AgriCharts Market Commentary

Do you want to know what trades Alan Brugler recommends? Subscribe to Ag Market Professional, and become part of the Brugler client group! Not sure? Ask for a FREE SAMPLE and get two FREE GIFTS! Start here

Want this Ag News delivered to your inbox? Get the FREE Brugler Ag Newsletter, delivered 3 times daily.


Corn futures are currently 3 to 4 cents lower after closing steady to 1 3/4 cents higher on Thursday. A survey of producers by Informa Economics puts the 2018 US corn plantings near 88.9 million acres. That is down 279,000 acres from their prior estimate. The USDA Export Sales report release was delayed by the USDA until this morning due to bad weather in DC. Expectations are running 1.4-2.1 MMT on old crop corn sales, with 100,000-200,000 MT in new crop sales. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange cut the projection for Argentina’s corn production number 2 MMT to 32 MMT.


Soybean futures are 6 to 11 cents lower this morning. They were steady to marginally higher on Thursday, helped by gains in meal. Nearby May soy meal was up $3.50/ton, with front month soy oil down 49 points. Planted US soybean acreage in 2018 is projected at 91.5 million acres according to an Informa survey. Analysts are estimating 0.7-1.4 MMT in old crop soybean export sales were made during the week of 3/15, with 50,000-200,000 MT for new crop. Sales of soy meal are expected to run 100,000-300,000 MT, with soy oil at 20,000-50,000 MT. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange trimmed their Argentine soybean production number 2.5 MMT to 39.5 MMT.


Wheat futures are trading 6 to 7 cents lower in Chicago this morning after seeing 1 to 3 3/4 cent gains in most CBT and MPLS contracts on Thursday. MPLS spring wheat is 1 to 3 cents lower, with KC mostly 5 lower. The KC HRW contracts were 5 to 8 cents higher yesterday. Informa Economics expects 2018 all wheat acres to hit 46.1 million acres, up 30,000 acres from their previous forecast The average trade guess for old crop export sales for wheat is 100,000-300,000 MT for the week that ended on March 15, with new crop expected to range 50,000-200,000 MT this morning. That would be within range of last week’s USDA report of 162,807 MT for old crop sales. Japan purchased 127,338 MT of wheat from the US and Canada on Thursday with 91,942 MT of US origin.


Live cattle futures posted 45 cent to $1.60 gains on Thursday. Feeder cattle futures were up 75 cents to 2.05 on the day. The CME feeder cattle index was down $1.56 on March 21 at $139.39. Wholesale boxed beef values were higher on Thursday afternoon Choice boxes were up 83 cents at $225.21, with Select boxes $1.63 higher at $218.02. Estimated weekly FI cattle slaughter was 473,000 head through Thursday, 7,000 above last week and the same week in 2017. The Thursday USDA Cold Storage report indicated beef stocks of 460.276 million pounds at the end of February. That was down 8.26% from January and 8.39% tighter than last February. Broiler and chicken inventory was up 15.2% from year ago, creating some substitution risk.

Lean Hogs

Lean hog futures finished the day with losses of 45 cents to $2.175 in most contracts. The CME Lean Hog Index on March 20 was down 66 cents from the previous day to $63.63. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was 71 cents lower at $70.74 on Thursday afternoon. The national base hog weighted average price was $1.17 lower at $53.97 in the Thursday PM report. The USDA estimated FI hog slaughter at 1.839 million head through Thursday. That is down 6,000 head from the previous week but 64,000 head more than the same week last year. Pork stocks in cold storage at the end of February totaled 614.918 million pounds, 8.29% larger than last year and up 5.89% from January. Belly stocks were 46.509 million pounds, well above last year’s record low and 6.16% larger than January 2018. Pork trimming stocks were up sharply.


Cotton futures are trading 48 to 58 points lower this morning. They posted 5 to 44 point losses on Thursday in the downdraft from a sliding stock market. US cotton acreage in 2018 is expected to hit 13.5 million acres according to an Informa projection. That is unchanged from their previous estimate and up from 12.6 million in 2017. The Adjusted World Price (AWP) was updated to 73.92 cents/lb on Thursday, 120 points lower than the previous week. The Cotlook A index was up 170 points from the previous day on March 21 at 92.45 cents/lb. China sold another 17,969 MT of cotton offered at an auction of state reserves on Wednesday, totaling 59.88% of the amount offered.

Market Commentary provided by:

Brugler Marketing & Management LLC
1908 N. 203rd St.Omaha, NE 68022
Phone: 402-697-3623
Fax: 402-289-2353