AgriCharts Market Commentary

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Corn

Corn futures were mostly 5 to 6 cents lower today, as the March contract posted its first daily loss of more than five cents since December 2.  The grain markets closed early today in historically thin volume, and are scheduled to reopen at 8:30 on Friday.  The weekly EIA report released this morning for the week ending 12/19 showed ethanol stocks shrank 100,000 barrels from last week.  Ethanol production set another new weekly record at 992 thousand barrels per day, besting the rate reported last week by 2K bpd.  The quarterly USDA Hogs and Pigs report indicated that there are more hogs to feed than the market was expecting, supportive to the feed and residual use category.  London corn futures were higher on the day.  May corn on the Dalian exchange was 4 cents higher today, finishing at the US equivalent of $9.68 per bushel.

Mar 15 Corn closed at $4.07 3/4, down 6 1/4 cents,

May 15 Corn closed at $4.16 1/4, down 6 1/4 cents,

Jul 15 Corn closed at $4.23, down 5 1/2 cents

Sep 15 Corn closed at $4.26 1/4, down 5 cents

Soybeans

Soybean futures were mostly around a dime lower today.  January bean meal edged 10 cents higher on the session, however the later contracts showed losses from $1.10 to $3.10.  January soybean oil lost 29 points today.  The January soybean futures have been inside of a 76.5 cent trading range for more than a month, and are awaiting new relevant information for direction.  The USDA weekly export sales report will be delayed until Monday due to the Christmas holiday week.  Weekly inspections reported on Monday this week were much larger than they were for this week last year.  Much of Brazil and Argentina currently show mostly favorable to neutral conditions for developing corn and soybeans.    

Jan 15 Soybeans closed at $10.28 3/4, down 9 3/4 cents,

Mar 15 Soybeans closed at $10.35 1/4, down 10 1/2 cents,

May 15 Soybeans closed at $10.42 1/2, down 10 3/4 cents,

Jul 15 Soybeans closed at $10.48 1/4, down 10 1/2 cents,

Jan 15 Soybean Meal closed at $371.40, up $0.10,

Jan 15 Soybean Oil closed at $31.93, down $0.29

Wheat

Wheat futures closed with heavy losses today. Most of the CHI and KC contracts settled more than 20 cents lower, and the thinner MGE market was down 8 to 19 cents.  The newly refreshed optimism in the US economy has implications of a stronger dollar ahead, which would keep a lid on US exports.   The Russian export restriction is believed be aimed at about 3 MMT, which would easily be made up by the EU. US wheat is not currently price competitive into the Middle East or eastern Med.  Egypt just recently bought additional Russian wheat which is significant because that country was hard hit by a previous Russian embargo.  The wheat market will be watching for too-low temps across the major growing areas that are lacking snow cover as the 6 - 10 day forecast on Wednesday afternoon calls for below normal temps across most of the US.  

Mar 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $6.11 1/2, down 24 cents,

Mar 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.44, down 20 3/4 cents,

Mar 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.33 1/4, down 18 1/4 cents

Cattle

Cattle futures settled mixed today, with the front month 65 cents higher, and the April 2016 contract up 27.5 cents.  The contracts between those posted losses from 2.5 cents to 82.5 cents. s Feeder futures closed with losses from $1.675 to as much as $2.65.  Wholesale beef prices were reported higher again today, with Choice boxes up $1.34 and Select boxes up $1.93.  The CME feeder cattle Index was 27 cents higher for 12/23 at $225.03 with very few locations reporting.  The last established cash cattle trade was last week with sales between $156 and $160; dressed sales were mostly $248 to $252.  The trade has been quiet as per usual for early in the holiday week, a few light sales have been reported at $160 and $250.  Week to date estimated slaughter is 275,000 head and hard to compare to other weeks due to the positioning of the holiday break.

Dec 14 Cattle closed at $162.500, up $0.650,

Feb 15 Cattle closed at $160.575, down $0.025,

Apr 15 Cattle closed at $159.400, down $0.225,

Jan 15 Feeder Cattle closed at $214.750, down $2.375

Mar 15 Feeder Cattle closed at $212.725, down $2.550

Apr 15 Feeder Cattle closed at $213.525, down $2.425

Lean Hogs

Hog futures traded mixed on the day with the June through December contracts 32 cents to $1.10 higher, and losses from 2.5 cents to as much as $1.75 in the other contracts.  The quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report released by the USDA on Tuesday afternoon showed inventory of all hogs to be up 2% from a year ago, when the average pre-report estimate from the trade was for about 1.5% growth year over year. The breeding herd was reported at 5.97 million head, which is 3.7% more than a year ago, vs. trade ideas of about 3%.  September through November pigs per litter set a new record high for the period at 10.23.  Pork carcass cutout values averaged 46 cents higher on the day.  The CME lean hog index was 81.55, down 0.99.  The national weighted average carcass base price was reported as unchanged on the day.  Week to date estimated slaughter is 1.048 million head and not comparable to the previous week or year ago figure due to the holiday downtime.

Feb 15 Hogs closed at $81.300, down $0.350,

Apr 15 Hogs closed at $83.675, down $0.125

May 15 Hogs closed at $86.575, down $0.400

Cotton

Cotton futures ended the day 4 to 16 points lower.  The US dollar made a new high for the move on Tuesday and has given back about 100 points today.  Crude oil was off more than a dollar on the session.  Cert stocks were reported at 57,769 for December 23, with 1,887 new certs, 1,767 decerts, and 3,426 bales awaiting review.  The Cotlook A index is at 69.95, off 0.30 from the previous day.    

Mar 15 Cotton closed at 61.780, down 4 points,

May 15 Cotton closed at 62.240, down 18 points

Jul 15 Cotton closed at 62.930, down 16 points


Market Commentary provided by:

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