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AgriCharts Market Commentary
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Corn futures are trading 3 to 6 cents lower at midday. The May 14 contract traded up to $5.02 overnight but has reversed to the downside and is changing hands at $4.87 due to pre-weekend profit taking. Preliminary OI was up 16,092 lots yesterday, indicating fresh fund buying. There were 3 deliveries put out against the Mar 14 contract overnight bringing the MTD total to 824 contracts. The average trade guess for US corn en ding stocks in the Monday USDA WASDE report is 1.495 billion bushels, according to a Bloomberg survey. That implies a cut in feed use, but USDA has not cut feed use in the March report in 18 years because they have better data if they wait for the March 31 Grains Stocks numbers.
Soybean futures are trading 7 cents lower to 6 cents higher at midday. Earlier in the session the May 14 contract traded as high as $14.59 but has backed off the best levels of the day. Preliminary OI was up 4,781 contracts on Thursday. There were 0 deliveries put out against the Mar 14 contract overnight, with the month to date total at 140 contracts. A Bloomberg survey put trade estimates for the Monday USDA report at 88.09 MMT for B razil and 53.6 MMT. The average guess for the US ending stocks number is 144 million bushels.
Wheat futures are trading 6 to 10 cents higher at midday. The thinly traded Mar 14 MGEX contract is displaying the most strength and is up more than a dime. Trader talk is that Iraq bought 200,000 MT of Australian and Canadian origin wheat. The trade average-guess for US wheat ending stocks in the March 10 USDA report is 570 million bushels, according to a Bloomberg survey. Paris milling wheat futures are up 6.75 at 2.15. According to Reuters, the Canadian government is issuing regulations requiring the two Canadian railroads to move at least 500,000 MT of grain per week in an effort to clear a massive shipping backlog. The railroads have 30 days to ramp up deliveries (which should coincide with better weather) or risk daily fines.
Cattle futures are trading 12 to 35 cents higher at midday. The Aug 14 contract is displaying the most strength and changing hands at $133.50. Feeders are also in positive territory, up $0.62 to $0.67. Boxed beef prices are higher again with choice cuts up $1.30 at $236.88 while select cuts are up $0.27 at $233.27. The Choice/Select spread is at $3.61. Cash cattle trade has run $147-150 in the South, and $237-240 in the North.
Lean Hogs are trading $0.77 to $1.40 higher at midday. The Jun 14 contract is displaying the most strength and is changing hands at $120.75. The pork carcass cutout is up $0.95 at $111.09. Belly primals are displaying the most strength, up $3.67 at $158.97. Cash hog prices from the ECB, WCB, and IA/MN marketing areas have been delayed this morning due to packer problems. The CME Lean Hog Index is up $1.20 at $102.31.
Cotton futures are trading 17 points to 28 points higher at midday. The May 14 contract traded as high as 93.35 over night but is well off the best levels of the day. There were no deliveries overnight against the March 14 contract. March cotton expires today. China cotton futures on the Zhengzhou exchange for May delivery were 0.47%. ICE Certified stocks were reported 258,139RB, with96 new certs, 18 decerts and 2,215 bales awaiting review. The Cotlook A Index is up 3.00 at 97.55.