Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures are currently 1 to 2 cents higher after ending the Wednesday session with most contracts 3 to 4 1/2 cents lower. A stronger dollar and general selling in the grains weighed on market, but a strong finish in the stock market boosted demand ideas. The weekly USDA Export Inspections report showed corn shipments of 996,098 MT during the week of 12/20, which was 12.4% larger than last week and 60.45% more than the same week a year ago. Accumulated inspections have reached 16.988 MMT (668.79 mbu) for this MY, 72.26% larger than the same point in 2017. The European Commission raised their estimate of corn production there to 67.5 MMT from only 62.9 MMT in the previous report. Annual corn imports are still expected to be 18.5 MMT, unchanged from the previous estimate.

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Soybean futures are trading 4 to 5 cents per bushel higher this morning. They posted 13 to 14 cent losses in most contracts on Wednesday, pressured by weak export data. Long liquidation was a feature, with preliminary open interest dropping 11,145 contracts. Nearby soy meal was down $4.10/ton, with soy oil 38 points lower. The Export Inspections report indicated that just 651,181 MT of soybeans were shipped in the week ending 12/20. That was 34% lower than the week prior and nearly half of what was reported in the same week last year. Of the total, just 367 MT was on its way to China. Shipments this MY have totaled 15.822 MMT (581.35 mbu), which is down 41.8% from a year ago. A US trade delegation is headed to China in the week of January 7 to hold trade talks. This would be the first talks face to face since the G-20 in Argentina.

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Wheat futures are mostly2 to 3 cents higher this morning. They were down 5 to 7 1/2 cents in CBT and KC markets on Wednesday, with MPLS 9 to 12 1/4 cents lower following the holiday. The dollar was higher on the day. USDA’s weekly Export Inspections report indicated that 543,126 MT of wheat was shipped in the week of 12/20. That was a drop of 20.71% from the week prior but 4.34% above the same week in 2017. Accumulated inspections since June 1 reached 12.259 MMT (450.46 mbu), which is still 14.14% below this time last year. The European Commission trimmed their 18/19 soft wheat production estimate by 0.7 MMT to 128.5 MMT, with exports seen at 20 MMT.

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Live cattle futures closed mixed on Wednesday. December was up 47.5 cents ahead of next Monday’s expiration. Feeder cattle futures were up 15 to 75 cents on Wednesday. The CME feeder cattle index was up 5 cents on December 25 at $147.71. Wholesale boxed beef prices were higher on Wednesday afternoon. Choice boxes were up $1.64 at $215.69, with Select a dime higher at $207.60. Cash cattle trade hasn’t developed yet. USDA estimated Wednesday’s FI cattle slaughter at 119,000 head, bringing the weekly total to 135,000 head. The winter storm coming through the Plains into the Midwest has some potential to disrupt movement, depending on icing and local snow accumulations. The weekly slaughter total will be lower in any event because of the Tuesday holiday.

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Lean Hog futures were steady to 60 cents higher in most contracts on Wednesday. The CME Lean Hog Index was down 78 cents from the previous day @ $53.87 on December 20. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was down 69 cents on Wednesday afternoon at an average weighted price of $70.63. The national base cash hog carcass value was 44 cents higher on Wednesday, with a weighted average of $44.53. FI hog slaughter was estimated at 480,000 head on Wednesday, with the WTD total at 555,000 head.

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Cotton futures are trading 55 to 75 points lower this morning. They ended Wednesday with most contracts up 74 to 95 cents, helped out by short covering after sharp losses the past several sessions. Crude oil was up more than 8%, with the US dollar also higher. The Dow had its largest single day rally (in points, not %) ever. The dollar is weaker this morning, but the stock market also gave up a big chunk of yesterday’s gain in overnight trading. Both the CFTC Commitment of Traders and Cotton-On-Call reports will not be released during the current government shutdown. The Cotlook A index was down 175 points from the previous day on Dec 24 at 81.65 cents/lb. The weekly USDA AWP of 68.35 cents/lb is scheduled for an update today, if the partial government shutdown permits it.

-provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Market Commentary provided by:

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