AgriCharts Market Commentary

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Corn futures saw 2 to 4 cent gains in most contracts on Thursday, closing higher for the fourth day straight. This morning’s FAS export report indicated that 640,997 MT of old crop corn was sold in the week that ended on 7/12, with 774,488 MT for new crop. Those were both well ahead of estimates, and the total sales number was more than twice as large as last year at this time. A sale of 80,000 MT to Argentina was an error according to the USDA and will be corrected in next week’s report. Shipments in that week were 1.293 MMT, up 46.85% from this week last year but down 7.4% from last week. The main destination was Mexico at 335,700 MT, with 211,400 MT headed to Japan. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange trimmed their Argentine corn crop estimate by 1 MMT to 31 MMT.

Sep 18 Corn closed at $3.51 1/4, up 4 cents,

Dec 18 Corn closed at $3.65, up 4 cents,

Mar 19 Corn closed at $3.76 1/2, up 3 3/4 cents

May 19 Corn closed at $3.82 3/4, up 3 1/2 cents


Soybean futures closed 3 to 4 cents higher in the nearby contracts. Nearby soy meal was up 60 cents/ton, with soy oil 24 points lower. The USDA reported that 252,313 MT of old crop soybeans were sold for export during the week of 7/12. That was on the lower end of estimates but a 59.1% jump from the July 4th holiday week. New crop sales exceeded expectations at 613,350 MT, well above last week. Sales of 433,000 MT were shown to unknown, with 120,000 MT to Argentina. Export shipments were tallied at 605,182 MT, 69.1% above a year ago, as 119,800 MT went to Mexico. Soy meal sales totaled 221,997 MT, with 131,000 MT for 17/18. Soy oil saw sales of 20,126 MT, with 10,926 MT for 2017/18.

Aug 18 Soybeans closed at $8.46, up 3 3/4 cents,

Sep 18 Soybeans closed at $8.52, up 4 cents,

Nov 18 Soybeans closed at $8.61 1/2, up 3 3/4 cents,

Mar 19 Soybeans closed at $8.80 3/4, up 3 1/2 cents,

Aug 18 Soybean Meal closed at $328.80, up $0.60,

Aug 18 Soybean Oil closed at $27.83, down $0.24


Wheat futures posted gains of 7 to 9 cents in most contracts on Thursday. The weekly Export Sales report from FAS showed all wheat export sales falling in the middle of most trade estimates at 300,033 MT for the week of 7/12. That is less than half of the totaled reported for this week last year, but a 120% jump from last week. A sale of 30,000 MT to Argentina was reported in error according to the USDA and will be corrected next week. Actual exports picked back up a bit at 434,660 MT, still 8.55% behind last year but 52% above last week. Japan’s MOA purchased 57,914 MT of US wheat in their weekly tender on Thursday.

Sep 18 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.04 1/4, up 9 3/4 cents,

Sep 18 KCBT Wheat closed at $4.96 1/2, up 8 3/4 cents,

Sep 18 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.36 3/4, up 8 3/4 cents


Live cattle futures ended the Thursday session mixed, with nearby Aug a nickel lower and back months higher. Feeder cattle futures were steady to 20 cents higher in the nearby contracts. The CME feeder cattle index was down 28 cents from the previous day at $148.31 on 7/18. Wholesale boxed beef values were lower on Thursday afternoon. Choice boxes were down 31 cents to $204.49, while Select boxes were 17 cents lower at $196.92. Estimated week to date FI cattle slaughter was 476,000 head through Thursday. That was up 11,000 from the same week last year but down 3,000 head vs. last week. Analysts are expecting to see a 1% increase from last year in all cattle and calves as of July 1. They also estimated that Friday’s Cattle inventory report will show beef cows up 0.9% from 2017’s mid-year report, with replacement heifers down 4.3%. Export sales of 13,518 MT of beef in the week of July 12 were shown by the USDA this morning. Weekly shipments were hit a marketing year high of 19,561 MT. Cash cattle bids were seen at $108 today, despite a couple small confirmed sales @ $112 on Wednesday’s FCE.

Aug 18 Cattle closed at $108.900, down $0.050,

Oct 18 Cattle closed at $110.650, unch,

Dec 18 Cattle closed at $114.425, up $0.225,

Aug 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $154.450, unch,

Sep 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $154.775, up $0.125

Oct 18 Feeder Cattle closed at $154.925, up $0.200

Lean Hogs

Lean hog futures settled with 5 to 30 cent gains in the front months, with Dec 15 cents lower. The CME Lean Hog Index was down 45 cents on July 17, to $79.15. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was up 34 cents on Thursday afternoon at $82.69. The picnic and rib were the only primal cuts reported lower. The national base carcass price was $69.25 in the Thursday AM report, down $1.32 from the day prior. USDA estimated weekly FI hog slaughter at 1.814 million head through Thursday. That is 82,000 head above last year, and up 3,000 head from the week previous. Pork export sales for the week that ended 7/12 totaled 19,735 MT. Shipments of pork were seen at 18,720 MT.

Aug 18 Hogs closed at $67.250, up $0.050,

Oct 18 Hogs closed at $52.225, up $0.300

Dec 18 Hogs closed at $46.875, down $0.150


Cotton futures saw losses of 45 to 53 points in the nearby contracts on Thursday. With just over 2 reporting weeks left in the MY, all upland cotton export sales were just 12,935 RB. That was slightly lower than the same week in 2017 and just 10.64% of the reported total in the week prior. China purchased another 5,900 RB in that week. New crop sales totaled 247,711 RB, slipping a little from the week prior but 49.03% larger than the same time last year. Vietnam was the lead buyer of 93,400 RB, with 24,300 RB in sales shown to China. Exports were seen at 227,320 RB, down 19% from last year and 11.69% lower than the previous week. The Cotlook A index was up 50 points from the previous day at 98.20 cents/lb on July 18. The weekly USDA AWP was updated to 79.50 cents/lb, up 333 points from the week prior.

Oct 18 Cotton closed at 88.300, down 53 points,

Dec 18 Cotton closed at 87.550, down 53 points

Mar 19 Cotton closed at 87.430, down 50 points

Market Commentary provided by:

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