting an increase in acreage, but yields to be lower.


Wheat futures are mostly 2 to 3 cents higher this morning, with MPLS spring wheat 4 to 5 higher. They closed Tuesday with most KC and CBT contracts 6 to 8 cents lower, as MPLS was down 10 to 14 cents in the nearby contracts. Spring wheat harvesting in Montana and the Dakotas is ahead of their respective averages, with MN, ID and WA lagging. Conditions in both MN and SD were unchanged, with WA improving 9 points. Minnesota was to only state to show better conditions over last year, as SD finished with a rating of just 193. Japan is seeking 133,791 MT wheat in their weekly MOA tender, with 98,574 MT from the US and the rest from Canada. Russia’s IKAR increased their range of estimates for the country’s 2017 wheat production 2 MMT to 79-82 MMT.


Live cattle futures finished the Tuesday session with gains of 72.5 cents to $2.025. Feeder cattle futures were up $2.15 to $2.90 in most contracts. The CME feeder cattle index was 6 cents lower than the previous day at $143.43 for August 18. Wholesale beef prices were lower in the Tuesday afternoon report, with choice down 6 cents at $193.03 and select boxes 73 cents lower at $190.89. Today’s FCE online auction show list has 1,067 head. FI cattle slaughter through Tuesday was estimated at 236,000 head, 1,000 more than the previous week and 11,000 larger than the same week last year. The Cold Storage on Tuesday indicated July 31 frozen beef stocks of 430.429 million pounds, down 8.37% from a year ago but 3.64% larger than June 30. Ahead of Friday’s Cattle on Feed report, traders are estimating July placements 6.2% larger than July 2016 and July marketings up 4.9% yr/yr. Cattle on feed numbers for Aug 1 are expected to be 4.7% larger than last year.

Lean Hogs

Lean hog futures ended Tuesday with most nearby contracts 40 to 80 cents lower and back months 7.5 cent to $1 higher. The CME Lean Hog Index for 8/18 was 84 cents lower than the previous day at $82.35. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was $1.42 lower in the Tuesday afternoon report, with a weighted average of $89.14. The volatile belly was the only primal lower, dropping $12.24. The national base hog carcass was down $1.06 at $70.66 in the PM report. FI hog slaughter was estimated at 874,000 through Tuesday, 18,000 head fewer than the previous week and 2,000 larger than the same week in 2016. The USDA tallied pork stocks of 556.179 million pounds on July 31, down 7.09% from a year ago and 1.19% lower than June. July belly stocks were reported at 17.554 million pounds, 21.25% lower than June and just 34.6% of July 2016. Belly inventory is still very tight, but the bacon price hikes have made it to the retail meat counter and local burger joint.


Cotton futures are 20 to 40 points higher this morning. They were mostly 5 to 25 points higher on Tuesday, despite a sharply higher US dollar. Cotton conditions in TX were up 7 points, with TN improving 21 points on the week. Conditions in LA were down 11 points, with MS 6 points lower. The US cotton crop has 12% of the bolls opening, vs. last year’s 15%. KS and SC were the only states reported ahead of last year. The USDA cotton AWP for this week is 59.70, down from 62.46 cents/lb in the week just ended. The Cotlook A index for August 21 was 25 points higher than the previous day at 77.65 cents/lb. On Tuesday, China sold 28,900 MT of cotton at an auction of state reserves, as 29,700 MT was offered. China is now limiting reserve purchases to higher quality cotton. That leaves more low quality cotton in the cash market, joined by older 2013 inventory being auctioned.

Market Commentary provided by:

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