AgriCharts Market Commentary

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Corn

July 20, 2018

Corn futures are trading 2 to 3 cents higher. They saw 2 to 4 cent gains in most contracts on Thursday, closing higher for the fourth consecutive day. The USDA Export Sales report for the week that ended on 7/12 showed shipments of 1.293 MMT. That was up 46.85% from this week last year but down 7.4% from last week. The main destination was Mexico at 335,700 MT, with 211,400 MT headed to Japan. Total exports are now just 3% behind a year ago, with total commitments outpacing the same time by 5.3%. Following last week’s increase to projected exports, they are now just 96% of the USDA number vs. the average of 102% on this date. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange trimmed their Argentine corn crop estimate by 1 MMT to 31 MMT, potentially opening up more US export opportunity.

Soybeans

July 20, 2018

Soybean futures are currently 5 to 6 cents higher after closing 3 to 4 cents higher in the nearby contracts on Thursday. Nearby soy meal was up 60 cents/ton, with soy oil 24 points lower. The USDA reported that weekly export shipments totaled 605,182 MT. That was 69.1% above a year ago, as 119,800 MT went to Mexico. Export commitments for soybeans are now 3.8% behind last year. They are 102% of the newly updated USDA export projection of 2.85 bbu, matching the 5 year average pace. Soy meal shipments were 341,927 MT, with 20,374 MT for soy oil.

Wheat

July 20, 2018

Wheat futures are mostly 4 to 6 cents higher this morning amid general ag commodity buying. They posted gains of 7 to 9 cents in most contracts on Thursday. The weekly Export Sales report from FAS showed all wheat exports picking back up a bit at 434,660 MT, still 8.55% slower than last year but 52% above last week. All wheat commitments for export are now lagging last year by 26.5%. They are also well behind the normal pace if they are to hit the USDA projected export number of 975 mbu, currently sitting at 24% complete, with the average at 37%. Japan’s MOA purchased 57,914 MT of US wheat in their weekly tender on Thursday.

Cattle

July 20, 2018

Live cattle futures ended the Thursday session mixed, with nearby Aug a nickel lower and back months higher. Feeder cattle futures were steady to 20 cents higher in the nearby contracts. The CME feeder cattle index was down 28 cents from the previous day at $148.31 on 7/18. Estimated week to date FI cattle slaughter was 476,000 head through Thursday. That was up 11,000 from the same week last year but down 3,000 head vs. last week. Wholesale boxed beef values were lower on Thursday afternoon. Choice boxes were down 31 cents to $204.49, while Select boxes were 17 cents lower at $196.92. Analysts are expecting to see a 1% increase from last year in USDA’s count for all cattle and calves as of July 1. They also estimate that the Cattle inventory report will show beef cows up 0.9% from 2017’s mid-year report, with replacement heifers down 4.3%. Yesterday USDA reported that weekly beef export shipments hit a marketing year high of 19,561 MT. Cash cattle bids of $108 were seen on Thursday, lower than the small confirmed sales @ $112 on Wednesday’s FCE.

Lean Hogs

July 20, 2018

Lean hog futures settled with 5 to 30 cent gains in the front months yesterday, with Dec 15 cents lower. The CME Lean Hog Index was down 45 cents on July 17, to $79.15. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was up 34 cents on Thursday afternoon at $82.69. The picnic and rib were the only primal cuts reported lower. The national base carcass price was $69.25 in the Thursday AM report, down $1.32 from the day prior. USDA estimated weekly FI hog slaughter at 1.814 million head through Thursday. That is 82,000 head above last year, and up 3,000 head from the week previous. Pork export sales for the week that ended 7/12 totaled 19,735 MT. Pork shipments totaled 18,720 MT.

Cotton

July 20, 2018

Cotton futures are trading 54 to 70 points lower this morning. They saw losses of 45 to 53 points in the nearby contracts on Thursday. With just over 2 reporting weeks left in the MY, all upland cotton export sales were just 12,935 RB. That was slightly lower than the same week in 2017 and just 10.64% of the reported total in the week prior. New crop sales totaled 247,711 RB, slipping a little from the week prior but 49.03% larger than the same time last year. Vietnam was the lead buyer of 93,400 RB, with 24,300 RB in sales shown to China. Export shipments were 227,320 RB, down 19% from last year and 11.69% lower than the previous week. The Cotlook A index was up 50 points from the previous day at 98.20 cents/lb on July 18. The weekly USDA AWP was updated to 79.50 cents/lb, up 333 points from the week prior.


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