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

The USDA average November price for alfalfa fell from $156 to $150 per ton.

The USDA average November price for alfalfa fell from $156 to $150 per ton. This is the lowest November price since 2010 and was $32 below the November 2014 value.

The USDA market price figures account for all qualities of alfalfa hay sold and are weighted based on volume. The lower month-to-month November price is not atypical; only once in the past 10 years did the November price exceed that of October.

The largest per ton price decline for alfalfa hay came from Colorado (-$20), Kansas (-$15), Minnesota (-$15), New York (-$13) and Ohio (-$10). There were some states that bucked the national trend. Those with higher November prices included: Idaho (+$20), Michigan (+$20), Oregon (+$15) and Oklahoma (+$12).

The November all-hay price movement was similar to alfalfa with a month-to-month price drop of $4 to $142 per ton.

Today future

Ag Market Commentary

BRUG – Wed Jan 20, 12:36PM CST

Corn futures are trading steady to fractionally higher at midday of midweek, following a slightly higher trade on Tuesday. Last night, nearby Mar16 posted its highest close since Dec 21. Crude oil has not provided any help to commodities this morning, dropping below $27/barrel, a decline of 6.5% on the day. The DJIA is also sharply lower, down 470 points. Consultant Informa put its 2016 corn acreage at 88.87 million acres, down 57,000 acres from its previous estimate (USDA 2015 was 88.0 mil ac). The latest export prices published by the International Grains Council show that US offers are currently $5/ton more higher than Argentinean offers, at $170/ton. Private exporters reported to the USDA that 243,100 MT of US corn was sold to Mexico this morning for 2015/16 delivery.

Mar 16 Corn is at $3.67 3/4, unch,
May 16 Corn is at $3.72 1/2, up 1/2 cent,
Jul 16 Corn is at $3.77 1/2, up 1/2 cent
Sep 16 Corn is at $3.82, up 1/4 cent

Soybean futures are currently trading mostly from 9 to 12 cents lower after closing around 4 cents higher on Tuesday. Now-front month Mar16 beans closed at its highest price since Dec 22 on Tuesday. Informa projected US producers will plant 85.23 million acres to soybeans in 2016, which would be a record and was up 693,000 acres from the previous Informa estimate (USDA 2015: 82.7 million acres). The National Grain and Oils Information Centre in China is expecting the country to import 85 MMT of soybeans this year (USDA: 80.50 MMT), which would be a 9% increase year over year. US export prices as of Jan 19 were offered at $356/ton, up $7/ton from Argentinean offers, and $17/ton higher than that of Brazil.

Mar 16 Soybeans are at $8.71 1/2, down 12 cents,
May 16 Soybeans are at $8.72, down 11 cents,
Jul 16 Soybeans are at $8.77 1/2, down 10 1/2 cents,
Aug 16 Soybeans are at $8.78 3/4, down 9 1/4 cents,
Mar 16 Soybean Meal is at $269.60, down $1.70,
Mar 16 Soybean Oil is at $29.64, down $0.39

Wheat futures are trading from 1 to 6 cents lower in most contracts at midday, after closing with fractional gains in CHI on Tuesday afternoon. KC and MPLS contracts were lower. Consultant Informa estimates that 51.1 million acres will be planted to wheat for the 2016 growing season. That would be a year/year decrease from the 2015 USDA figure of 54.6 million acres. Japan is tendering for 102,400 MT of US wheat, with the tender to close tomorrow. Latest wheat export prices from the IGC have US SRW offers at $200/ton, $25/ton higher than French offers. Russia will begin exporting wheat to China, just one month after the Asian country lifted its ban on Russian wheat imports. Snow is projected for parts of Russian and Ukrainian wheat growing areas, providing some protection from winterkill.

Mar 16 CBOT Wheat is at $4.70, down 4 1/2 cents,
Mar 16 KCBT Wheat is at $4.66 3/4, down 6 cents,
Mar 16 MGEX Wheat is at $4.95 1/4, down 1 cent


Sweetheart overtakes Bing as popular cherry variety – Orchards, Nuts & Vines – Capital Press

Sweetheart overtakes Bing as popular cherry variety

Published: January 20, 2016 9:06AM

AR-160129993.jpg%26amp;MaxW=600Dan Wheat/Capital Press Ana Capi picks Rainier cherries at Prey Orchard in Orondo, Wash., last June 18. Demand for cherries was strong last season. Growing, packing and marketing cherries was discussed at Washington State University’s Northcentral Stone Fruit Day in Wenatchee on Jan. 19.
Buy this photo

Cherry varieties, disease and pest problems were talked about at the annual Washington State University Northcentral Washington Stone Fruit Day.

WENATCHEE, Wash. — Sweetheart has overtaken Bing.

That’s what several hundred growers heard at the Northcentral Washington Stone Fruit Day, sponsored by Washington State University Extension and the Washington State Fruit Commission, at the Wenatchee Convention Center on Jan. 19.

Sweetheart, a late variety red cherry originating in Summerland, B.C., in 1994, overtook Bing in Pacific Northwest production in 2015 or perhaps in 2014, said B.J. Thurlby, president of the State Fruit Commission and Northwest Cherry Growers.

While he didn’t have red cherries broken down by variety, the largest shippers all told him they had more Sweetheart in 2015 than Bing, Thurlby said.

“It’s a trend growers need to understand when they are looking at what to plant,” he said.

WSU’s cherry breeding program began in 1949 and one of its first releases was Rainier. The program’s goal is to breed early varieties that are crack resistant and late varieties that are mildew resistant for Washington and Oregon, said Ines Hanrahan, postharvest physiologist of the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission. Size, firmness, color and taste are key attributes being sought.

PNW cherry crops have grown to be in the 20 million, 20-pound box range since 2009 with a peak of 23.2 million in 2014 and a final last season of 19.3 million, Thurlby said. A 21.3-million-box crop is likely this year if recent trends persist, he said. Following a 5.3-million, 18-pound box California crop in May, the PNW crop in June hit a record 11.9 million, 20-pound boxes but demand still exceeded supply, he said.

Marketers and retailers scheduled early July advertising in early June based on the belief that there would be a lull in supply between Bing and late varieties in early July, Thurlby said. But the hottest June on record accelerated harvest, causing a market glut in early July that tumbled prices, he said.

“It was a real mess and disappointing for me and I’m sure all of you,” he said.

Volume peaked at 600,000 boxes shipped on June 25 compared with a July 25 peak two years earlier and 18.7 million boxes were shipped in a compressed 60-day window, he said. Sweetheart normally has 80 to 90 days between bloom and harvest but was at 56 days, he said.

James Michael, Northwest Cherry Growers domestic promotions director, said there’s room for larger crops given health benefits of cherries. Americans average 1.5 units of cherries per person per season and if that rose 1 unit PNW growers would have to produce 28.4 million boxes to meet demand, he said.