Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures are 2 to 2 1/2 cents higher to start your Monday. They ended the Friday session in positive territory although May was down 1 1/2 cents on the week. CFTC data showed money managers posting another record large net short position in corn futures and options of 271,746 contracts as of Tuesday. That was 25,011 contracts larger than the previous week. Even with a reduction in the WASDE forecast on Tuesday, total export commitments are just 75% of the 2.3 bbu projection vs. the average of 84%. Most of that can be blamed on the lack of unshipped sales, as exports are already 53% of USDA’s number, 2% ahead of the average. BAGE pegged the Argentine corn harvest at 21.2% complete on 4/10, 2.1% above normal but lagging 3.5% from last year. --provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Soybean futures are currently 3 to 4 cents higher. They had been steady to fractionally lower on Friday. Front month meal futures were up 70 cents/ton and May soy oil down 3 points on Friday. Traders are expecting the NOPA crush report this morning to be around 168.03 mbu. If realized that would be down from last year’s record, but still the second largest March total ever. The average guess for soy oil stocks comes to 1.783 billion pounds. Export commitments for 2018/19, compared to USDA’s projected total, are 86% complete vs. the 5-year average at 95%. Shipments are 61% of that projection (84% average), as the large quantity of outstanding sales is 18% larger than last year. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange estimates that the Argentine soybean crop is 16.9% harvested, lagging last year’s progress by 6.7% but 2% above normal. --provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Wheat futures are mixed this morning, with MPLS spring wheat up 3 to 3 1/2 cents on planting delays, while the winter wheat futures in CHI and KC are anywhere from 1 3/4 to 3 3/4 cents lower on perceptions about improved crop conditions. Those two markets came back to close 1 to 4 cents higher on Friday MPLS was down 1 to 2 1/2 cents on profit taking after rallying 12 cents from the May contract low earlier in the week. Spec traders in KC wheat futures and options trimmed their large CFTC net short position by 1,964 contracts in the week ending on April 9 to -47,793 contracts. Export commitments are now 96% of the newly updated USDA projection of 945 mbu, with the 5-year average at 102%. --Provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Live cattle futures saw 55 cent to $1.025 gains in most contracts on Friday. Feeder cattle futures were steady to $1.05 higher in the front months. The CME feeder cattle index was down 57 cents on April 11 at $142.78. Wholesale boxed beef prices were mixed on Friday afternoon, tightening the Ch/Se spread to $7.73. Choice boxes were down 8 cents at $228.75, with Select boxes $1.07 higher at $221.02. USDA estimated weekly cattle slaughter at 634,000 head. That would be 13,000 larger than last week and 23,000 head above the same week a year ago. A few cash cattle sales of $124 were reported in TX and KS this week, with a few sales of $127-128 reported in NE on Friday. The weekly Commitment of Traders report indicated that specs in live cattle futures and options were just 4 contracts from their record net long position as of Tuesday at 148,941 contracts. That was 704 contracts above last week. --provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Lean Hog futures posted 20 cent to $1.20 gains on Friday. April was up 7.5 cents as it expired today and converges with the Index. The CME Lean Hog Index was up another 17 cents from the previous day @ $79.36 on April 10. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was $1.28 higher at $85.71 per cwt in the afternoon report, with just the Picnic reported lower. The national base hog carcass value was up $1.81 in the PM report, at an average weighted price of $76.37. Estimated FI hog slaughter was 2.384 million head through Saturday, down 74,000 from the previous week but still 12,000 above last year. Managed money funds in lean hog futures and options held their largest net long position in over a year on April 9 at 50,482 contracts. That was a hike of 13,691 contracts from the week prior. --provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Cotton futures are trading 8 points lower to 18 points higher to start the week. They saw 60 to 174 point gains in the front months on Friday. China has approved an additional 800,000 MT import quota for 2019, on top of the 840,000 MT TRQ required by WTO. May cotton options expired Friday, resulting in some position squaring activity. Spec funds in cotton futures and options added 5,945 contracts to their net long position at 14,652 contracts as of 4/9. Total export commitments for upland cotton did gain a little ground vs. a year ago last week, now down 12.5%. USDA’s projected 15 million bale projected export total is now 95% achieved via total commitments, matching the average pace. Keep in mind that the total needs to go well over 100% because some business is inevitably delayed into the new crop slot by logistics or financing. The Cotlook A Index was down 50 points at 87.20 on April 11. The weekly AWP was updated to 69.21, 99 points higher than the previous week. --provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Market Commentary provided by:

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