AgriCharts Market Commentary

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Corn futures are trading close to UNCH this morning after settling 3/4 to 1 1/4 cents higher yesterday. Preliminary open interest rose 9,751 contracts. Wednesday morning’s EIA report showed ethanol production dropping 19,000 barrels per day from the previous week. That number was still robust at 1.089 million bpd produced during the week of 12/8, the second largest weekly production number on record. Stocks of ethanol fell 170,000 barrels to 2.374 million barrels. Old crop export sales of corn for the week ending 12/7 are expected to be 0.7-1.1 MMT in this morning’s USDA report. Traders are also expecting 0-100,000 MT in new crop sales.


Soybean futures are currently 4 to 5 cents lower after ending Wednesday with 3 to 3 1/2 cent gains in most contracts. December meal was up $2.20/ton, with nearby bean oil down 25 points. Estimates for Thursday’s Export Sales report are running 1.4-2 MMT for old crop soybeans, with 0-100,000 MT for new crop expected by analysts. Soy meal sales are seen at 100,000-300,000 MT, with total soy oil sales expected at 5,000-30,000 MT. Brazil’s ABIOVE expects the country’s crop to hit 109.5 MMT in 17/18. They are also projecting exports in 2017 to total 67.8 MMT, with exports of 65 MMT in 2018.


Wheat futures are steady to 3 cents higher this morning, with the MPLS spring wheat contract the strongest. They were 3-7 cents higher in most contracts on Wednesday, with nearby Dec due to expire today. There was some net new buying in Chicago, with preliminary open interest up 5,031 contracts. Analysts are expecting this morning’s USDA Export Sales report to show 250,000-450,000 MT in wheat export sales for the week ending December 7. Iraq is seeking 50,000 MT of US, Australian, and Canadian wheat, with the tender to close on December 19. The French AgriMer trimmed their projection for wheat exports outside of the EU by 0.4 MMT to 9.5 MMT.


Live cattle futures finished the Wednesday session with most contracts 20 to 77.5 cents in the red. Feeder cattle futures were down $1.25 to $1.85 in most contracts. The CME feeder cattle index on December 12 was down 25 cents to $153.64. Wholesale boxed beef values were lower on Wednesday afternoon. Choice was down $1.58 at $202.48, with select 90 cents lower at $185.02. Estimated week to date FI cattle slaughter was 355,000 head through Wednesday, 3,000 head fewer than the previous week but 11,000 head larger than the same week last year. The FCE auction showed 75 of the 704 head sold at a price of $116, with 3 other lots passing on offers of $116.

Lean Hogs

Lean hog futures saw steady to 30 cent gains in most contracts on Wednesday. The CME Lean Hog Index for 12/11 was down 20 cents to $64.97. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was down $4.61 at $76.51 in the Wednesday afternoon report. The loin and picnic were higher, with the ham down $7.67 and the belly $13.81 lower. The national base hog price was $1.08 lower at $57.04 Wednesday afternoon. The USDA daily FI hog slaughter was 1,400,000 head WTD through Wednesday. That was up 10,000 head from the previous week and 76,000 head more than the same week last year.


Cotton futures are trading 53 to 60 points higher ahead of the weekly Export Sales report. They closed 28 to 122 points higher on Wednesday. As expected, the Federal Reserve increased the short term interest rate target 0.25% and affirmed intentions for three rate hikes in 2018. In buy the rumor sell the fact action following the announcement, the US dollar was down 671 points, providing some support for commodities. The dollar is close to UNCH this morning. The Cotlook A index was down 75 points from the previous day to 83.45 cents/lb on December 12. Online cash sales of cotton rose to 21,066 bales on the Seam, with prices 79 points higher at 69.23 cents/lb.

Market Commentary provided by:

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