AgriCharts Market Commentary

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Corn futures are currently 1-2 cents higher after ending Tuesday with 1 to 2 3/4 cent gains. Planting Progress in the Corn Belt was well below the average pace, with IA still officially at 0%, IL at 4%, and NE at 2% planted. TX was the only one of the 18 states to show progress ahead of the normal pace. Progress should be made this week with soil temps improving and drier weather throughout most of the Corn Belt. The weekly EIA report will be released on Wednesday showing ethanol production for the week of April 20. Ethanol stocks have been drawn down in recent weeks. Analysts are expecting Stats Canada to show 3.583 million acres of Canadian corn intended to be planted in 2018 this week, up slightly from last year.


Soybean futures are mostly 2 to 3 cents in the green this morning. They saw fractional to 1 3/4 cent gains on Turnaround Tuesday. Soy meal was 30 cents/ton higher, with front month soy oil down 3 points. A private export sale of 130,000 MT of US soybeans to Argentina was reported by the USDA. The sale was split with 60,000 MT for 17/18 delivery and 70,000 MT for 18/19. The average trade guess for Canadian canola acreage in Friday’s Stats Canada report is 23.663 million acres, 666,000 acres larger than last year. Chinese soybean imports during March were down 10.5% from last year at 5.66 MMT according to Customs data. Imports from the US were down 26.6% from last year at 3.1 MMT, with imports from Brazil 33.32% larger yr/yr at 2.333 MMT.


Wheat futures are trading steady to 2 cents higher this morning. They ended the Tuesday session with most CBT and KC contracts 9 to 11 cents higher, and MPLS up 3 to 5 cents. The Crop Progress report showed that 0% of the winter wheat crop in KS is headed, with the average at 11% typically. Condition ratings in KS were down 5 points to 248, with OK up 5 at 215. Planting progress of the spring wheat crop in MN, MO, and ND is still at 0%, with their normal pace at 25%, 24%, and 13% respectively. Ahead of Friday’s Stats Canada acreage report, analysts are expecting all wheat acreage up 647,000 acres at 23.038 million acres. Durum is expected to see 5.442 million acres planted, 237,000 above a year ago.


Live cattle futures were mixed on Tuesday, with most contracts 15 to 65 cents lower, as May was up 17.5 cents. Feeder cattle futures were also mixed, with most contracts lower and nearby April up 7.5 cents. The CME feeder cattle index was down 5 cents on April 23 at $138.08. Wholesale boxed beef values were higher on Tuesday afternoon. Choice boxes were up $2.54 at $217.65, with Select boxes 39 cents higher at $202.11. Estimated FI cattle slaughter was 237,000 head through Tuesday. That is 1,000 more than the previous week and up 5,000 head from the same week in 2017.

Lean Hogs

Lean hog futures posted losses of 55 cents to $1.55 on Tuesday. They were going the opposite direction from the cash market indicators. The CME Lean Hog Index was up $1.08 from the previous day to $57.88 on April 20. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was up 21 cents at $68.08 Tuesday afternoon. The national base hog weighted average price was 23 cents higher at $57.96. The USDA estimated FI weekly hog slaughter at 930,000 head through Tuesday. That is 2,000 head below last week and 46,000 head above the same week in 2017.


Cotton futures are trading 47 to 63 points higher in the front months this morning. They finished the Tuesday session with triple digit losses in most contracts, as nearby May was down 93 points. Planting progress was slow moving over the past week in most states. TX was 14% planted as of Sunday, with GA 4% complete. Of the 15 states reported, 7 showed no acres planted, with KS typically the only state to show no progress. Customs data from China shows March imports of 107,502 MT, down 11.09% from a year ago. Imports of US origin were down 10.69% at 78,088 MT. The Cotlook A index was up 185 points from the previous day at 93.80 cents/lb.

Market Commentary provided by:

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