Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures closed the Friday session with most contracts steady to a penny higher. Gains in wheat and short covering helped, but December’s still posted a 4.16% loss since last Friday. Rains are expected over the next week along the northern part of the Corn Belt according to the 7-day QPF model. The big spec funds in corn futures and options added 6,586 contracts to their CFTC net short position of 63,470 contracts as of last Tuesday. Total export commitments for corn through the week of 9/6 (including the first 6 days of shipments and all unshipped sales) totaled 25% of the USDA export projection of 2.4 bbu. The average for this date is 24% complete. An auction of Chinese state reserves saw 1.026 MMT of corn sold on Friday, totaling 25.69% of the amount offered.

Sep 18 Corn closed at $3.37, up 3/4 cent,

Dec 18 Corn closed at $3.51 3/4, up 1 1/4 cents,

Mar 19 Corn closed at $3.63 3/4, up 1 cent

May 19 Corn closed at $3.72 1/4, up 1 cent

Soybean futures settled with most contracts 2 to 3 cents in the red, as Sep expired at $8.21 1/2. Newly appointed nearby Nov was down 1.6% on the week. Soybean meal led the way on Friday down $4/ton, while soy oil was 1 point lower. US soybean commitments for exports, are 30% of the projected 2.06 bbu from the USDA. That is even with this time in 17/18 but well below the 39% average pace for this week. Monday’s NOPA report is expected to show 163.87 mbu of soybeans crushed during August, according to industry surveys. Soy oil stocks are seen at 1.762 billion pounds for the end of August. Money managers in soybean futures and options added another 5,5200 contracts to their CFTC net short position on 9/11. That position was the most bearish since January at -68,269 contracts. Safras & Mercado analysts estimated that Brazilian producers have sold 22.8% of 18/19 soybean production, well above this time last year. Sales picked up when the Real weakened below 4 per USD.

Sep 18 Soybeans closed at $8.21 1/2, down 1 1/4 cents,

Nov 18 Soybeans closed at $8.30 1/2, down 2 3/4 cents,

Jan 19 Soybeans closed at $8.44 1/4, down 2 3/4 cents,

May 19 Soybeans closed at $8.70 1/4, down 2 1/4 cents,

Sep 18 Soybean Meal closed at $307.30, down $4.00,

Sep 18 Soybean Oil closed at $27.43, down $0.01

Wheat futures posted 9 to 14 1/2 cent gains in most contracts on Friday. All three markets posted modest gains on the week in their Dec contracts. September contracts expired today, with limited trading activity. Friday’s CFTC Commitment of Traders report indicated that specs in Chicago wheat futures and options trimmed their net long position by 24,351 contracts as of 9/11 to 18,415 contracts. In KC wheat futures and options, they cut 11,715 contracts from that net long to 43,539 contracts. After the USDA left their export projection UNCH in September’s S&D report, wheat commitments for export are now 35% of the full year estimate. The typical average for this time of year is 53%, with last year at 57%.

Dec 18 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.11 1/2, up 14 1/2 cents,

Dec 18 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.16 1/4, up 14 1/2 cents,

Dec 18 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.72 1/4, up 10 1/4 cents

Live cattle futures saw limit gains in October, with most other contracts triple digits higher. Feeder cattle futures were up $2.15 to $3.35 in the front months today. The CME feeder cattle index was up 11 cents on September 13 at $152.71. Wholesale boxed beef values were mixed on Friday afternoon. Choice boxes were up 23 cents to $204.27, while Select boxes were 77 cents lower at $196.47. USDA estimated weekly FI cattle slaughter at 652,000 head through Saturday, which is 6,000 head above the same week in 2017. Bids so far on Friday have reached $111 across most regions, with feedlots passing.

Oct 18 Cattle closed at $113.800, up $3.000,

Dec 18 Cattle closed at $118.050, up $2.650,

Feb 19 Cattle closed at $121.900, up $2.000,

Sep 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $157.425, up $2.475

Oct 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $158.875, up $3.475

Nov 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $158.425, up $3.350

Lean hog futures ended the Friday session with most contracts 15 to 72.5 cents higher. The CME Lean Hog Index was up $1.49 cents on September 12 to $50.08. It appears the seasonal bottom is in place, with a second risk period in late October or November. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was $3.48 higher at $74.53 in the Friday afternoon FOB plant report. The belly was up $7.66, and all other cuts reported higher. The national base hog carcass value was down 30 cents @ $48.96 this afternoon. Weekly FI hog slaughter through Saturday was estimated at 2.315 million head, down 145,000 head from the same week last year.

Oct 18 Hogs closed at $56.225, up $0.550,

Dec 18 Hogs closed at $56.650, up $0.725

Feb 19 Hogs closed at $65.675, up $0.325

Cotton futures were 17 to 32 points higher in most contracts on Friday. Hurricane Florence weakened to Cat 1, reducing wind speeds but still accompanied by heavy rain. After 5 straight weeks of trimming their net long position, spec traders in Cotton futures and options added 1,504 contracts to that net position on 9/11 to 67,302 contracts. USDA Export Sales data through last Thursday September 6, show that upland cotton export commitments are 60% of the full year USDA projection, with the average pace only 40% this early in the year. The Cotlook A index was up down 25 points from the previous day at 92.15 cents/lb on September 13. The USDA AWP was updated to 73.79 cents/lb, just 2 points above last week.

Oct 18 Cotton closed at 81.900, up 28 points,

Dec 18 Cotton closed at 81.830, up 32 points

Mar 19 Cotton closed at 82.140, up 17 points

Market Commentary provided by:

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