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Corn futures finished the day with losses of nearly 7 cents, after the December contract hit $3.65 early this morning. The Dec contract was still able to gain more than a nickel on the week. We suspect some traders took profits off the table at the end of a relatively solid week for the corn market. Private exporters reported to the USDA an export sale of 101,600 MT to unknown destinations this morning. Brazilian ethanol imports are expected by Datagro to double this year vs. last year, with the US capturing the majority of the business. The weekly Commitment of Traders report showed managed money accounts were getting longer by a net 38,284 contracts as of the Tuesday close. The funds were net long 126,952 contracts, their largest net long reported since mid-June.
Soybean futures settled sharply lower into the close, following a new intraday high for the move at $10.02 this morning. The November contract was up more than 25 cents this week, thanks in part to a 30 cent bounce on Thursday after the USDA reported net weekly export sales at 2.17 MMT, showing strong export demand. The domestic crushers want to get their hands on the beans too, in order to make good on their export commitments for soybean meal. Front month meal futures were up $20 on the week; a gain of more than 6% from last Friday. The weekly Commitment of traders report from the CFTC showed managed money accounts getting less-short, but by a measly 853 contracts. They are still net short 16,337 contracts. The run off presidential election in Brazil is this weekend and is too close to call.
Wheat futures settled lower on the day, with the front months down roughly 4 to 11 cents after showing intraday gains of at least a dime earlier this morning. Chicago wheat was able to pick up 2.5 cents on the week, but KC lost more than 11 cents and MPLS wheat was down nearly 3 cents on the week. Export sales reported on Thursday were below expectations. More than 20.4 million bushels are now in the governmental 9 month price support loan program, up 2.375 mbu from the previous week. A Bloomberg survey is putting the Australian wheat crop at 23.2 MMT due to frost and hail damage (and some southern dryness issues) vs. the previous government estimate at 24.2 MMT. The CFTC reported managed money accounts were getting less short in Chicago wheat by a net 9,016 contracts, and they were getting longer in KC wheat by 5,437 contracts.
Cattle futures were sharply lower with some contracts off more than $2 today. Feeders also posted steep losses, with several contracts down $2 or more. The selling appeared to be profit taking ahead of the USDA Cattle on Feed report. The COF report had Oct. 1 cattle on feed at 99.5% of a year ago, just below the average of trade expectations. Placements were at 101% of a year ago, and marketings were 99.5%. The trade had been looking for about 102% and 99% respectively. Cash cattle trade developed at $170 in TX and NE, up as much as $6 from last week. Wholesale prices were lower today, with Choice off $2.02 and Select off 83 cents from the previous day. Estimated weekly slaughter including Saturday is 576K head, 11K larger than last week, but 43K head smaller than a year ago. YTD slaughter is off 7.1%. The weekly Commitment of Traders report from the CFTC showed managed money accounts taking a net 776 contracts out of their net long position, which now sits at 109,356 contracts.
Hog futures finished the day mostly higher, with the Dec contract snapping back from a new low for the move to close with a gain of $1.5225; however the deferred contracts closed much softer. The Dec hogs contract ended the week 32.5 cents lower than last Friday. The USDA average pork carcass cutout value continued to seep lower, down another $2.29 to $98.25 in the afternoon report. The average carcass base price was not reported in the ECB due to confidentiality restrictions, but it was down $1.70 in the IA/MN area, and $1.47 lower in the WCB. Weekly estimated slaughter including Saturday is 2.141 million head, 46K head less than last week and 119K head less than a year ago. According to the CFTC report released after the close today, managed money accounts reduced their net long position in lean hogs by 6,893 contracts, taking them to a net long position of 55,186 contracts.
Cotton futures were 25 to 77 points higher on the session, but December picked up 73 points, or 1.16% on the week. Managed money accounts were shown reducing their net long position in cotton from the previous week by a net 882 contracts. They are now net long 4,548 contracts according to the weekly report from the CFTC. Export commitments as a percent of total projected 2014/15 exports are at 61%, several points ahead of the 5 year average for this date of 53%. They were only 41% after this week last year. Cert stocks for Dec futures delivery are currently at 15,928 bales. The LDP for this week is 2.70 cents per pound.