AgriCharts Market Commentary

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Corn futures are currently 1 to 2 cents higher after closing steady to a penny higher on Thursday. The USDA indicated weekly shipments of 703,696 MT for the week of 9/14, down slightly from a week ago and 37.64% lower than the same time a year ago. Mexico was the primary destination, with 366,100 MT shipped. Total export commitments for the 17/18 marketing year are now 35.3% behind this time last year. They are just 23% of the current full year USDA export projection, compared to 32% a year ago and the average of 30%. China sold 804,412 MT of the 952,771 MT of 2013 and 2014 corn offered at their auction of state reserves on Thursday.


Soybean futures contracts are mostly 7 to 8 cents higher this morning. They finished the Thursday session with most contracts fractionally higher. Oct soy meal was up $2.70/ton, with nearby bean oil 57 points lower. The weekly USDA Export Sales report showed exports for the week of September 14 down 17.9% wk/wk and 5.5% lower than the previous year at 944,914 MT. China was the main destination, with 686,300 MT in shipments. New crop Soybean export commitments are lagging last year by 17.9% at this time. They are 32% of the USDA estimate, vs. 42% last year and the average of 47% for this date. Export sales of soy meal totaled 172,433 MT, with a majority from 17/18. Soy oil sales were reported @8,455 MT. Soy meal shipments ran 154,309 MT, with soy oil totaling 15,876 MT.


Wheat futures are trading 1 to 4 cents higher in all three markets this morning after ending Thursday with most contracts steady to 3 cents higher. All wheat export shipments during the week of Sep 14 were 427,688 MT, lagging the previous week by 2.63% and 22.47% lower than last year. All wheat export commitments are now trailing this time last year by 2.9%. Compared to the USDA export projection, they are now 50% of the total, vs. 51% last year and the average pace of 53%. A trade delegation from Taiwan agreed to purchase $576 million in US wheat, with most of that expected to come from ID, MT and ND. That helped Minneapolis a little bit.


Live cattle futures ended Thursday with nearby Oct 85 cents lower and the back months higher. Feeder cattle futureswere mostly lower on Thursday, with nearby Sep down 80 cents. The CME feeder cattle index was up 65 cents from the previous day at $151.11 on September 20. Wholesale beef prices were lower. Choice was down 53 cents at $191.51, while select boxes were 11 cents lower at $188.41. Week to date FI cattle slaughter was estimated at 464,000 through Thursday, which is 4,000 fewer than last week and 8,000 larger than the same week in 2016. This afternoon’s USDA Cattle on Feed report is expected to show August placements 3.2% lower than last year, with August marketings 6% bigger than 2016 marketings. The USDA reported beef shipments of 15,367 MT yesterday, 19.95% larger than the previous week. Total beef export commitments are now 9.4% ahead of this point last year.

Lean Hogs

Lean hog futures were down $1.025 to $2.125 in the front months, with deferred contracts lower. The CME Lean Hog Index for 9/19 was 96 cents lower than the previous day at $61.92. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was $3.28 lower at $73.04 in the Thursday afternoon report. All cuts were reported lower, with the rib down $9.58 and the ham $5.23 lower. The national base hog carcass was down $1.12 in the AM report at $49.09. Estimated week to date FI hog slaughter was 1,816,000 through Thursday, 10,000 head larger than last week and 60,000 larger than the same week in 2016. The USDA indicated weekly pork exports of 22,193 MT, 24.2% greater than last week. Pork export commitments YTD are 7.2% larger than last year at this time.


Cotton futures are 6 to 7 points lower this morning after they settled Thursday with 26 to 100 point losses. The dollar is weaker this morning after North Korea threatened to detonate a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific. All upland cotton 2017/18 export sales of 219,850 RB were reported by the USDA with an additional 37,136 RB reported for 18/19 sales. Upland cotton exports were up 61.92% wk/wk and 11.42% yr/yr at 175,725 RB.Total export commitments are now 43.5% larger than last year at this time. The USDA updated their AWP to 60.91 cents/lb, down 236 points from the previous week. The Cotlook A index for September 20 was down 35 points from the previous day at 79.35 cents/lb. China sold another 29,500 MT of cotton in Thursday’s auction of state reserves that saw 30,000 MT offered.

Market Commentary provided by:

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