Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures posted losses of 2 to 4 cents in most contracts to end the week down 1.98% from last Friday. Weakness in the wheat complex put pressure on the corn market. Total export commitments are now just 1.17% behind last year, catching up with this week’s huge sales total. Compared to the current USDA export projection, which was updated last Thursday, they are 77% complete. That is in line with the five year average, but lags last year’s 82%. Spec funds in corn futures and options showed their net long position of 233,063 contracts on March 13. During that week, they added 69,529 contracts to that net position. Brazil’s first corn crop is estimated at 34% harvested by AgRural, lagging the average of 45%. The Planting of the second crop is seen at 92% planted, above the average of 90%.

May 18 Corn closed at $3.82 3/4, down 4 cents,

Jul 18 Corn closed at $3.91, down 3 1/2 cents,

Sep 18 Corn closed at $3.96 3/4, down 3 1/4 cents

Dec 18 Corn closed at $4.03 3/4, down 2 1/2 cents

Soybean futures closed the Friday session with 6 to 9 cent gains, as May was up 1% on the week. Front Month soy meal was up $1.90/ton, with May soy oil 8 points in the red. The USDA reported a private export sale of 20,000 MT of soybean oil to unknown destinations for 17/18 delivery this morning. Export commitments for beans are now lagging the same time last year by 6.9%. They are 88% of the newly updated USDA export projection. The normal average for this time of year is 93%, with last year at 92%. Friday’s Commitment of Traders report showed the managed money net long position at 208,200 contracts as of Tuesday. That was a movement of 24,489 contracts from the previous week. AgRural estimates that the Brazil soybean crop is now 58% harvested, slighty above the average of 55% but lagging last year’s 62%.

May 18 Soybeans closed at $10.49 1/2, up 8 3/4 cents,

Jul 18 Soybeans closed at $10.60 1/4, up 9 cents,

Aug 18 Soybeans closed at $10.61 1/4, up 8 1/2 cents,

Nov 18 Soybeans closed at $10.41, up 7 1/2 cents,

May 18 Soybean Meal closed at $372.90, up $1.90,

May 18 Soybean Oil closed at $31.98, down $0.08

Wheat futures saw losses of 11 to 14 cents in the nearby CBT and KC contracts on Friday. MPLS was 1 to 3 3/4 cents lower. Nearby Chicago SRW was down 4.39% on the week, with May KC HRW 4.03%lower. The 5-day QPF shows forecasts for rains in Northern and Eastern KS for the beginning of next week, with parts of Eastern TX and OK also seeing some chances. The USDA export projection was updated last Thursday, as the export commitments are 89% of that projection. Last year at this time was 96% complete, which is even with the 5 year average. Spec funds added 8,187 contracts to their net KC wheat long position as of March 13, to 28,946 contracts. In CBT Wheat futures and options, they added 3,053 contracts to their net short position to -35,584 contracts as of Tuesday.

May 18 CBOT Wheat closed at $4.67 3/4, down 11 cents,

May 18 KCBT Wheat closed at $4.99 1/2, down 14 cents,

May 18 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.11 3/4, down 3 3/4 cents

Live cattle futures settled with 15 to 70 cent losses in most contracts on Friday. Feeder cattle futures were down 10 to 65 cents. The CME feeder cattle index was down 10 cents on March 15 at $142.71. Wholesale boxed beef values were higher on Friday afternoon. Choice boxes were up 60 cents at $225.59, with Select boxes 55 cents higher at $216.86. Estimated week to date FI cattle slaughter is 595,000 head through Saturday, 2,000 below last week but 6,000 head above the same week in 2017. Cash sales of $128-129 were reported on Thursday. Managed money backed off their net long position in live cattle futures and options by 7,836 contracts to 84,720 contracts as of Tuesday.

Apr 18 Cattle closed at $121.250, down $0.600,

Jun 18 Cattle closed at $111.750, down $0.550,

Aug 18 Cattle closed at $109.125, down $0.675,

Mar 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $139.975, down $0.650

Apr 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $140.200, down $0.625

May 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $140.950, down $0.650

Lean hog futures ended the Friday session mixed, with most contracts lower and a few back months slightly higher. The CME Lean Hog Index on March 14 was down 45 cents from the previous day to $65.93. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was 23 cents lower at $72.57 in the Friday PM report. The national base hog weighted average price was $1.31 lower at $57.26 on Friday afternoon. The USDA estimated FI hog slaughter at 2,413,000 head through Saturday. That is up 10,000 head from the previous week and 81,000 head more than the same week last year. Spec funds held a net long position of just 9,832 contracts on March 13 in lean hog futures and options. That was down 5,232 contracts from the previous week.

Apr 18 Hogs closed at $65.450, down $0.275,

May 18 Hogs closed at $72.750, unch,

Jun 18 Hogs closed at $79.125, down $0.050

Cotton futures finished the day with nearby contracts 13 to 68 points lower, as deferred contracts were 6 to 15 points in the green. Upland cotton export commitments are now 101% of the recently updated export projection. That is well above the average of 87% for this time of year, and 84% last year. The Cotlook A index was up 50 points from the previous day on March 15 at 92.85 cents/lb. The Adjusted World Price (AWP) was updated to 75.12 cents/lb on Thursday, 99 cents above the previous week. China sold another 18,471 MT of cotton offered at an auction of state reserves on Friday, totaling 61.56% of the amount offered. Spec traders in cotton futures and options added 2,707 contracts to their net long position now at 85,046 contracts on Tuesday, March 13.

May 18 Cotton closed at 82.850, down 68 points,

Jul 18 Cotton closed at 82.980, down 62 points

Oct 18 Cotton closed at 79.380, down 13 points

Market Commentary provided by:

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