Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures are currently fractionally lower after posting 1 to 1 3/4 cent gains on Thursday. The USDA Export Sales report indicated shipments of corn for the week ending 4/5 were a marketing year (MY) high at 1.912 MMT. That is up 51.1% from the previous week and 19.68% larger than last year. Japan was the main destination of 435,000 MT, as 365,400 MT was shipped to Mexico. Export commitments of corn slipped slightly from last week but are still down just 0.76% from a year ago. They are running above the average pace of 84% to reach the USDA export projection at 85% complete. China sold 3.33 MMT of corn from state reserves on Thursday, totaling 92.77% of the offered amount.



Soybean futures are mostly 3 to 4 cents higher this morning. They ended the Thursday session with most contracts 7 to 13 cents higher. Soy meal was up $3.20/ton, with front month soy oil 10 points higher. Exports of soybeans were a MY low 419,715 MT for the week that ended 4/5, down 27.6% from the previous week. Total commitments of soybean exports are now 3.8% lower than this time last year. The larger sale totals in recent weeks have allowed commitments get a lot closer to the USDA projection. They are now 94% of that number vs. the average of 96% and last year’s 95%. Shipments of soy meal were reported at 297,363 MT, with soy oil just 2,898 MT. The Rosario Grain exchange trimmed their Argentine soybean production estimate another 3 MMT to 37 MMT, compared to the USDA’s new 40 MMT.



Wheat futures are trading 5 to 7 cents lower in the Chicago and KC contracts this morning. MPLS spring wheat is down 1 to 2 cents. They closed the day with 6 to 9 1/4 cent losses in most contracts on Thursday. The weekly Export Sales report showed shipments of all wheat tallied at 436,370 MT, 1.92% larger than the week prior but down 31.21% from a year ago. The main destination of 90,500 MT was Indonesia, with 63,000 MT exported to China. Commitments of all wheat exports are now 15.4% lower than this time in 2017, as sales continue to disappoint. That would place them at 92% of the USDA projection, compared to the average of 101% and last year’s 103%. Japan purchased 68,060 MT of US wheat in their weekly MOA tender out of 128,543 MT bought from Australia, Canada, and the US.



Live cattle futures finished the day with $1.625 to $2.25 gains. Feeder cattle futures were up $2.90 to $4.425 on Thursday. The CME feeder cattle index was up 91 cents on April 11 at $135.76. Wholesale boxed beef values were mixed on Thursday afternoon. Choice boxes were 59 cents lower at $212.48, with Select boxes up 6 cents at $200.67. Estimated FI cattle slaughter was at 475,000 head through Thursday. That is 18,000 above the previous week and up 17,000 head from the same week in 2017. Cash sales of $117-118 were reported so far this week. Beef export shipments were 15,130 MT in the Export Sales report, 8.56% larger than this week in 2017. Total export commitments of beef are now 17.9% above this time last year.



Lean hog futures were 5 cents to $1.475 higher on Thursday. The CME Lean Hog Index was down 48 cents from the previous day on April 10 to $53.02. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was up 20 cents at $66.06 this afternoon. The national base hog weighted average price was $1.48 higher at $49.29. The USDA estimated FI hog slaughter at 1.832 million head through Thursday. That is up 54,000 head from the same point last year. Pork shipments for the week of 4/5 were shown at 22,916 MT, 14% above last week and 5.8% larger than last year. Export commitments of pork are now 5.9% larger than last year at this time.



Cotton futures are 30 to 50 points higher in the old crop contracts this morning, with new crop December 2 higher. Cotton saw 14 to 41 point losses in the front months on Thursday, with back months higher. The USDA Export Sales report showed sales of 179,354 RB of old crop upland cotton. Shipments of upland cotton were reported at the second largest this MY at 499,560 RB. That was 10.42% above last week and 13.95% larger than this time last year. China was the primary destination @ 90,000 RB, as accumulated exports are now 3.32% lower than last year. Total commitments slipped from last week but are still 16.8% above last year. The USDA Adjusted World Price (AWP) was updated to 74.32 cents/lb, up 2.32 cents from the previous week. The Cotlook A index was up 40 points from the previous day at 92.80 cents/lb.






Market Commentary provided by:

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