AgriCharts Market Commentary

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Corn futures are currently 1 to 1 1/2 cents higher after closing 1 to 1 1/2 cents lower on Thursday. The weekly EIA report showed ethanol production recovering 65,000 barrels per day to 1.061 million bpd. That implies corn use of 109-110 million bushels per week before DDG netback. Stocks of ethanol rose just 24,000 barrels to 22.743 million barrels during the week of Jan 12. Old Crop corn export sales are seen at 500,000-800,000 MT for the week of Jan 11, with the USDA already showing private sales of 442,100 MT for that week. A Farm Futures survey shows 18/19 corn acreage expectations of 90.1 million acres, down 100,000 acres from 17/18. The International Grains Council raised their projection for 2017/18 world corn production 14 MMT to 1.054 MMT, with increases in the EU and China.


Soybean futures are showing 3 to 4 1/2 cent gains this morning after settling with gains of 4 to 5 cents in most contracts on Thursday. Meal futures were up $4.10/ton, with nearby soy oil down 28 points. A survey of farmers by Farm Futures put 2018/19 US soybean acreage at 90.1 million acres, UNCH from a year ago. Analysts are expecting to see the first full non-Holiday week of 2018 show 0.6-1 MMT in old crop soybean export sales. Traders are also looking for 200-400,000 MT of new crop sales in this morning’s weekly USDA Export Sales report. During the week of Jan 11, the USDA reported “known“ private sales of 449,000 MT for old crop and 195,000 MT for new crop sales. Estimates for soy meal are at 100,000-300,000 MT, with 8,000-25,000 MT for soy oil.


Wheat futures are mostly 1 to 2 cents higher this morning. They were 2 to 4 cents higher in most KC and CBT winter wheat contracts yesterday, as MPLS spring wheat was slightly lower in the front months. Coming off last week’s MY low, traders are expecting the USDA to show 200,000-500,000 MT in all wheat export sales for the week of Jan 11 in the Export Sales report. All wheat acres in 2018/19 are expected to climb to 46.8 million acres according to a Farm Futures survey. That is up 800,000 acres from last year, on larger spring wheat acreage. Japan purchased 24,160 MT of US wheat in their weekly MOA tender. The IGC now expects the 17/18 world wheat crop to total 757 MMT, up 8 MMT from their previous report.


Live cattle futures finished Thursday with most contracts 42.5 cents to $1.075 higher. Feeder cattle futures were 57.5 cents to $1.30 in the green. The CME feeder cattle index on January 17 was $146.47, up $1.36 from the previous day. Wholesale boxed beef values were higher on Thursday afternoon. Choice boxes were up 39 cents at $205.69, with Select boxes $1.26 higher at $200.87. Estimated week to date FI cattle slaughter was 471,000 head through Thursday. That was 1,000 head fewer than last week. Cash trade so far this week has been fairly quiet, with just a few reported bids of $118.

Lean Hogs

Lean hog futures ended the Thursday session with most contracts higher, excluding a couple back months. The CME Lean Hog Index was up $1.07 on January 16 at $72.99. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was down 28 cents at $80.67 in the Thursday afternoon report. The loin and belly primals were the only cuts reported higher. The national base hog weighted average price was down 31 cents to $69.39 Thursday afternoon. The USDA FI hog slaughter was estimated at 1,726,000 head through Thursday, which is 96,000 larger than the same week last year, but 89,000 head lower than last week.


Cotton futures are trading 38 to 44 cents in the green at the moment. They closed Thursday with most contracts steady to 76 points higher, as support came from a lower US dollar that had initially tried to rally. Farm Futures projects we will see 13.2 million acres of cotton planted in 2018/19, up 5% from last year, according to their recent producer survey. Online cash sales for Tuesday reported on the Seam totaled 26,379 bales, as prices averaged 70.31 cents/lb, down 186 points from the previous day. The USDA Adjusted World Price (AWP) announced Thursday was up a steep 324 points from the previous week to 74.45 cents/lb. The Cotlook A Index for January 17 was down 25 points from the previous day at 92.10 cents/lb.

Market Commentary provided by:

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