AgriCharts Market Commentary

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Corn futures are trading 1 to 1 1/4 lower this morning. They closed Friday with most contracts 4 – 6 1/2 cents higher, as Dec came back to only lose a half cent on the week. Preliminary open interest shows short covering rather than new buying, as the OI dropped 12,550 on the rally. Pre-weekend profit taking got some of the credit. The CFTC report on Friday showed the spec funds holding a new record net short position of -230,556 contracts as of November 14. Commercials again posted a new record for total long exposure at 599,957 contracts. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange estimated that the Argentine corn crop was 35.4% planted, vs. 40% this time last year. AgRural estimates that the first corn crop in Brazil is 63% planted, compared to 79% last year and the average of 65%.


Soybean futures are mostly 3 to 4 cents lower this morning. They settled with strong gains of 15 to 18 1/2 cents in most contracts on Friday, while Jan was +3 1/2 cents on the week. Preliminary open interest dropped 4,807 contracts on Friday, notably in the January contract. December meal was up $7.70/ton, with nearby bean oil only a point higher. Managed money spec funds cut their net long soybean position 24,188 contracts in soybean futures and options in the week ending Nov 14. The net position stood at 22,550 contracts on that date. The BAGE estimates that Argentina’s soybean planting season is 23.8% completed, nearing last year’s 24.2% pace. Both SAFRAS and AgRural show that Brazilian soybean planting is now ahead of the average planting pace.


Wheat futures are currently 3 to 4 cents lower in the CHI and KC contracts this morning. after they were 3 to 5 1/2 cents higher in most contracts on Friday. Minneapolis spring wheat is down 1 to 1 3/4. The Friday Commitment of Traders report showed the big spec funds easing out of some of their short Chicago SRW positions, trimming them 16,509 contracts in the week ending November 14. They were still net short 108,576 contracts at that time. The French winter wheat crop is 95% planted according to AgriMer, with the crop rated at 97% gd/ex. Forecasts for Australia are showing mainly dry weather over the next week, helping harvest there to move along.


Live cattle futures finished last week with most contracts 45 to 90 cents in the red. Feeder cattle futures were down $1 to $2.175. The CME feeder cattle index will be delayed due to reporting issues with the USDA cash data. Wholesale beef prices were mixed on Friday afternoon. Choice was down $3 at $207.24, with select boxes 2 cents higher at $187.85. USDA indicated weekly FI cattle slaughter at 639,000 head through Saturday, 16,000 larger than a week ago and 10,000 above the same week in 2016. The Cattle on Feed report showed Nov 1 on feed numbers at 11.332 million head and 6.25% larger than last year. That is also the largest on feed number since Dec 2012. Placements of cattle in October were 10.23% larger than a year ago at 2.393 million head, with marketings of 1.801 million head, 5.63% above last year.

Lean Hogs

Lean hog futures ended the week with most contracts mixed, as Dec was 55 cents higher on the day. The CME Lean Hog Index for 11/15 was down 40 cents to $65.97. The national base hog average price was 59 cents lower at $56.96 this afternoon. The USDA pork carcass cutout value was 41 cents higher at $80.96 in the Friday afternoon report. The belly led the way, up $1.69. The weekly USDA AMS hog slaughter report showed 2,473,000 through Saturday. That is down 22,000 from the previous week and 54,000 fewer than the same week in 2016, mainly on less Saturday slaughter.


Cotton futures are 6 to 11 points higher this morning after they saw gains of 17 to 57 points on Friday. Nearby Dec was 1.06% higher on the week. Support came from a weaker US dollar on Friday, with the basket just slightly higher this morning. The Commitment of Traders report showed the spec funds trimming 2,855 contracts from their net long last week, taking it to 42,028 contracts as of November 14. The USDA Adjusted World Price (AWP) was updated to 61.37 cents/lb, 1 point lower than the previous week. Online cash cotton sales reported by The Seam increased to 10,264 bales, with prices up to 67.09 cents/lb. The Cotlook A index for November 14 was 5 points higher to 79.40 cents/lb.

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