AgriCharts Market Commentary

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Corn futures are trading slightly higher this morning.  The US Dollar index surged to new highs yesterday, hurting commodities priced in dollars. The Pro Farmer Tour computed an Illinois average yield of 196.96 bushels per acre. Comparisons to the 3-year average (149.36 bpa) are not very valid as the 2012 drought data badly drags down the average. This morning, USDA is showing net weekly export sales of 819,200 MT, including old crop of 99,900 MT and 719,300 MT new crop.  Trade expectations had been 600,000 to 990,000 MT, with a maximum of 150,000 being old crop. The Stats Canada corn production estimate this morning is expected to be in the 11.5 MMT range, vs. 14.2 MMT last year. 


Soybeans are currently trading in the green after posting double digit losses on Wednesday. September was the exception, down 1/2 cent with assistance from another $3.10/ton gain in September meal. ABIOVE raised its projection for 2014 Brazilian soybean exports to 45 MMT from 44 MMT.  This morning, USDA reported net reductions for old crop export sales of -89,600 MT for the week ending August 14, as China and unknown cancelled a total of 127,700 MT. New crop soybean sales were reported at 1,420,600 MT, with China the largest buyer, booking 947,900 MT.  Trade estimates coming into the report were 750,000 MT to 1 MMT with no more than 60,000 MT of old crop.  Combined 13/14 and 14/15 bean meal sales were 178,400 MT, and the bean oil total was 20,700 MT. 


Wheat futures are trading mostly higher this morning, but mixed within a few pennies of even money.  USDA reported net weekly export sales last week totaled 209,200 MT.  The Philippines were the largest buyer. The trade average estimate for Stats Canada Canadian wheat production is 28.5 MMT with a different survey showing 29 MMT. The report release is scheduled for this morning. 


Cattle futures are currently 12 cents lower to 5 cents higher after losses of $1.25 to $2.00 on Wednesday. The dollar continues to rally, which drives negative sentiment toward the beef export market.  This morning, USDA reported net weekly beef export sales totaled just 7,300 MT for the week ending August 14. Wholesale prices are still under pressure. Choice boxes were down $1.36/cwt in the PM USDA report, with Select product down $0.84/cwt. Cash cattle activity has been light, with some dressed sales confirmed in NE at $242-243 and rumors of $152 trade on a live basis. Those would be $2-3 lower than last week, but are only limited volume and may not be representative. The trade average guess for Friday’s Cattle on Feed report has numbers at 97.21% of year ago on August 1, with July placements down 9.5% from last year. 

Lean Hogs

Hog futures are trading 12 to 68 cents lower in electronic trade after closing $1.85 to $2.325 lower on Wednesday. Product values are still under pressure, with the average carcass cutout value FOB plant down $2.41 in the afternoon report.  Those who thought the ham decline was ending were premature. That primal was quoted another $4.44 lower.  Weekly pork export sales for lasts week totaled 24,400 MT, according to the USDA weekly Export Sales report released this morning at 7:30 am. Estimated week to date hog slaughter at 1.21 million head is up from 1.191 million last week, but still 6% smaller than in 2013. The CME lean hog index moved $1.89 lower and is at $111.15.  Eastern Corn Belt cash hogs averaged $98.11 in the PM report, with no comparison to yesterday.  WCB hogs are $3.17 lower than yesterday at $96.36.  The IA/MN average carcass value is down $2.83. 


Cotton futures are trading higher again this morning after triple digit gains on Wednesday. Estimated volume jumped to 21,000 contracts. Cert stocks dropped another 1,459 bales to 86,690 bales as the warehouses continue to clear out old inventory ahead of harvest.  This morning, USDA reported US export sales last week totaled155,600 RB of upland cotton and 2,600 RB of pima cotton. US export commitments year to date are running ahead of the 5 year average pace, as a percentage of the full year forecast.  China was in for 68,500 RB in this report.

Market Commentary provided by:

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