AgriCharts Market Commentary
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Corn futures are trading about 1 cent higher after closing 4 to 6 1/4 cents higher on Tuesday. Up to 7 inches of rain is expected between now and Monday in a band including most of AR, MO, IL and IN, eventually halting planting progress. The weekly EIA report will be released this morning at 9:30 a.m. CDT. Last week, production was increased 7,000 barrels per day to 993,000 bpd. Illinois planting progress had a 28% jump over the last week to 34% of the state’s crop planted, while Iowa was only 8% complete as of Sunday. Safras analysts estimate that 83% of the first Brazil corn crop is harvested, vs. 90.5% last year at this time. Chinese Customs reports only 5,300 MT of corn was imported in March, an almost complete shutdown from all sources as they try to utilize existing stocks.
Soybean futures are trading steady to 4 cents lower this morning, with the weakness in the back months. They settled mostly 5 1/4 to 6 3/4 cents in the red on Turnaround Tuesday. Soymeal was down $2.90 in the front month, with May 17 Soy oil11 points lower. If there are serious delays in US corn planting, soybean acreage would be assumed to increase. Brazil’s soybean acres are 93% harvested, according to estimates from analysts from Safras. China imported 6.326 MMT of soybeans during March, according to the country’s customs data. That is a 3.7% jump over March 2016. First quarter imports were 20% larger than last year at 19.52 MMT. Soy oil imports were up 71% vs. March 16, but down slightly from February.
Wheat futures are currently 1 to 2 cents higher in the CHI and KC contracts sinceending Tuesday higher in most contracts. MPLS spring wheat is 4 cents higher. MPLS was the strongest yesterday, mostly 10 to 13 cents higher, with reports of snow in that region and also in Canada. KC was up 8 3/4 to 10 1/2 cents in the nearby contracts. CHI was 6 to 7 3/4 cents in the green. US Spring wheat was 22% planted as of Sunday, well behind the average of 34% and last year at 40%. KS, OK, CO, and NE winter wheat conditions were raised 1% for good/excellent from the week previous to 52%, 44%, 42%, and 54% respectively.
Live cattle futures traded 82.5 cents to $1.125 higher on Tuesday. Feeder Cattle futures were 22.5 to 97.5 cents in the green. The CME feeder cattle index was at $139.31 on 4/24, down 10 cents from the previous day. Wholesale beef prices were higher in the afternoon report. Choice boxes averaged $219.01, up 34 cents, with select gaining $1.98 with an average price of $206.27. Ahead of today’s Fed Cattle Exchange auction, show lists have 5,448 head of cattle listed with 86.58% from NE. Estimated FI cattle slaughter was 231,000 head through Tuesday, up 7,000 from a week ago and the same Tuesday in 2016.
Lean hog futures finished the day 70 cents to $2.45 higher on Tuesday. The CME Lean Hog Index for 4/21 was down another 61 cents to $60.49.The USDA pork carcass value was down 67 cents in the afternoon FOB Plant report, with an average of $73.82. The loin and picnic cuts were reported lower, with the belly down $4.73. National cash hog base prices averaged 22 cents higher in the afternoon report, with a weighted average of $53.67 and a range reported from $49.00-$55.00. The WCB region was 8 cents higher, with IA/MN down 2 cents. Week to date FI hog slaughter was estimated at 881,000 head for Tuesday, 27,000 head larger than the same week in 2016.
Cotton futures are trading 10 to 17 points lower this morning. They were mixed on Tuesday with the nearby months 5 to 90 points higher and 3 to 7 points lower in the back months. The US Dollar was down another 283 points on Tuesday to 98.809. It is higher this morning, but still within the Tuesday range as this is written. Cotton planting was slow paced in TX last week, as there was only a 1% increase to 12% planted. Only 11 bales were sold on the Seam, down from 564 the day before, with the average price at 78 cents/lb. The certified stocks level rose 3,895 bales to 298,791 bales. China Customs shows importation of 121,000 MT of cotton in March, more than double year ago but down from 138,100 MT in February.