Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures are trading steady to a penny lower at the moment. They ended the Thursday session with most contracts 2 to 3 cents higher. Thursday morning's USDA Export Sales report indicated export shipments of corn at 1.763 MMT in the week that ended 6/14. That was a 25.4% jump from last week and well above last year at this time. Corn export commitments are still 3.27% larger than last year despite this week's lower sales total. They are now 97% of the USDA export projection, with the typical pace at 99% and last year at 100%. China sold 739,954 MT of corn from state reserves on Friday, totaling 18.64% of the offered amount. The House passed their version of the Farm Bill on Thursday.

Soybean futures are currently 7 to 8 cents in the greed, since seeing losses of 9 to 10 cents in most front months on Thursday. Front Month soy meal was down $1.40/ton, with soybean oil 18 points in the red. Uncertainty over the ongoing US-China trade dispute is still weighing on the market. Soybean export shipments during the week of June 14 totaled 992,047 MT, well above last year and 66.1% larger than last week. Meal exports totaled 201,142 MT during that week, with oil at 29,896 MT. Commitments for soybeans exports are still 4.2% behind a year ago. They are 100% of the full year USDA export projection, compared to the average at 101% and 102% last year. Argentina's soybean production is now seen at 37.2 MMT by the country's ag ministry, 600,000 MT higher than the previous estimate.

Wheat futures are mostly 3 to 4 cents lower in the winter wheat contracts this morning, with MPLS steady to fractionally higher. They were steady to a penny higher in MPLS contracts on Thursday, with KC up 4 to 5 and CBT 6 to 7 cents in the green. The USDA reported weekly exports up 37.71% from the week prior at 426,920 MT in the week of 6/14. That was still 31.63% below the same week last year. All wheat export commitments are lagging this time last year by 28.6%, in just the second week of the MY. In Japan's weekly MOA tender, they purchased 91,188 MT of combined US (65,943 MT) and Australian wheat on Thursday.

Live cattle futures closed the Thursday session with most contracts 27.5 to 52.5 cents in the red. Feeder cattle futures were down 60 to 95 cents on the day. The CME feeder cattle index was up 80 cents from the previous day at $142.21 on June 20. Wholesale boxed beef values were mixed on Thursday afternoon. Choice boxes were down 88 cents to $217.41, with Select boxes 56 cents higher at $201.61. That tightened the Ch/SE spread to $15.80. USDA estimated FI cattle slaughter at 478,000 head through Thursday. That is 10,000 head above last week and the same time last year. June 1 cattle on feed is expected to be seen at 11.47 million head, 3.4% above last year. Exports in the week of June 14 totaled a MY high 18,640 MT. Beef export commitments are now 21.2% larger than the same week last year.

Lean hog futures settled the day with 25 to 57.5 cent gains on Thursday. The CME Lean Hog Index was up another $1.09 to $85.14 on June 19. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was reported at $85.04 on Thursday afternoon, up 16 cents. The national base carcass price was down 81 cents in the Thursday PM report, averaging $81.74. The USDA estimated FI hog slaughter at 1.744 million head so far this week. That is down 38,000 head from last week on lower Monday slaughter but up 9,000 head from a year ago. Export shipments of pork in the week of 6/14 totaled 19,477 MT. Commitments of pork exports are now just 1% above a year ago.

Cotton futures are trading 26 to 52 points higher this morning. They posted steady to slightly mixed trade on Thursday. Thursday morning's USDA Export Sales report showed export shipments of upland cotton were just 312,768 RB. That was a drop of 32% from a week ago, but still 20.56% above this week in 2017. All upland cotton export commitments are still 14.8% above the same time last year despite the cancelation in sales. The Cotlook A index was down anther 395 points from day prior at 93.00 cents/lb on June 20. The weekly AWP was updated to 78.23 cents/lb for this next week, down 476 points from the week prior.

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