Today Futures Market

Ag Market Commentary

Corn futures finished the Thursday session down 1 to 2 pennies. Trade estimates for the Friday morning USDA Export Sales report range from 600,000 to 900,000 MT. The weekly EIA report this morning showed that 983,000 barrels of ethanol was produced per day during the week ending 1/15. Ethanol production was down 20,000 barrels per day from what was the second-highest rate on record the week before. Ethanol stocks reached 21.9 million barrels, up 600,000 barrels from the previous week. The International Grains Council this morning cut projected 2015/16 global corn production to 959 MMT, down from its previous estimate of 967 MMT in November (USDA: 967.93 MMT). Ending stocks are expected to be 196 MMT, down from 200 MMT (USDA: 208.94 MMT). The Argentinean ag ministry expects corn planting in the country to reach 5.69 million hectares this year, up from its previous forecast of 5.40 million hectares. Some switching occurred after the export tariffs were removed for corn and wheat.

Mar 16 Corn settled at $3.67, down 1 3/4 cents,
May 16 Corn settled at $3.71 3/4, down 1 1/2 cents,
Jul 16 Corn settled at $3.76 3/4, down 1 3/4 cents
Sep 16 Corn settled at $3.81 1/4, down 1 3/4 cents

Soybean futures closed with 4 cent gains this afternoon, after falling 8 to 9 cents on Wednesday. The weekly Export Sales report will be published tomorrow morning. Trade analysts expect sales for the week ending Jan 14 to be reported between 700,000 MT and 1.0 MMT. Estimates for soy meal range from 50,000 to 200,000 MT, and soy oil from 9,000 to 60,000 MT. The Brazilian Real has fallen close to its record low just one day after the Brazilian central bank decided to hold interest rates steady. The International Grains Council released its latest production estimates this morning, projecting 322 MMT of global soybean production during 2015/16, just 1 MMT higher than the group predicted in November (USDA: 319.01 MMT). The group predicts consumption will reach 321 MMT, up from the previous estimate of 319 MMT (USDA: 314.04 MMT).

Mar 16 Soybeans settled at $8.78 1/2, up 4 1/2 cents,
May 16 Soybeans settled at $8.79, up 4 1/4 cents,
Jul 16 Soybeans settled at $8.84 1/4, up 4 1/4 cents,
Aug 16 Soybeans settled at $8.85 3/4, up 4 1/4 cents,
Mar 16 Soybean Meal settled at $272.20, up $2.40,
Mar 16 Soybean Oil settled at $29.94, up $0.13

Wheat futures settled 4 to 6 cents higher, erasing Wednesday losses. The MPLS market was the firmest today. Export bookings during the week ending last Thursday are estimated to be between 200,000 to 400,000 MT. The actual figure will be released tomorrow morning in the delayed report from the USDA. This morning, the International Grains Council upped its 2015/16 world wheat production by 5 MMT to 731 MMT (USDA: 735.39 MMT). Its ending stocks estimate was also increased by 5 MMT to 213 MMT. That is significantly lower than the most recent USDA estimate of 232.04 MMT. Strategie Grains estimated that EU soft wheat production will reach 143.1 MMT in 2016/17. The Argentinean government slightly increased its wheat production estimate for the country to 11 MMT from a previous estimate of 10.9 MMT (USDA: 10.5 MMT). Total 2015/16 EU production is estimated at 157.98 by the USDA. Egypt purchased 235,000 MT of Romanian, French, and Russian wheat, with the price averaging $189.17/ton.

May 16 CBOT Wheat settled at $4.79 3/4, up 4 cents,
May 16 KCBT Wheat settled at $4.81 3/4, up 4 1/4 cents,
May 16 MGEX Wheat settled at $5.05 1/2, up 5 3/4 cents

Live cattle futures had the first two nearby contracts locked limit up today, after settling around $2.00 lower on Wednesday. Choppy trade continues. Feeders traded $3.675 to $4.50 higher, following Wednesday losses of $1.55 to $2.825. The CME Feeder Cattle Index for 1/20 was down $1.44 to $157.96. Pre-report estimates for the Cattle on Feed report tomorrow show that trade analysts expect cattle on feed as of Jan 1 to be 98.8% of a year ago. Placements and marketings in December are estimated to be 94.9% and 101.9% of a year ago respectively. Cash cattle trade saw a few live sales averaging $129 today. Asking prices are reported up to $134. Wholesale prices were sharply lower this afternoon, with choice boxes down $2.28 to $227.67, and select boxes off $1.06 to $223.08. WTD estimated FI slaughter is 440,000 head, down 3,000 head from last week, but 6,000 head larger than the same period a year ago. Actual slaughter reported by the USDA totaled 552,495 head during the week ending 1/9, up 2% from the same period a year ago. Dressed weights averaged only 832 pounds, the lowest since the week ending August 1.

Feb 16 Cattle settled at $130.250, up $3.000,
Apr 16 Cattle settled at $131.175, up $3.000,
Jun 16 Cattle settled at $122.900, up $2.850,
Jan 16 Feeder Cattle settled at $158.675, up $3.675
Mar 16 Feeder Cattle settled at $154.225, up $4.500
Apr 16 Feeder Cattle settled at $154.450, up $4.475

Hog futures traded $1.00 to $1.95 higher on Thursday, with Apr16 hogs the strongest. The CME Lean Hog Index for 1/19 was 52 cents higher at $56.77. February is trading at $63.75, so there is a really weak basis right now. The next edition of the USDA Cold Storage report is due to be released tomorrow afternoon. The USDA reported the average carcass cutout value at $74.03, down 32 cents. Only loins and belly cuts had higher average prices today, up 11 cents and a single penny respectively. The national average cash hog base price was 59 cents higher today. Regional prices were up 56 cents in IA/MN, and 36 cents higher in the WCB. FI slaughter through today was estimated at 1.696 million head, up 67,000 head from last week, and 7,000 head larger than the same period in 2015. Actual slaughter during the week ending Jan 9 totaled 2.375 million head, 10.5% larger than the same week in 2015. Dressed weights averaged 215 pounds, the highest since the week ending April 11, 2015.

Feb 16 Hogs settled at $63.750, up $1.025,
Apr 16 Hogs settled at $69.025, up $1.950
May 16 Hogs settled at $75.575, up $1.625

Cotton futures settled 12 to 25 points higher this afternoon on some stability in the world equity markets. Mar16 cotton was able to recover just a tiny piece of its 50 point loss incurred on Wednesday. A few trade analysts expect the USDA Export Sales report tomorrow morning to show sales totaling slightly more than the 171,000 RBs that were reported during the week ending Jan 7 (which was of course shortened by the Jan 1 holiday). The Cotlook A Index was 95 points higher to 69.30. ICE reported that there were 61,233 certified bales were in delivery warehouses on Jan 20, with no new certs and 356 decertified bales. The AWP is 46.90 and the new LDP/MLG is 5.10 cents.

Mar 16 Cotton settled at 62.090, up 12 points,
May 16 Cotton settled at 62.460, up 18 points
Jul 16 Cotton settled at 62.850, up 25 points