AgriCharts Market Commentary
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Corn futures are trading mostly 2-3 cents lower this morning after a net loss of about five cents last week. There were zero deliveries vs. May futures overnight. The oldest long is from 10/23/14. Planting progress has been rapid in the central and western Corn Belt this week but is expected to be slowed by shower activity beginning today and Saturday. Trade estimates have it jumping ahead of the 5 year average pace, with ideas in the 47-49% complete range. The ECB is still behind, and some southern areas have halted planting corn and switched to soybeans. The weekly Commitment of Traders report from the CFTC on Friday showed the managed money accounts increased their bearish bet with a net short position of -92,383 contracts as of the Tuesday close.
Soybean futures are currently trading 3 or 4 cents higher after double digit losses on Friday erased early week gains. The Buenos Aires exchange hiked their Argentine production estimate to 60 MMT. USDA is at 57 MMT. Trade sources are estimating that Brazil shipped a record 9.2 MMT of soybeans in April. Estimates for US soybean planting by a major brokerage firm are in the 11-13% range. That would be about even with the day adjusted 5 year average pace for this date. In the weekly Commitment of Traders report from the CFTC, managed money accounts had reduced their net short position for the second week in a row as of the Tuesday close. The report had them at net short -32,033 contracts, but keep in mind that was before the month-end selloff seen on Thursday and follow through to the downside on Friday.
Wheat futures are trading 3 to 5 cents lower this morning. The weekly Commitment of Traders report from the CFTC showed yet another record –short net position held by the managed money accounts in CBT wheat. Commercials’ continued to shrink their net short position in CBT wheat, coming in at -24,866 contracts as of Tuesday. There were 81 delivery notices vs. May KC HRW futures over the weekend, with no strong stoppers. The buy date is up to 4/30/15. There were 28 deliveries vs. CBT SRW, with the buy date at 4/29/15.
Cattle futures were lower on Friday and for the week. Opening calls are steady to 25 cents lower. May feeder cattle futures also posted a loss on the week, but picked up 65 cents on Friday in their debut as the lead month. Choice boxed beef lost $2.26 on Friday, and was off $2.35 for the week. Select boxes averaged 83 cents lower today, but were down $4.40 from Friday to Friday. Estimated weekly FI slaughter was 566K including Saturday. That is 22K head more than last week, but 44K head less than a year ago. Cash cattle traded at $160-162 on Friday but the 5 area average is a little lower. The weekly Commitment of Traders report from the CFTC had managed money accounts adding about 12.6% to their net long in live cattle futures and options.
Lean hog futures were mixed on Friday, with back months firmer. Direct market cash hog base prices 4 cents higher in both the WCB and the IA/MN marketing area on Friday. ECB prices were up $2.38 on the day. The average pork carcass cutout price was up $3.92 Friday/Friday, with most of the help coming from the Loin, Butt, and Picnic cuts. Weekly slaughter including Saturday is estimated at 2.164 million head, down 20,000 from last week but still 7.4% larger than the same week in 2014. Managed money accounts increased their net long position in hogs by more than 25% from Tuesday to Tuesday.
Cotton futures are trading 21 – 22 points higher so far this morning. Cert stocks were up 82,275 for April 30 with 1,497 new certs and another 4,453 awaiting review. USDA put the weekly AWP at 51.70 and lowered the LDP/MLG to 0.30 for now through May 7. The weekly Commitment of Traders report from the CFTC showed managed money accounts had increased their net long position in Cotton futures and options from the previous week by 39%. The ICAC is now projecting a 7% drop in world cotton plantings for 2015/16 to 31.2 million hectares, and when assuming a world average yield of 765 kg/ha, production is forecast down 9% at 23.9 million tons from 2014/15. India, China and the US are seen with smaller planted acreage. ICAC also noted that China holds an estimated 11 MMT of government cotton stocks but has not yet begun the annual auction sequence to supply commercial needs between now and new crop.
Market Commentary provided by:
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