Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures came back to post 2 to 2 1/4 cent gains in most front months on Friday, with May down 2.99% on the week. The USDA Grain Crushing report this afternoon showed 444.02 mbu of corn used for ethanol production in January. That was down 3.6% from December and 6.74% lower than last year. Friday’s Commitment of Traders report indicated that specs added another 71,582 contracts to their net short position on Feb 19 to take it to -86,275 contracts in corn futures and options. Corn commitments for export (shipped and outstanding sales) are 0.7% larger than this time last year. As of Feb 21, they were 64% of USDA’s export projection, with the 5-year average at 71% for that date. FC Stone raised their Brazil second crop corn forecast by 0.9 MMT to 65.8 MMT.

Mar 19 Corn closed at $3.64, up 2 cents,

May 19 Corn closed at $3.73, up 2 1/4 cents,

Jul 19 Corn closed at $3.81 1/2, up 2 cents

Sep 19 Corn closed at $3.87 1/4, up 2 cents

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Soybean futures ended the Friday session positive, after spending a majority of the day in negative territory. Meal futures were up $1/ton in the nearby contract, with soy oil a point lower. May soybeans were 1.33% lower this week. January soybean crush in the US totaled 182.85 mbu according to the USDA, a shade higher than estimates. That was slightly lower than December, but 4.7% larger yr/yr. Soy oil stocks totaled 2.004 billion pounds. Export commitments for soybeans are now 14.5% below a year ago, catching up with the large sales. USDA is projecting a 12% drop for the full year, with the commitments 76% of that estimate vs. the 89% average for this date. Brazil’s soybean crop is estimated at 113.027 MMT by FC Stone, 0.832 MMT larger than their previous number. Brazil’s trade ministry tallied the country’s soybean exports in February at 6.091 MMT, more than double January and the same month in 2018.

Mar 19 Soybeans closed at $8.99 1/4, up 1 3/4 cents,

May 19 Soybeans closed at $9.11 1/2, up 1 1/4 cents,

Jul 19 Soybeans closed at $9.25 1/2, up 1 1/2 cents,

Sep 19 Soybeans closed at $9.36, up 1 3/4 cents,

Mar 19 Soybean Meal closed at $303.30, up $1.00,

Mar 19 Soybean Oil closed at $29.95, down $0.01

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Wheat futures saw some strength at the end of the Friday session, but closed with most CBT and MPLS contracts steady to 5 cents lower. KC was firm to a penny higher. On the week May Chicago was down 7.02%, with KC 4.56% lower and MPLS 1.11% in the red. US wheat export commitments are now 1.5% larger than last year at this time. They are still just 81% of the USDA estimate (1 bbu) with the normal pace at 94%. Results for the Saudi tender for 595,000 MT of hard wheat should be announced over the weekend. French milling wheat futures were down again on Friday, with this week’s loss totaling 2.7%. Australian futures on the Sydney exchange were down 3.87% this week as well. IKAR raised their 2019 Russian wheat estimate by 0.9 MMT to 78.5 MMT.

May 19 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.57 1/4, down 2 1/4 cents,

May 19 KCBT Wheat closed at $4.44 3/4, up 1/4 cent,

May 19 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.58 1/4, down 1 cent

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Live cattle futures saw slight to 37.5 cent gains in most contracts on Friday, with April down 30 cents. April was up 0.52% for the full week. Feeder cattle futures were 20 cents to $1.65 lower in the front months, with deferred contracts higher. March was down 1.17% since last Friday. The CME feeder cattle index was down 71 cents on February 28 at $139.23. Wholesale boxed beef prices were higher on Friday afternoon with the Ch/Select spread at $4.50. Choice boxes were up $1.34 at $221.29 with Select $1.52 higher at $216.79. USDA estimated FI cattle slaughter at 603,000 head through Saturday. That is up 26,000 head from last week but 8,000 head below this week last year. Cash trade was mostly $128 in the South, with $128-129 in the North and even $130 according to USDA data. Dressed sales were around $205.

Apr 19 Cattle closed at $129.550, down $0.300,

Jun 19 Cattle closed at $120.425, up $0.275,

Aug 19 Cattle closed at $116.275, up $0.375,

Mar 19 Feeder Cattle closed at $141.225, down $1.650

Apr 19 Feeder Cattle closed at $145.050, down $1.100

May 19 Feeder Cattle closed at $146.525, down $0.725

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Lean Hog futures were higher in the nearby contracts on Friday, with back months lower. April was up 1.71% this week. The CME Lean Hog Index was down 18 cents from the previous day @ $52.64 on February 27. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was up $1.43 on Friday afternoon at an average weighted price of $61.92. The butt was the only primal reported lower, with the belly up $4.37. The national base hog carcass value was up 33 cents on Friday afternoon, with a weighted average of $45.01. USDA estimated this week’s FI hog slaughter at 2.449 million head. That is down 45,000 head from last week but 30,000 head larger than last year.

Apr 19 Hogs closed at $56.400, up $0.525,

May 19 Hogs closed at $65.925, up $0.225

Jun 19 Hogs closed at $75.525, down $0.375

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Cotton futures posted 50 to 103 point gains in most contracts on Friday. In a tweet after the close, President Trump indicated he asked China to remove all tariffs on US ag products immediately based on the fact that discussions are moving along and the March 1 tariffs were delayed. As of Feb 19, money managers in cotton futures and options increased their net short position by 4,713 contracts to 18,854 contracts. The Cotlook A Index was up 25 points on February 28 to 80.35 cents/lb. The USDA Adjusted World Price was updated to 62.67 cents/ lb, up 87 points from the previous week. Upland cotton export commitments are now 9.2% below the same week a year ago, with lackluster sales the past several weeks. They are still on pace to meet the USDA projection, at 86% of the 15 million bales vs. the 85% average.

Mar 19 Cotton closed at 72.730, up 99 points,

May 19 Cotton closed at 73.850, up 103 points

Jul 19 Cotton closed at 74.850, up 86 points

--provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Market Commentary provided by:

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