AgriCharts Market Commentary

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Corn futures saw most contracts close within 1/2 cent on UNCH on Wednesday. Another private export sale was announced by the USDA this morning, for 138,000 MT for 17/18 delivery to South Korea. The weekly EIA report showed ethanol production during the week of 3/16 increasing 24,000 barrels from the previous week at 1.049 million barrels per day. Stocks of ethanol at the end of that week were reported at 23.758 million barrels, down 523,000 barrels from the week prior. Stocks jumped on the East and West Coast, with the other regions showing a reduction. Expectations for Thursday’s Export Sales report show 1.4-2.1 MMT on old crop corn sales, with 100,000-200,000 MT in new crop sales.

May 18 Corn closed at $3.75, up 1/2 cent,

Jul 18 Corn closed at $3.83, up 1/2 cent,

Sep 18 Corn closed at $3.89 1/2, down 1/4 cent

Dec 18 Corn closed at $3.96 3/4, down 1/2 cent


Soybean futures ended the Wednesday session with most contracts steady to 2 cents higher. Front Month soy meal was up $2.80/ton, with May soy oil 63 points in the green. The board crush got fatter. Ahead of the weekly USDA Export Sales report, analysts are estimating 0.7-1.4 MMT in old crop soybean export sales during the week of 3/15, with 50,000-200,000 MT for new crop. Last week’s report showed old crop sales at 1.27 MMT. Sales of soy meal are expected to range 100,000-300,000 MT, as soy oil is at 20,000-50,000 MT. The USDA ag attach in Canada expected to see the country’s canola production to drop 0.8 MMT to 20.5 MMT in 2018/19.

May 18 Soybeans closed at $10.29 3/4, up 1 1/2 cents,

Jul 18 Soybeans closed at $10.40 1/2, up 1 1/2 cents,

Aug 18 Soybeans closed at $10.41 3/4, up 1 1/2 cents,

Nov 18 Soybeans closed at $10.26 1/4, up 1 1/4 cents,

May 18 Soybean Meal closed at $364.50, up $2.80,

May 18 Soybean Oil closed at $32.37, up $0.63


Wheat futures settled with fractional gains in most SRW contracts, while the KC HRW and MPLS HRS were 3 to 5 cents lower. The 7 day QPF shows rain in a large part of the Southern plains over this weekend into next week. Most of the precipitation is in OK, TX, and the eastern part of KS, with forecasts for western KS showing lower rain totals. The average trade guess for old crop export sales for wheat is 100,000-300,000 MT for the week that ended on March 15, with new crop expected to range 50,000-200,000 MT. That would be within range of last week’s report of 162,807 MT of old crop sales.

May 18 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.53 1/2, up 1/2 cent,

May 18 KCBT Wheat closed at $4.65 1/2, down 4 1/2 cents,

May 18 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.89 1/4, down 4 cents


Live cattle futures closed the day with most contracts 65 to $1.90 in the red. Feeder cattle futures were down $1 to $1.45 on Wednesday. The CME feeder cattle index was down 30 cents on March 20 at $140.95. Wholesale boxed beef values were mixed on Wednesday afternoon. Choice boxes were up $1.03 at $224.38, with Select boxes 35 cents lower at $216.39. Estimated weekly FI cattle slaughter was 354,000 head through Wednesday, 6,000 above last week and 4,000 head above the same week in 2017. Ahead of Friday’s USDA Cattle on Feed report, analysts are expecting to see March 1 cattle on feed 8.2% larger than last year. February placements are seen 4.2% higher than a year ago, with Feb marketings 1.2% above 2017. A few sales of $126-126.50 were reported later in the day.

Apr 18 Cattle closed at $117.700, down $1.875,

Jun 18 Cattle closed at $107.375, down $1.625,

Aug 18 Cattle closed at $105.275, down $1.425,

Mar 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $136.775, down $1.000

Apr 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $136.225, down $1.225

May 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $136.950, down $1.300

Lean Hogs

Lean hog futures finished the Wednesday session mixed, with nearby April 67.5 cents lower. The CME Lean Hog Index on March 19 was down 68 cents from the previous day to $64.29. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was 62 cents lower at $71.45 on Wednesday afternoon. The ham was the only cut reported higher, up 69 cents. The national base hog weighted average price was 51 cents lower at $55.04 in the Wednesday PM report. The USDA estimated FI hog slaughter at 1.378 million head through Wednesday. That is down 6,000 head from the previous week but 46,000 head more than the same week last year. The monthly USDA Cold Storage report will be released on Thursday after the CME close.

Apr 18 Hogs closed at $62.575, down $0.675,

May 18 Hogs closed at $70.325, up $0.125

Jun 18 Hogs closed at $77.225, up $0.475


Cotton futures posted 13 to 49 point losses in the front months on Wednesday, with back months higher. The Federal Reserve announced a 0.25% hike in interest rates this afternoon, as expected. They expect only 2 additional hikes in 2018, with 3 in 2019 based on current economic forecasts. The US dollar plunged 692 points on the day following that announcement. The Cotlook A index was down 135 points from the previous day on March 20 at 90.75 cents/lb. The Adjusted World Price (AWP) currently at 75.12 cents/lb, will be updated on Thursday. The Seam reported cash sales of 13,607 bales, on Tuesday, with the average price at 69.85 cents/lb. China sold another 15,793 MT of cotton offered at an auction of state reserves on Wednesday, totaling 52.6% of the amount offered.

May 18 Cotton closed at 82.590, down 49 points,

Jul 18 Cotton closed at 82.790, down 39 points

Oct 18 Cotton closed at 79.140, down 13 points

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