AgriCharts Market Commentary

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Corn

January 29, 2015

Corn futures recovered a few cents in the course of the day to close lower by only 1-2 cents after a neutral export sales report. The weekly report from USDA this morning had new bookings at 1.08 MMT, including modest new-crop sales.  Trade expectations for the report ranged from 800,000 MT to 1.6 MMT. After a brief respite, the dollar resumed its strengthening, making US commodities more expensive to offshore buyers. Exports also face light headwinds from the tax extender bill signed into law last month under which barge operators pay an additional 9 cents in diesel tax (29 cents, up from 20 cents) starting April 1. Of course, as long as diesel prices don’t recover drastically, the impact is being offset. The taxes are earmarked for the Inland Waterways Trust Fund to increase funding needed to repair river infrastructure so it is good news long-term, but will add to the cost of US beans FOB the port. Higher barge costs spell worse basis upriver.

Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.71 1/2, down 1 3/4 cents,

May 15 Corn closed at $3.80, down 1 1/2 cents,

Jul 15 Corn closed at $3.87 3/4, down 1 1/4 cents

Sep 15 Corn closed at $3.94 1/2, down 1 1/4 cents

Soybeans

January 29, 2015

Soybean futures traded on both sides of even money this morning, but in the end, the bears held sway with losses of 2-4 cents at the close. Trade expectations for the USDA weekly export sales report ranged from 200,000 MT to 600,000 MT, but the actual figure came in far better, at 909,000 MT, including 548,900 MT in fresh bookings to China, and new-crop sales to Japan amounting to 20,800 MT.  Expectations for soybean meal export sales were for between 100,000 MT and 350,000 MT and they came in at a neutral 297,500 MT; March bean meal is currently up $1.70 on the day.  Bean oil export sales were down significantly from the previous two weeks, coming in at 10,600 MT, and nearby bean oil futures are sharply lower on the day.  Brazilian harvest is estimated to be 6% completed.  AgroConsult is projecting a 94 MMT crop, lower than the recent estimates from USDA and CONAB but still a record.

Mar 15 Soybeans closed at $9.68 1/4, down 2 cents,

May 15 Soybeans closed at $9.74 3/4, down 2 1/2 cents,

Jul 15 Soybeans closed at $9.79 3/4, down 3 1/4 cents,

Aug 15 Soybeans closed at $9.78 3/4, down 4 1/4 cents,

Mar 15 Soybean Meal closed at $337.90, up $0.50,

Mar 15 Soybean Oil closed at $29.54, down $0.80

Wheat

January 29, 2015

Wheat futures broke ranks with corn and closed higher on the day, with KC wheat up a solid 8 1/4.cents. CHI wheat closed more than 2 cents higher and MPLS, more than 4 cents.  The US drought monitor showed abnormally dry conditions expanding in some of the major winter wheat production areas, and the unusually warm temperatures favor more plants breaking dormancy.  USDA weekly net export sales for the week ending January 22 were 565,400 MT, the largest weekly total reported since September 4, 2014.  Net sales for the same week a year ago were 202,450 MT larger than the figure released today.  Saudi Arabia is tendering for 660,000 MT of wheat from optional origins. As for other US products, the dollar means a harder time selling into some global markets, but Russia’s export restrictions that will kick in next week could open the door to some sales.

Mar 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.07 3/4, up 2 1/2 cents,

Mar 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.44, up 8 1/4 cents,

Mar 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.59 1/4, up 4 1/4 cents

Cattle

January 29, 2015

Cattle futures ended on the downside by more than $1 in some contracts, and dragged feeder with them. January feeders expired at $212.40, just $1.67 under the latest CME Index. Light cash cattle trade is being reported at $159-160. Northern bids are in the $252 area but the asks are $258-260.  All are above nearby futures. Wholesale beef prices were lower, with Choice boxes averaging $244.59, down $2.70 on the day, and Select boxes off $2 at $238.34.  Net US beef export sales last week totaled 10,000 MT in the USDA report this morning, which was slightly higher than the total reported for the same week a year ago.  YTD export commitments four weeks into January are 87.6% of what they were a year ago.

Feb 15 Cattle closed at $153.525, down $0.425,

Apr 15 Cattle closed at $150.500, down $1.000,

Jun 15 Cattle closed at $143.425, down $1.250,

Jan 15 Feeder Cattle closed at $212.400, down $0.050

Mar 15 Feeder Cattle closed at $203.575, down $0.775

Apr 15 Feeder Cattle closed at $204.200, down $1.250

Lean Hogs

January 29, 2015

Lean hog futures were lower on the day after several contracts posted limit up gains on Wednesday.  Feb hogs closed down a few cents short of $3, giving back nearly all of the $3 pop seen on Wednesday.  April kept a lot more of the gain in that contract. Net pork export sales last week were 16,878 MT, which was the smallest weekly total thus far in 2015.  The average pork carcass cutout value is $78.30, down $2.03.  USDA estimated week to date slaughter is 1.72  million head, 1.36%  above a week earlier and just shy of 10% above a year ago. Iowa/Mnnesota live-basis cash prices are reported at $67.45, up a penny. Western Corn Belt prices rose 36 cents to $67.38, and Eastern Corn prices were not reported today.  The CME lean hog index stands at $72.14, down 37 cents from the previous two-day average but still well above the futures.

Feb 15 Hogs closed at $68.550, down $2.975,

Apr 15 Hogs closed at $73.200, down $1.750

May 15 Hogs closed at $79.425, down $1.500

Cotton

January 29, 2015

Cotton futures close higher after USDA weekly export sales were the largest of the year for the third time in as many weeks. All cotton commitments soared over the past three weeks to 9.162 million RB, 94% of the estimate for the marketing year. At 546,174 bales, the net sales figure this morning was up 16% from last week, with another 12,600 RB booked for 2015/16.  Pima sales were smaller than the MYH set last week, but still came in at a relatively large 13,100 RB.  The US dollar headed for its highest level in more than a decade and ended up slightly for the day on the prospects that the US Federal Reserve is the only major central bank likely to begin increasing interest rates any time soon and a weekly unemployment report that fell to its lowest in almost 15 years. New certified cotton stocks continue to be added, with 1,257 yesterday, bringing the total stocks to 58,580 and more than 3,500 awaiting review.  The Cotlook A Index is 66.60 cents, up 0.10 from the previous day. 

 

Mar 15 Cotton closed at 59.57, up 13 points,

May 15 Cotton closed at 60.35, up 12 points

Jul 15 Cotton closed at 61.29, up 25 points

Oct 15 Cotton closed at 62.24, up 22 points


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