Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures ended the Wednesday session with most contracts within 1/2 cent of UNCH. This morning’s EIA report showed ethanol production for the week of Jan 5 at just 996,000 barrels per day. That was a drop of 36,000 bpd from the previous week, as weekly production fell 94,000 bpd in the past two reports. Spot ethanol futures are steeply discounted vs. gasoline due to excess inventory. Stocks of ethanol at the end of that week rose 100,000 barrels to 22.719 million barrels. Traders are estimating the USDA will show 350,000-650,00 MT in old crop export sales for the week of Jan 4. That would be an increase over last week’s MY low of 101,198 MT. Ahead of Friday’s quarterly grain stocks report, analysts are expecting US corn stocks on December 1 to tally 12.429 billion bushels, slightly larger than a year ago.

Mar 18 Corn closed at $3.49, unch,

May 18 Corn closed at $3.57, down 1/4 cent,

Jul 18 Corn closed at $3.65, down 1/2 cent

Sep 18 Corn closed at $3.73, down 1/2 cent

Soybean futures continued to show weakness ahead of Friday’s massive report day, with most contracts 8 to 9 cents lower. Meal futures were down $1.60/ton, with nearby soy oil 26 points in the red. The USDA reported a private export sale of 260,000 MT of soybeans to unknown destinations this morning. That sale was split with 65,000 MT for 17/18 delivery and 195,000 MT for 18/19 delivery. Expectations ahead of the Thursday USDA Export Sales report show 17/18 soybean sales in a range of 500,000-850,000 MT for the New Year week of Jan 4. The average trade guess for December 1 soybean stocks is running 3.181 billion bushels, which is 9.77% above last December. The range of analysts’ estimates is fairly wide at 2.963 bbu to 3.306 bbu.

Jan 18 Soybeans closed at $9.47, down 8 3/4 cents,

Mar 18 Soybeans closed at $9.55, down 8 3/4 cents,

May 18 Soybeans closed at $9.66, down 8 1/2 cents,

Aug 18 Soybeans closed at $9.78 1/4, down 8 1/4 cents,

Jan 18 Soybean Meal closed at $312.90, down $1.60,

Jan 18 Soybean Oil closed at $33.29, down $0.26

Wheat futures closed Wednesday with most contracts 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 cents in the green across all three exchanges. Thursday’s Export Sales report is expected to show old crop wheat sales pick up for the week of Jan 4 to a range of 250,000-450,000 MT. Last week’s MY low sales totaled just 130,963 MT. December 1 wheat stocks are expected to be shown at 1.849 billion bushels this Friday, nearly 10.98% lower than the same time last year. A sale of 73,625 MT of US wheat to Taiwan was reported on Wednesday.

Mar 18 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.34 1/4, up 2 cents,

Mar 18 KCBT Wheat closed at $4.40 1/2, up 1 1/2 cents,

Mar 18 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.34, up 3 1/4 cents

Live cattle futures were 30 to 90 cents lower in most contracts on Wednesday. Feeder cattle futures were down mostly 32.5 to 85 cents, with nearby Jan $1.10 lower. The CME feeder cattle index on January 9 was $151.57, down 85 cents from the previous day. Wholesale boxed beef values were lower on Wednesday afternoon. Choice boxes averaged 43 cents lower at $210.06, with Select boxes down 46 cents per cwt at $203.23. Estimated weekly FI cattle slaughter was 354,000 head through Wednesday. That is 7,000 head more than the same week last year. Cash trade was early this week with sales of $120 across most regions. This morning’s FCE showed sales of $119 on 401 of the 711 head offered.

Feb 18 Cattle closed at $116.875, down $0.800,

Apr 18 Cattle closed at $118.675, down $0.850,

Jun 18 Cattle closed at $110.775, down $0.900,

Jan 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $144.375, down $1.100

Mar 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $142.225, down $0.525

Apr 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $142.350, down $0.325

Lean hog futures are $1.00 to $1.55 lower in most nearby contracts at midday. The CME Lean Hog Index was up 72 cents on January 8 at $66.37. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was down 8 cents at $79.45 in the Wednesday afternoon report. The picnic primal was down a sharp $6.46, as the belly was up $4.30. The national base hog weighted average price was up $1.87 to $69.43. The USDA week to date FI hog slaughter was estimated at 1,385,000 head through Wednesday. That is up 103,000 head from the same week last year.

Feb 18 Hogs closed at $72.525, down $0.650,

Apr 18 Hogs closed at $75.775, down $1.000

May 18 Hogs closed at $80.250, down $0.700

Cotton futures posted strong trade on Wednesday, with most nearby contracts showing triple digit gains. The US dollar was weaker on the day. Analysts expect US exports to see another increase in Friday’s USDA report, as total commitments are well above the average. However that could be offset by the fact that actual exports are currently down from this time last year. The Cotlook A Index for January 9 was 10 points higher than the previous day at 88.80 cents/lb. Online cash sales of 23,823 bales were reported on the Seam on Tuesday, with an average price of 70.5 cents/lb, up 83 points from the day prior.

Mar 18 Cotton closed at 79.650, up 130 points,

May 18 Cotton closed at 79.960, up 127 points

Jul 18 Cotton closed at 80.150, up 112 points

Market Commentary provided by:

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