Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures are showing fractional losses at midday. The US cash average price as of Monday afternoon was $3.36 1/2 according to DTN, 1 3/4 cents off the same time last year. That would put the national average basis at -30 1/2 cents, 6 3/4 cents stronger than a year ago. Following Thursday’s update to the USDA export projection, corn export commitments are now 65.34% of that number. That now lags the average of 68% and last year’s 74%. Dr. Michael Cordonnier trimmed his projected Brazil 17/18 corn production number another 2 MMT to 86 MMT. That is 9 MMT below the February USDA estimate.

Mar 18 Corn closed at $3.66 3/4, down 1/4 cent,

May 18 Corn closed at $3.74 1/4, down 1/2 cent,

Jul 18 Corn closed at $3.82, down 1/2 cent

Sep 18 Corn closed at $3.88 1/2, down 3/4 cent

Soybean futures are mostly 6 to 9 cents higher on Tuesday. Meal futures are up $9.20/ton, with nearby soy oil down 27 cents. Forecasts are calling for continued dryness in Argentina this week, with a chance of rain by the weekend. According to DTN, the average US cash price for soybeans on Monday was $9.32 3/4, 46 cents lower than the same day in 2017. That would put the average soybean basis at -69 cents, 6 1/2 cents stronger than last year. Export commitments for soybeans through last Thursday’s report are 77.45% of the new USDA projection. That is compared to the average for that week of 90% and 87% last year.

Mar 18 Soybeans closed at $10.10 3/4, up 9 cents,

May 18 Soybeans closed at $10.21 1/4, up 8 3/4 cents,

Jul 18 Soybeans closed at $10.30 1/2, up 8 1/2 cents,

Sep 18 Soybeans closed at $10.22 3/4, up 6 cents,

Mar 18 Soybean Meal closed at $367.00, up $9.20,

Mar 18 Soybean Oil closed at $31.58, down $0.27

Wheat futures are currently steady to 2 cents lower in most CBT and KC contracts on Turnaround Tuesday. MPLS is 5 to 6 1/4 cents in the red. All wheat export commitments are now 81.02% of the newly updated USDA export projection. The average is 87% for that week, with last year hitting 89% at this time. Japan’s Ag ministry is seeking 84,683 MT of wheat to be sourced from the US and Canada. The tender will close Thursday, with 60,463 MT sought from the US. The ABARE in Australia estimates the country’s winter wheat crop at 21.2 MMT, vs. the USDA’s 21.5 MMT. China sold 279,335 MT of wheat from state reserves on Tuesday, with 2.057 MMT offered at the auction.

Mar 18 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.62, down 2 cents,

Mar 18 KCBT Wheat closed at $4.77 1/4, down 1/4 cent,

Mar 18 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.03 3/4, down 6 1/4 cents

Live cattle futures are trading 40 to 50 cents higher in most front months at midday. Feeder cattle futures are steady to 22.5 cents lower in the nearby contracts, as back months are lower. The CME feeder cattle index was up 4 cents on February 9 at $147.63. Wholesale boxed beef values were mixed on Tuesday morning. Choice boxes were up 5 cents at $208.82, with Select boxes down 24 cents at $203.73. Estimated FI cattle slaughter was 110,000 head on Monday. That was down 4,000 from the previous week and 1,000 head fewer than the same Monday last year.

Feb 18 Cattle closed at $127.525, up $0.400,

Apr 18 Cattle closed at $125.500, up $0.500,

Jun 18 Cattle closed at $117.150, up $0.425,

Mar 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $147.625, down $0.050

Apr 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $149.300, down $0.225

May 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $150.175, up $0.025

Lean hog futures are mixed on Tuesday, with deferred contracts lower and nearby Feb up 30 ahead of Wednesday’s expiration. The CME Lean Hog Index on February 9 was $74.72, down 66 cents from the previous day. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was 42 cents higher at $77.13 in the Tuesday AM report. The national base hog weighted average price was down $1.05 at $67.86 this morning. The USDA estimated FI hog slaughter at 462,000 on Monday. That is up 1,000 head from the previous week and 21,000 head more than the same time last year.

Feb 18 Hogs closed at $73.375, up $0.300,

Apr 18 Hogs closed at $69.775, down $0.750

May 18 Hogs closed at $75.400, down $0.650

Cotton futures are currently 65 to 68 points lower at midday, despite the US dollar showing sharp losses. The USDA reported that 354,825 bales of upland cotton was classed during the week of Feb 8. That would bring the total for the 2017/18 crop to 18.243 million bales. The USDA Adjusted World Price or AWP was updated to 69.45 cents/lb Thursday morning. The Cotlook A index on February 12 was 87.55 cents/lb, up 15 points from the previous day. Cash sales reported on the Seam were shown at 9,558 bales, with the average price down 200 points from the previous day at 69.01 cents/lb

Mar 18 Cotton closed at 75.790, down 66 points,

May 18 Cotton closed at 76.770, down 68 points

Jul 18 Cotton closed at 77.790, down 65 points

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