AgriCharts Market Commentary

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Corn

Corn futures ended the day mostly 1 or 2 cents lower, but were off nearly 17 cents for the week. Safras and Mercado, lowered its projection for 2014/15 Brazilian corn production.  The figure published this morning was 74.7 MMT, down 1MMT from its November estimate.  The USDA projection in the January 12 WASDE report was an even 75 MMT.  In the weekly Commitment of traders report, the net long position for managed money accounts shrank by -27,101 contracts during the week ending last Tuesday.  The national average cash price was last reported by DTN at just under $3.45. 

Mar 15 Corn closed at $3.70, down 1 1/2 cents,

May 15 Corn closed at $3.78 1/2, down 1 1/2 cents,

Jul 15 Corn closed at $3.86, down 1 3/4 cents

Sep 15 Corn closed at $3.93, down 1 1/2 cents

Soybeans

Soybean futures ended Friday mostly 7 cents lower as the bearish world fundamental outlook pressured prices.  The trade was reminded of the Brazilian soybean crop again today when Safras and Mercado published their latest projection for the 2014/15 soybean crop.  It was down 880,000 from their November estimate, but at 95.02 MMT it would be 8.42 MMT (or about 309.4 million bushels) larger than the record Brazilian crop produced last year.  USDA is higher at 95.5 and AgroConsult is lower at 94 MMT.  US soybean meal was also well into the red on Friday, settling $8 lower, but was only off  $1.60 from a week earlier.  March 2015 bean oil futures closed higher by 46 cents on the day after posting a new life of contract low on Thursday.  According to the CFTC, managed money accounts were net short -33,021 contracts as of the Tuesday close. 

Mar 15 Soybeans closed at $9.61, down 7 1/4 cents,

May 15 Soybeans closed at $9.67 3/4, down 7 cents,

Jul 15 Soybeans closed at $9.72 3/4, down 7 cents,

Aug 15 Soybeans closed at $9.72, down 6 3/4 cents,

Mar 15 Soybean Meal closed at $329.90, down $8.00,

Mar 15 Soybean Oil closed at $30.00, up $0.46

Wheat

Wheat futures lost 5 cents at Chicago, almost 4 cents at KC and 2 1/2 cents at Minneapolis today. The stronger dollar combined with a weaker euro and possible further erosion of the ruble (since Russia reduced interest rates over night) all spell tough competition for US sales – although Russian export restrictions kick in next week. Though Southern Plains temperatures are turning cooler, no immediate threat to the crop is in the forecast.  In the weekly COT report from the CFTC, managed money accounts were shown to be net short 12,026 contracts in Chicago wheat, as of the Tuesday close; more than 9,500 contracts shorter than their net position at the end of the previous week.  They were still net long in KC wheat by 11,744 contracts, but that is -4,116 less long than they were in the report a week earlier.   

Mar 15 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.02 3/4, down 5 cents,

Mar 15 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.40 1/4, down 3 3/4 cents,

Mar 15 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.56 3/4, down 2 1/2 cents

Cattle

Live and feeder cattle futures finished the day with solid gains, and the front months posted weekly gains of $4.50 and $3.52 respectively.  Cash cattle trade was mostly $160 today. The few dressed sales reported were mostly at $254, steady with last week.  Weekly slaughter including Saturday was estimated at 563,000 head, off 13,000 head from a week ago, and 9,000 head smaller than the same week a year ago.  Wholesale beef continued to slip, with Choice off $2.15 on the day and $11.30 from Friday to Friday.  Select boxes were down $2.60 on the day, and down $11.49 for the week.  The CME feeder cattle index dropped $2.21 and was reported at $211.69.  The Commitment of Traders report showed managed money accounts were still lightening up on their net long position during the week ending last Tuesday.  Their net long position was reported at 58,975 contracts, which was -6,314 contracts smaller than the previous week. 

However, the January Cattle Inventory report from USDA this afternoon leaned toward the beef bears: All cattle and calves came in at 89.8 million head, a 1.44% increase over last year. All cows and heifers that have calved, at 39 million, were up 1.85%, with beef cows up 2.09%.

Feb 15 Cattle closed at $154.850, up $1.325,

Apr 15 Cattle closed at $152.275, up $1.775,

Jun 15 Cattle closed at $144.625, up $1.200,

Mar 15 Feeder Cattle closed at $205.200, up $1.625

Apr 15 Feeder Cattle closed at $205.400, up $1.200

May 15 Feeder Cattle closed at $206.125, up $1.425

Lean Hogs

Lean hog futures ended the day mixed, with the two front months around a dollar into the red, but May hogs were up $1.02 1/2.  That widened the spread between April and May to $8.20!  The Feb contract lost nearly $1.83 from Friday to Friday, and they ended the week with a $4.25 spread to the Wednesday CME Index. Weekly slaughter including Saturday is estimated at 2.26 million head, which is down 58,000 head from last week, but 6.15% more than the same week a year ago.  The pork carcass cutout was 3 cents higher in the afternoon report, but it lost $6.05, or 7.17% from Friday to Friday.  The weekly Commitment of Traders report showed the net long position held by the managed money accounts was 780 contracts larger than it was on the previous Tuesday.  They were net long 34,290 contracts in this report.

Feb 15 Hogs closed at $67.475, down $1.075,

Apr 15 Hogs closed at $72.250, down $0.950

May 15 Hogs closed at $80.450, up $1.025

Cotton

Cotton futures were more than 2 cents higher than they were last Friday, even after being down 21 to 44 points today.  With prospects that Chinese cotton purchases may back off, Cotton Corp of India this week began a new round of sales in an effort to control growing government stocks after purchases of about 5 million bales of 2014 season production. This sale will offer 5,100 bales; no total goal has been announced but any influx of cotton into the market is a negative factor.  The Cotlook Index is 67.30 cents, up 0.7 cent.  ICE reports 1,847 new certificated stocks, bringing the total to 60,527. There are still 5,541 awaiting review.   The COT report from the CFTC showed managed money accounts with a net short position of -8,512 contracts as of the Tuesday close.

Mar 15 Cotton closed at 59.36, down 21 points,

May 15 Cotton closed at 60.02, down 33 points

Jul 15 Cotton closed at 60.85, down 44 points

Oct 15 Cotton closed at 61.8, down 44 points


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