AgriCharts Market Commentary

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Corn

Corn futures are trading 3 to 4 cents lower at the moment. They closed Friday steady to fractionally mixed, with July down 1.11% on the week. The NWS 6-10 and 8-14 day outlooks are anticipating above average temps for the eastern 2/3 of the Corn Belt. There are chances for the WCB to dry out in the latter portion of that forecast period. Friday afternoon’s Commitment of Traders report showed spec funds flipping their net position in the week that ended on Tuesday. On that date, they had a net short position of -14,038 contracts in corn futures and options, a move of -50,254 contracts from the week prior. This was, however, less short than some in the trade had feared, leaving room for additional sell pressure if US weather remains favorable.

Soybeans

Soybean futures are currently .9 to 11 cents lower after settling 14 to 14 3/4 cents higher in the front months on Friday. Preliminary open interest dropped 26,231 contracts on Friday, confirming some short covering rather than new buying interest. Nearby July lost 1.21% for the week after hitting a 9 1/2 year low for front month futures on Tuesday. Front month soy meal was up $7.30/ton on Friday, with soybean oil 2 points in the green. Brazilian buyers have slowed down purchases from the interior due to uncertainty about freight costs to get the beans to port. Managed money speculators cut 25,671 contracts off their net long position in soybean futures and options in the week 6/19, to flip to a net short position of -12,801 contracts. This was less bearish than expected given the magnitude of the price decline. BAGE estimates that the 97.1% of the Argentina soybean crop is now harvested.

Wheat

Wheat futures are mostly 8 to 11 cents lower this morning in the CHI and KC contracts. MPLS spring wheat is 2 cents lower. Wheat was 3 3/4 to 4 cents lower on Friday. Spec funds in Chicago wheat futures and options were reported at a net short position of -752 contracts in the week ending 6/19. That was a net move of 15,655 contracts from their previously held net long position. They trimmed their net long in KC wheat to 47,213 contracts. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange estimates that the Argentine wheat crop is 49% planted. Ukraine’s ag minister estimates the country’s 2018 wheat crop will total somewhere in the range of 23-26 MMT, down from last year’s harvest of 26.2 MMT.

Cattle

Live cattle futures finished mixed on Friday, with nearby June down 37.5 cents. Feeder cattle futures were up 45 to 72.5 cents. The CME feeder cattle index was up 36 cents from the previous day at $142.57 on June 21. Wholesale boxed beef values were mixed on Friday afternoon. Choice boxes were down 25 cents to $217.25, with Select boxes 41 cents higher at $203.93. That tightened the Ch/SE spread to $15.14. Cash sales on Friday were $109-110 in most regions. Weekly FI cattle slaughter is estimated at 664,000 head through Saturday, a 10,000 increase from last week. Friday afternoon’s USDA Cattle on Feed report put June 1 on feed at 11.553 million head, up 4.12% from last year. Placements were slightly larger than a year ago at 2.124 million head, higher than most trade estimates, with marketings at 2.056 million head and up 5.38%. Beef in cold storage at the end of May totaled 465.387 million pounds, down 1.19% from April but 2.74% larger than last year.

Lean Hogs

Lean hog futures saw 22.5 to 65 cent losses in most contracts on Friday. The CME Lean Hog Index was up another 65 cents to $85.79 on June 20. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was $85.64 on Friday afternoon, up 60 cents. The national base carcass price was down $1.61 in the Friday PM report, averaging 79.97. The USDA estimated FI hog slaughter at 2.168 million head for this week. That is down 47,000 head from last week, but up 13,000 head from a year ago. The USDA Cold Storage report showed pork stocks at 621.736 million pounds, down 2.05% from April but up 5.7% from last year. Belly stocks were down 3.9% from last month at 61.188 million pounds.

Cotton

Cotton futures are trading 9 to 36 points lower this morning. They posted triple digit gains in most front months on Friday, with nearby July up 222 points. Friday’s CFTC data showed managed money trimming their cotton net long position by 7,673 contracts to a net position of 81,238 contracts as of Tuesday. Thursday’s cotton on call report showed mills unfixed call sales position at 15,195 contracts as of 6/15. That was 10,602 contracts below the previous week. The Cotlook A index was up 40 points at 93.40 cents/lb on June 21. The weekly AWP was updated to 78.23 cents/lb for this next week, down 476 points from the week prior. China sold 10,000 tonnes of cotton at an auction of state reserves on Friday, representing 33% of the cotton available.


Market Commentary provided by:

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