AgriCharts Market Commentary

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Corn futures are trading fractionally higher this morning. They ended the Wednesday session with most contracts fractionally to 1 1/2 cents lower. Drier weather across much of the Corn Belt is helping to advance harvest progress, and putting a little pressure on the market. The weekly EIA ethanol report showed production up over last week at 1.019 million barrels per day for the week of October 13. That was a 52,000 bpd jump over the previous week. Stocks of ethanol dropped 43,000 barrels during that week to 21.48 million barrels. Analysts are expecting to see 0.8-1.1 MMT in 2017/18 corn export sales in this morning’s USDA report. China sold 10,497 MT of the 130,503 MT offered at Thursday’s auction from state reserves.


Soybean futures are currently 1 to 2 cents higher after closing a penny on either side of UNCH on Wednesday. December meal was up 20 cents/ton, with nearby bean oil down 18 cents. A Reuters survey of traders is showing expected 17/18 USDA tallied soybean sales for the week of October 12 at 1.3-1.7 MMT, just shy of last week’s sales. Soy meal sales are projected at 100,000-250,000 MT for 17/18, with soy oil estimated at 5,000-22,000 MT. The 6-10 day forecasts look a little wetter for dry northern Brazilian planting areas. Some Mato Grosso producers have halted planting until they are certain of more rain. China’s National Grains and Oil Info Center sees soybean oil stocks at 1.6 MMT, well above last year’s 1.3 MMT for the same time. Preliminary Japanese import data for September showed a 9.3% increase in purchases of US soybeans vs. September 2016. However, overall bean imports for the month were down more than 25% vs. year ago.


Wheat futures are trading 1/2 to 2 cents higher this morning. Yesterday saw most CBT and KC contracts 4 to 6 cents lower, with MPLS mostly 1-3 cents negative. US all wheat export sales for the week ending October 12 are expected to pick back up over last week’s miserable sales of 174,961 MT. Analysts are seeing sales of 250,000-450,000 MT, as the USDA has already reported a private sale of 104,202 MT during that week under the daily system. After the Wednesday close Egypt’s GASC announced an import tender for wheat, with results expected later today. Egyptian logistics have been complicated by multiple cargos failing inspection upon arrival. Algeria’s purchase of 660,000 MT of optional origin wheat earlier in the week was at what French traders considered below market prices.


Live cattle futures were up to 67 cents higher in the front contracts yesterday. Feeder cattle futures were mostly lower, with nearby Oct up 37.5 cents. The CME feeder cattle index was 20 cents lower at $155.26 on October 16.Wholesale beef prices were lower in this afternoon’s report. Choice was down 40 cents at $197.26, with select boxes 76 cents lower at $189.09. Week to date FI cattle slaughter is estimated at 345,000 head, about 6,000 fewer than the previous week and 2,000 head larger than the same week last year. The FCE showed sales of just 230 of the 919 head, at an average price of $109. Cash trade was subsequently reported at $110 in the afternoon. Pre-report surveys show the trade expecting September placements 8% larger yr/yr, with a range of 3.4% to 16%. The USDA Cattle on Feed report will be released on Friday afternoon. Marketing for September expected on average to be 2.6% larger than last year, again with greater uncertainty than usual. There was one less slaughter day than in 2016.

Lean Hogs

Lean hog futures posted steady to $1.575 gains in most contracts on Wednesday. The CME Lean Hog Index for 10/16 was 76 cents higher than the previous day at $61. The national base hog was up $1.78 at 62.13, as prices in the IA/MN region were up $1.46 with the WCB $1.52 higher this afternoon. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was 93 cents lower at $73.88 in Wednesday afternoon’s report. The ham was the only primal reported higher. Estimated week to date FI hog slaughter was 24,000 head fewer than last week at 1,365,000 head through Wednesday, but still 41,000 larger than the same week in 2016. A Reuters report shows Japanese meat imports from the US totaled 61,598 MT in September, up 6.5% vs. September 2016.


Cotton futures are 2 lower to 4 higher this morning as the low volatility in field crop prices continues. They fell 4 to 15 points in the nearby contracts on Wednesday and saw some back months higher. The Adjusted World Price (AWP) is currently at 60.44 cents/lb and will be updated today. The Cotlook A index for October 17 was 80 points lower at 77.70 cents/lb. The Seam reported cash sales of 656 bales at an average price of 65.94 cents/lb.This week’s USDA Export Sales report will be back at its normal time and day at 7:30 AM CDT.

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