AgriCharts Market Commentary

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Corn futures are trading 2 to 2 cents per bushel lower this morning. They ended the Thursday session with fractional to 1 cent losses in most contracts. Thursday morning’s USDA Export Sales report showed corn export shipments for the week of 4/12 at 1.594 MMT. That was down 16.6% from a week ago but 48% larger than the same week last year. Export commitments are now just a fraction behind the same time last year, and are 87% of the USDA full year export projection. The typical pace would show 85% of the export commitments reached by this point, with a year ago at 90%. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange estimates that Argentina’s corn crop is 29.5% harvested vs. the average of 24.1%.


Soybean futures are currently 6 to 7 cents lower after ending Thursday with 2 to 4 1/2 cent losses. Soy meal was down $3.30/ton, with front month soy oil 2 points lower. Soybean shipments were fairly weak for the week that ended April 12 at a MY low 402,339 MT. That total only saw 9,623 MT to China. Total commitments for soybean exports are now within 2.6% of this time last year. They are 96% of the USDA export forecast, even with both last year and the five-year average. Exports of meal were shown at 274,291 MT, with soy oil totaling 50,785 MT. Argentina’s soybean crop is 39.6% harvested according to BAGE estimates, ahead of the average of 27.7%.


Wheat futures are mostly 6 to 8 cents lower in all three markets. They saw 4 to 6 3/4 cent gains in the KC contracts on Thursday. The CBT was up 1 to 2 cents, with MPLS down 4 to 6 cents. The USDA reported a total of 452,140 MT for all wheat export in the week that ended 4/12. That was up 3.61% from the week prior but still 39% behind last year. Commitments for all wheat exports are now lagging last year by 16.9%. Compared to the USDA projection they are 92% completed, with just 7 reporting weeks left in the MY. Their normal pace would show 102% of the export projection reached, with last year at 105%. Japan purchased 101,902 MT of wheat in their weekly MOA tender from the US and Canada on Thursday, with 68,786 MT US specific.


Live cattle futures posted losses of $1.175 to $2.275 on Thursday. Feeder cattle futures were down $1.525 to $2.35. The CME feeder cattle index was down 78 cents on April 18 at $137.12. Wholesale boxed beef values were lower on Thursday afternoon. Choice boxes were 30 cents lower at $211.34, with Select boxes down 9 cents at $198.48. Estimated week to date FI cattle slaughter was 470,000 head through Thursday. That is 5,000 below the previous week but up 13,000 head from the same week in 2017. Cash traded at $121 in TX and $122 in KS, with bids of $190 in the North. USDA beef export sales for the week of 4/12 were 19,919 MT, down from last week but 1.4% larger than a year ago. Weekly beef export shipments totaled 15,235 MT, slightly higher than a week ag o and 11.37% larger than last year.

Lean Hogs

Lean hog futures finished Thursday mostly lower, as nearby May was the only contract higher. The CME Lean Hog Index was up $1.03 from the previous day to $55.05. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was up 4 cents at $68.42 this afternoon. The national base hog weighted average price was $3.16 higher at $57.33 in the Thursday afternoon report. The USDA estimated week to date FI hog slaughter of 1.858 million head through Thursday. That was up 26,000 head from last week. Last week’s pork export sales totaled 17,921 MT, 17.8% lower than the previous week and just half of what was reported for the same week last year. Pork export shipments were down 29.5% from last week at 16,146 MT.


Cotton futures are trading 19 to 72 points higher this morning, led by old crop May. They closed 1 to 27 points higher on Thursday, with Oct the exception at +190 points on thin trade. Upland cotton export sales totaled 290,248 RB for the week of 4/12. That was 61.83% larger than the week prior and 28.28% above this time last year. Weekly Upland cotton exports were 361,952 RB, slightly above this time last year and down 27.55% from a week ago. Upland cotton export commitments are 17% larger than last year, as they have now reached 110% of the USDA export projection. The average for this week is 94%. The Cotlook A index was down 25 points from the previous day at 92.20 cents/lb. The USDA Adjusted World Price (AWP) was updated to 72.16 cents/lb, 16 points lower than the previous week.

Market Commentary provided by:

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