AgriCharts Market Commentary

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Corn futures are trading 2 to 2 lower this morning after settling 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 cents higher in the front months on Monday. After the close, the USDA Crop Progress report showed the 18 state corn acreage was 84% complete. That is the same as last year at this time and a notch behind the average of 85%. The report also showed 54% of the crop is emerged, behind the average of 55% and last year’s 58%. The Illinois corn crop conditions improved 9% wk/wk to 51% good/excellent, and Iowa’s initial ratings were 75% g/e, up 3% from last year. These are the main reasons prices are lower this morning. On Thursday, China is expected to offer to sell nearly 7 MMT of 2013 corn, according to their National Grain Trade Center. In addition, they will sell 230,200 MT of 2011 and 2012 corn on Friday.


Soybean futures are currently 3 to 4 cents lower in Turnaround Tuesday action after closing mostly 3 to 4 1/2 cents higher to start the week. July 17 meal was up 80 cents, with soy oil down 10 points in the front month. US soybean acres are 53% planted according to the USDA, equal with last year and 1% above the 5-year average. Planting progress was slightly under estimates. Emerged soybeans are at 19%, vs. 20% last year and the average of 21%. US export inspections for soybeans were reported at 348,535 MT on Monday morning, up 22.52 % from last week and nearly 4 times as large vs. the same week a year ago. Inspections YTD are 260 million bushels larger than mid-May a year ago.


Wheat futures are 2-3 lower in Chicago, 3-4 lower in MPLS and 4-5 lower in KC HRW this morning. They were mixed on Monday, with MPLS showing gains in most contracts. KC was the weakest, down 1-2 cents in most months. CBT down in the front month, with most back months steady to fractionally higher. The winter wheat crop ratings improved 1% in the good/excellent ratings to 52%, but are still 10% worse than last year. The Brugler 500 index rose to 341 from 337, with HRW increasing slightly and SRW decreasing. KS ratings got a little better, but CO got worse. The US crop is now 72% headed, compared to 74% last year and the average of 67%. Spring wheat is 90% planted, down 4% from last year but above the average. The crop was 62% emerged as of Sunday, vs. the average of 59% and last year’s 75%. Weekly export inspections through May 18 were 674,559 MTs for wheat. That was slightly below the previous week, but more than twice as large as the same period last year.


Live cattle futures ended Monday higher with October leading the way. Feeder cattle futures were up as much as $2.70 on Monday. The CME feeder cattle index was at $142.88 on May 19, down 98 cents from the previous day.Wholesale beef prices were both higher in the afternoon report, with choice boxes 74 cents higher, averaging $247.88, and select up $1.41, averaging $222.83. Estimated FI slaughter on Monday was 114,000 head, down 1,000 head from the previous week and 5,000 head larger than the same week last year. The USDA Cold Storage report showed April beef stocks dropping 1.19% from March to 458.46 million pounds, which was down 2% from the year before.

Lean Hogs

Lean hog futures closed lower in the front months, with back months mostly higher. The CME Lean Hog Index for 5/18 was up another 63 cents to $75.55.The USDA pork carcass cutout value was $1.45 higher in the afternoon report, with an average of $87.83. The national base hog carcass price was 33 cents lower at $70.52. Monday’s estimated FI hog slaughter was 441,000 head, 4,000 larger wk/wk, and is 8,000 head above the same time a year ago. The end of April pork stocks rose to 599.12 million pounds, which was 9.04% higher than March but down 6% from the year before. Belly stocks rose 65.51% mo/mo, but are still the lowest April 30 stocks on record.


Cotton futures are 3 to 38 points lower this morning, after triple digit losses in the nearby months on Monday, with deferred contracts 19 to 44 points lower. The US dollar index lost another 178 points but failed to support cotton. The AWP (average world price) through Thursday is 72.44 cents/lb, jumping 3.75 cents/lb from the previous week. After the close on Monday, USDA reported cotton planting at 52 % complete, above the 5 year average of 50% and last year’s 45%. On Monday, China sold 18,400 MT of cotton in state reserves, as nearly 30,000 MT were offered.

Market Commentary provided by:

Brugler Marketing & Management LLC
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