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AgriCharts Market Commentary
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Corn futures closed ¼ cent lower to ¾ cent higher on the day. France’s AgriMer has estimated French producers had 12% of their corn crop planted as of April 7th, which is higher than the 1% figure which was planted at the same time last year. USDA reported Kansas currently 11% planted, vs. 4% the previous week and the 5 yr average of 9%. Missouri was reported at 9% planted, vs. 2% the previous week and the 5 yr average of 16%.
Soybean futures closed higher on the day, notching gains between 12 and 25 cents. The May 14 contract displayed the most strength and finished at $15.01. The May 14 meal contract also displayed impressive gains, up $8.30 at $487.40. NOPA crush for March was 153.40 million bushels, about 7 million above the average trade guess. Use is not slowing down. Soy oil stocks were estimated ahead of the report to be 1.92 billion pounds. The actual figure was reported at a more bearish 2.023billion pounds. Biodiesel use has slowed significantly since the loss of the blend credit in December. Brazilian harvest is now thought to be 86% complete, with 60% of the crop believed to be sold by the producers.
Wheat futures closed higher on the day, registering gains between 21 and 23 cents. Ideas of freeze damage in the Plains and additional Russian incursions in Ukraine provided the market with a firm bid. Trader talk is that South Korea’s NOFI group bought 65,000 tons of optional origin feed wheat for Sep/Oct arrival on Monday. Japan is tendering for 136,200 MT of food grade wheat in the weekly MOA tender. After the close Monday, USDA reported that Idaho was 56% planted compared to 31% the previous week and the 5 yr average of 31%. Washington was reported at 46% planted vs. 20% the previous week and the 5 yr average of 42%.
Cattle futures settled $0.07 lower to $0.52 higher on the day. Feeders settled $0.20 to $0.77 lower. Estimated week to date slaughter was reported at 233,000 head which is unchanged from the same time last week. Wholesale prices were higher today with choice boxes up $0.34 at $222.86 while select boxes were up $1.09 at $213.14. The choice/select spread is at $9.72. Cash trade was quiet on Monday, but might happen early this week with the futures markets closed on Friday. The CME Feeder Cattle Index was down $.64 to $179.75.
Lean Hogs settled $0.52 lower to $0.47 higher on the day. Estimated week to date slaughter was reported at 792,000 head compared to 820,000 head last week. The afternoon pork carcass cutout value was $121.73, down $2.68 from yesterday. The always volatile pork bellies were the weakest. Estimated WTD hog slaughter is 792,000 head, down from 820,000 last week and 834,000 a year ago. The CME Lean Hog Index is down $1.20 at $125.55 but is still above where April futures went off the board. Carcass based prices from the eastern Corn Belt were not reported by USDA today due to confidentiality restrictions. Cash hogs were down 69 cents at $91.87. In the WCB, the carcass base price was down $1.19 at an average of $117.36, while the IA/MN area was $1.36 lower.
Cotton futures closed 73 to 99 points lower on the day. ICE Certified stocks were reported @ 275,888 bales, with 1,648 new certs, 816 decerts and 1,876 bales awaiting review. USDA reported that 8% of the US cotton crop is planted vs. 8% last year and the 5 year average of 9%. Texas is currently 11% planted vs. 10% the previous week and the 5 year average of 12%. The Cotlook A Index is up 1.65 at 93.85.