AgriCharts Market Commentary

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Corn

April 24, 2018

Corn futures are currently steady to a penny lower after closing 1 to 2 cents higher on Monday. The USDA Export Inspections report indicated corn exports at 1.719 MMT for the week of 4/19. That was a jump of 9% from the previous week and 17.18% larger than this week last year. YTD exports are still 20.31% lower than the same time last year. Monday afternoon, NASS reported that 5% of the US corn crop was planted as of April 22, just shy of analysts’ expectations at 6-7%. That is well short of the normal pace of 14% complete and last year’s 15 % planted by this date.

Soybeans

April 24, 2018

Soybean futures are mostly 1 to 2 cents in the red this morning. They saw losses of 4 to 8 cents in most contracts to start the week on Monday. Soy meal was down $2.30/ton, with front month soy oil 26 points lower. USDA export inspections for soybeans in the week that ended on April 19 were 470,817 MT. That was slightly higher than a week ago but is still 27.33% lower than this week in 2017. Shipments for soybeans YTD are at 42.82 MMT, 12.5% lower than the same time in 2017. The USDA Crop Progress report showed that 2% of the US soybean crop was planted as of Sunday. That matches the 5 year average pace, but lags last year’s 5%.

Wheat

April 24, 2018

Wheat futures are trading 3 to 5 cents lower in the CBT and KC contracts this morning, with MPLS steady. They were mixed in the KC contracts on Monday, with CBT down 1 to 3 cents. MPLS was 9 to 12 cents lower. The USDA tallied wheat exports at 619,251 MT during the week of 4/19 in the Export Inspections report. That was a 22.63% jump from a week earlier but was 2% shy of this week last year. NASS estimated that 13% of the winter wheat crop was 13% headed as of Sunday, lagging the average of 19%. Condition ratings were steady at 31% gd/ex, with the Brugler500 at 285 on higher excellent ratings. The spring wheat crop saw a few states progress with planting, but the national pace was UNCH at 3% planted. It could have increased almost 1% but not show a change due to rounding. The typical average pace is for 25% of the crop to be planted by now.

Cattle

April 24, 2018

Live cattle futures ended the day with most contracts 72.5 cents to $1.275 higher, as April was up $2.375. Strong forward beef sales by packers are getting some attention. Feeder cattle futures were $1.275 to $2.625 higher. The CME feeder cattle index was up $1.57 on April 20 at $138.13. Wholesale boxed beef values were higher on Monday afternoon. Choice boxes were up $3.13 at $215.11, with Select boxes $1.59 higher at $201.72. Estimated FI cattle slaughter was 117,000 head on Monday. That is 1,000 more than the previous week and up 2,000 head from the same week in 2017. The Monday USDA Cold Storage report put frozen beef stocks on March 31 at 463.971 million pounds. That is just 30,000 pounds below last year and 1.01% larger than February. Combined stocks of poultry and red meat were shown at a March record 2.409 billion pounds.

Lean Hogs

April 24, 2018

Lean hog futures finished the Monday session with the nearby contracts $1.125 to $1.95 lower. The CME Lean Hog Index was up 83 cents from the previous day to $56.80 on April 19. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was down 4 cents at $67.87 Monday afternoon. The national base hog weighted average price was 9 cents lower at $57.67. The USDA estimated Monday FI hog slaughter at 464,000 head. That is even with last week and 21,000 head above the same week in 2017. Pork stocks in cold storage on March 31 totaled 611.048 million pounds. That is up just 0.21% from February and 12.02% larger than USDA showed last year. Stocks of pork bellies grew to 59.21 million pounds, well above last year and 63% larger than February.

Cotton

April 24, 2018

Cotton futures are trading 18 to 55 points higher this morning. They were mostly 3 to 61 points lower on Monday, with a few back months higher. Nearby May was down 228 ahead of first notice day today. The US dollar index also provided pressure, up 614 points. The US cotton crop was estimated at 9% planted on Sunday. Planting progress advanced just 1% during the week, and lags last year’s 11% and the average pace at 10%. Wet conditions in the Southeast were an issue. The Cotlook A index was up 25 points from the previous day at 91.95 cents/lb. The USDA Adjusted World Price (AWP) was updated to 72.16 cents/lb last Thursday, 16 points lower than the previous week.


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