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August 2010 Archive for Market Watch

RSS By: Alan Brugler, AgWeb.com

Alan Brugler is the President of Brugler Marketing & Management, and the primary analyst and advisor.

The Bulls are Panting A Bit

Aug 27, 2010

 brulogomed

 Market Watch with Alan Brugler
August 27, 2010
 
The Bulls Are Panting A Bit
 
Corn futures got back to the early August highs this week, but closed UNCH for the week. At $4.40 ¾, December corn hit the highest reading since January 12. An early week sell off was short lived, as field reports from TN and IL showed quite a bit of yield variability and a lot of fields that were below year ago. USDA also showed weekly export sales that were larger than expected by the trade. The B.A. exchange in Argentina indicated that corn production there could be 9% larger in 2011 due to crop rotations and higher world prices.
 
Wheat was a mixed affair. Minneapolis spring wheat futures were up 7 cents net for the week. KC and Chicago were down 5 cents and 17 cents respectively on continued liquidation of long positions. The IGC lowered projected Russian wheat production to 44 MMT, with other sources as low as 41 MMT. Russian prime minister Putin insisted that Russia had found additional on farm wheat stocks and will not be an importer of feed grains, but the trade has been skeptical. Weekly export sales were very strong, and the U.S. has booked 480 million bushels vs. only 306 million at this time a year ago. Since soft red winter wheat supplies are small because of the lack of 2010 production, the hard wheat classes are seeing quite a bit of success in the export market.
 
Soybeans reversed direction from the prior week and closed 1.26% higher. Both soy oil and soy meal were up on the week. Despite the UNCH status of the corn, soybean meal rallied $6.00 per ton. Weekly export sales were on the upper end of the range for the week to help support the beans. Traders also began to have second thoughts about U.S. yields, with moisture stress developing during the key pod filling phase in several Corn Belt states. Root development was limited by high water tables this spring and summer, and plants in areas that have turned dry are struggling.
 
Cotton futures traded at the highest level since 2008. US export sales continue to be above trade expectations each week, and projected world ending stocks still look like they are going to shrink. The flooding in Pakistan is just the latest bull story in the world market. Here in the U.S., some extreme southern areas have harvested, with ginning and classing reported in south Texas. However, most of those early bales are already spoken for.
 
Below is a table showing the net weekly changes and 4 week history of selected agricultural futures:
 

 
Commodity
 
 
 
 
Weekly
Weekly
Month
08/06/10
08/13/10
08/20/10
08/27/10
Change
% Change
Sep
Corn
$4.05
$4.12
$4.21
$4.21
0.00
0.06%
Sep
CBOT Wheat
$7.26
$7.03
$6.79
$6.63
0.17
2.43%
Sep
KCBT Wheat
$7.20
$7.24
$7.06
$7.00
0.05
0.74%
Sep
MGEX Wheat
$7.23
$7.15
$7.00
$7.07
0.07
1.00%
Sep
Soybeans
$10.39
$10.44
$10.09
$10.22
0.13
1.26%
Sep
Soybean Meal
$302.60
$302.70
$300.80
$307.80
7.00
2.33%
Sep
Soybean Oil
$41.53
$42.52
$39.52
$40.20
0.68
1.72%
Aug
Live Cattle
$92.77
$94.32
$99.60
$98.05
1.55
1.56%
Sep
Feeder Cattle
$112.25
$111.30
$116.65
$116.27
0.38
0.33%
Oct
Lean Hogs
$74.08
$74.65
$77.20
$74.82
2.38
3.08%
Oct
Cotton
$84.40
$87.49
$87.15
$89.03
1.88
2.16%
Sep
Oats
$2.80
$2.74
$2.72
$2.66
0.07
2.39%
Sep
Rice
$10.61
$11.00
$10.91
$11.22
0.31
2.80%

 
Hogs lost most than 3% for the week, the poorest performance among our ag commodities for the week. Futures are anticipating a very sharp decline in pork cutout values and cash hog prices as we head into September and October. October futures are already reflecting a drop that is 2/3 of the annual average move from a high to a low in hogs. And the market has less than 2 months to do it. Cutout prices are beginning to soften now that retailers have their Labor Day features secured. The bearish presumption is that hog marketings will pick up after the holiday and the supply side will start to be burdensome and extend the weakness in the products.
 
Cattle futures lost 1.56% for the week. The bulk of the cash trade was at $99.50, but some Friday deals were as low as $96. As with hogs, the expectation is that prices might back off a little into the holiday period, and weakness in the Choice beef quotes on Friday did little to change that line of thinking. The Cattle on Feed report from the previous week was also a modest bearish influence. Ready numbers will continue to decline into October, but will be more than 100% of year ago for both September and October if feedlots are able to maintain normal rates of gain.  
 
Market Watch: We’re coming into month end position squaring, and we finish the week heading into a 3-day weekend. That often means more money sloshing around in unpredictable directions. The Crop Progress report on Monday night will be of interest, mostly in the crop ratings and the harvest progress for corn. Tuesday will be the last trading day for August cattle, and first notice day for September grain futures contracts.  Thursday will feature USA weekly export sales, plus several general economic reports like jobless claims, factory orders and productivity. By Friday, trading volume should be slipping as traders head out for the long weekend.
 
Looking for professional help with your marketing decisions? Consider subscribing to our daily Ag Marketing Professional service or Special Research Reports. Call our office for details at 402-697-3623, or visit www.bruglermarketing.com.
 
There is a risk of loss in futures and options trading. Such trading is not appropriate for all individuals. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. Comments made in this article are in no way to be seen as an endorsement of futures and options trading. Reproduction or rebroadcast of any portion of this article without written consent of Brugler Marketing & Management LLC is strictly prohibited. Call 402-697-3623 for information on our more extensive paid subscription and consulting services.
 
   Copyright 2010 Brugler Marketing & Management, LLC

Big Ups and Big Downs

Aug 20, 2010

 

brulogomed

 
Market Watch with Alan Brugler
August 20, 2010
 
Big Ups and Big Downs
 
There may be more traders on vacation in August, but it certainly hasn’t meant a quiet month in terms of price movement. Cattle futures were up 5.6% this week alone, with cash cattle trading $5 higher than they did just a week ago. Corn was up a more modest 2.3%, but is up 28 cents/bushel since July 30. On the other side of the ledger, soybean oil plunged 7.1% for the week, and Chicago wheat was down 3.4%.
 
Corn took center stage this week, advancing another 10 cents per bushel. The Russian drought situation hasn’t gone away, but the ripple effects are starting to show up in demand for corn, soybean meal and coarse grains. Various crop tours are also crisscrossing the major US production areas trying to get a handle on actual yields. The Pro Farmer group took the results of the Midwest Crop Tour and projected a U.S. crop of 13.29 billion bushels, with average yield of 164.1 bpa. That is below the USDA’s August forecast. Export demand continues to be outstanding, with weekly net corn sales setting a 15 year high.
 
Wheat was lower on all three futures exchanges, despite a big up day on Thursday. Chicago lost 24 cents per bushel for the week. KC and MPLS were not down as much. SRW stocks are tight due to the small 2010 crop, and that is leading to a higher proportion of HRW and spring wheat sales in the export mix. Having Russia and Ukraine out of the game is also driving more business to the U.S., with sales topping 1.4 MMT last week for the first time in nearly 3 years. Stats Canada .......
 
Soybeans dropped 34 cents per bushel for the week despite weekly export sales bookings of more than 2.2 million metric tonnes. Again, it was a “how ya gonna top that?” reaction. A stronger US dollar weighed on the market, as did indications that China would sell old crop oilseed and veg oil reserve inventory on the open market and then replace it with new crop. This could potentially result in a dip in short term import needs, but there was little evidence of that in the sales bookings. The Pro Farmer group projected a record U.S. soybean crop of 3.5 billion bushels on a record average yield of 44.9 bushels per acre. This was following the Midwest Crop Tour’s extensive pod counting exercise on Monday through Thursday.
 
Cotton futures were down a modest 0.39% for the week. A stronger US dollar index was thought likely to impair export sales going forward, although that clearly wasn’t the case for the prior week. USDA reported the all cotton bookings were 461,900 RB, when trade guesses had been in the 300,000 RB range. Forward sales for new crop are already in excess of 6.183 million bales vs. USDA’s projection for the full year of 15 million. We’re not even three weeks into the year!
 
 
Below is a table showing the net weekly changes and 4 week history of selected agricultural futures:
 

 
Commodity
 
 
 
 
Weekly
Weekly
Month
07/30/10
08/06/10
08/13/10
08/20/10
Change
% Change
Sep
Corn
$3.93
$4.05
$4.12
$4.21
0.10
2.31%
Sep
CBOT Wheat
$6.62
$7.26
$7.03
$6.79
0.24
3.35%
Sep
KCBT Wheat
$6.75
$7.20
$7.24
$7.06
0.18
2.49%
Sep
MGEX Wheat
$6.88
$7.23
$7.15
$7.00
0.15
2.06%
Sep
Soybeans
$10.12
$10.39
$10.44
$10.09
0.34
3.28%
Sep
Soybean Meal
$297.90
$302.60
$302.70
$300.80
1.90
0.63%
Sep
Soybean Oil
$39.96
$41.53
$42.52
$39.52
3.00
7.06%
Aug
Live Cattle
$92.65
$92.77
$94.32
$99.60
5.28
5.60%
Aug
Feeder Cattle
$113.72
$112.35
$111.70
$114.60
2.90
2.60%
Oct
Lean Hogs
$79.03
$74.08
$74.65
$77.20
2.55
3.42%
Oct
Cotton
$82.36
$84.40
$87.49
$87.15
0.34
0.39%
Sep
Oats
$2.71
$2.80
$2.74
$2.72
0.01
0.55%
Sep
Rice
$10.55
$10.61
$11.00
$10.91
0.09
0.82%

 
 
Hogs were up 3.4% for the week. Product values have not yet begun their typical fall swoon, and in fact were aggressively higher. Cash hogs followed. USDA’s Cold Storage report on Friday afternoon showed frozen pork supplies had dropped another 5% from the previous month. They are now 28% smaller than last year. Maybe that’s why the pork cutout value was up 5.1% for the week (Thur-Thur)? Pork loins were up 10.6%. Pork bellies in Cold Storage as of July 31 were down 64% from last year.
 
Cattle futures were up a stout 5.6% for the week, our bull leaders for the week. The big story was the two week rally in the wholesale market, fueled by both export sales and Labor Day pipeline filling by retailers. The choice boxed beef quote was up $5.14/cwt for the week on a Thursday/Thursday basis. On Friday afternoon, USDA released a Cattle on Feed report. The report was slightly negative relative to trade expectations, showing fewer than expected marketings during July and more placements in the lots.
 

 
USDA Actual
Avg. Trade Guess
Range of Estimates
On Feed Aug 1
102.45
102.0
101.3-102.7
July Placements
94.15
92.6
89.9-96.6
July Marketings
98.35
99.7
96.9-100.5

 
 
 
 
Market Watch: Livestock traders will start the week reacting to the conflicting signals from the Cattle on Feed and Cold Storage reports that were issued on Friday afternoon. August feeder cattle futures are due to expire on Thursday. Grain traders will remain focused on the weekly crop progress and condition reports, expecting USDA to begin showing some mature corn in the 18 major reporting states. Other than crop progress and exports, the main reports for this week are the Census Crush and Cotton Consumption reports on Thursday morning. Friday will also mark the expiration of the September options for corn, soybeans, wheat, rice, etc.
 
Looking for professional help with your marketing decisions? Consider subscribing to our daily Ag Marketing Professional service or Special Research Reports. Call our office for details at 402-697-3623, or visit www.bruglermarketing.com.
 
There is a risk of loss in futures and options trading. Such trading is not appropriate for all individuals. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. Comments made in this article are in no way to be seen as an endorsement of futures and options trading. Reproduction or rebroadcast of any portion of this article without written consent of Brugler Marketing & Management LLC is strictly prohibited. Call 402-697-3623 for information on our more extensive paid subscription and consulting services.
 
   Copyright 2010 Brugler Marketing & Management, LLC

 

Russia Is Still A Hot Topic

Aug 13, 2010

brulogomed

Market Watch with Alan Brugler

August 13, 2010

 

Russia Is Still A Hot Topic

 

Wheat is still getting all the bullish press, but the corn and soybean markets are showing some pretty respectable chart uptrends as well. USDA cut projected Russian wheat production to 45 MMT from 53 MMT, and dropped their projected exports to only 3 MMT from an earlier projection of 15 MMT. The Russians are embargoing shipments, with the initial announcement starting August 15. That drives the USDA assumption that the exports won’t be made. US ending stocks are still burdensome, but USDA now sees HRW and HRS exports for the year at record high levels, and that’s dropping the expected ending stocks to a more manageable 952 million bushels instead of 1.093 billion bushels.

 

Corn was up another 7 cents per bushel for the week, and is up 19 cents in three weeks. This past week’s 1.67% advance came mostly courtesy of the USDA reports on Thursday. USDA cut projected 2009/10 and 2010/11 corn ending stocks, seeing additional US corn exports. That flows from the reductions in projected world ending stocks for both wheat and coarse grains. There is essentially more "room" for U.S. sales. In fact, the projected stocks/use ratio of 9.7% for corn in 2010/11 is the tightest since 1995/96 if you ignore some interim monthly forecasts in 2006 that didn’t pan out. USDA is projecting a record U.S. average corn yield, with the second highest average number of ears per acre and the heaviest ears (grain weight) since 2004. If there is room for more bullishness, that is where it might originate if not from the export sector.

 

Soybeans weren’t about to be left out of the rally in the other grains, and in fact they really can’t be left out of a feed grain rally for very long. Soybean meal is a substitute, and has often followed the corn and wheat. Meal was $7.90/ton higher for the week, up 2.52%.  USDA tightened projected old crop soybean ending stocks to 160 million bushels. They projected record soybean production with a record high August yield estimate of 44 bushels per acre. That was neutralized in the 2010/11 balance sheet by a dramatic upward revision in projected exports. It’s almost as if the Brazilians and Argentines hadn’t had a record crop last year, with China and other buyers unusually active in the U.S. market.

 

Cotton futures broke conclusively through the 80 cent mark for new crop December futures and are making a run at 85 cents. USDA revised world cotton stocks downward for several years, dramatically shrinking the projected 2010/11 stocks to 45.6 million bales from over 49 million projected a month ago. US production is seen as the largest in several years, but due to an expected 15 million bales in exports the ending stocks will be just barely above 2009/10 at 3.2 million bales.


Below is a table showing the net weekly changes and 4 week history of selected agricultural futures:

 

 

Commodity

 

 

 

 

Weekly

Weekly

Month

07/23/10

07/30/10

08/06/10

08/13/10

Change

% Change

Sep

Corn

$3.71

$3.93

$4.05

$4.12

0.07

1.67%

Sep

CBOT Wheat

$5.96

$6.62

$7.26

$7.03

0.23

3.20%

Sep

KCBT Wheat

$6.15

$6.75

$7.20

$7.24

0.04

0.49%

Sep

MGEX Wheat

$6.29

$6.88

$7.23

$7.15

0.08

1.14%

Aug

Soybeans

$10.17

$10.53

$10.59

$10.52

0.07

0.66%

Aug

Soybean Meal

$299.90

$310.90

$313.60

$321.50

7.90

2.52%

Aug

Soybean Oil

$39.07

$39.83

$41.39

$41.80

0.41

0.99%

Aug

Live Cattle

$93.42

$92.65

$92.77

$94.32

1.55

1.67%

Aug

Feeder Cattle

$115.17

$113.72

$112.35

$111.70

0.65

0.58%

Aug

Lean Hogs

$83.23

$85.82

$82.02

$82.87

0.85

1.04%

Oct

Cotton

$80.32

$82.36

$84.40

$87.49

3.09

3.66%

Sep

Oats

$2.55

$2.71

$2.80

$2.74

0.06

2.15%

Sep

Rice

$10.28

$10.55

$10.61

$11.00

0.39

3.68%

 

Cattle futures were up 1.67% and $1.55 for the week, closing at $94.32 on the soon to expire August contract. The monthly USDA WASDE report projects a decline in beef production into the first quarter of 2011 lifting live cattle cash prices to an estimated $101 to $104 on the high end and $93 to $96 on the low end for the first and second quarter of 2011. Beef export sales were 8,907 MT with accumulated shipments at 339,258 MT (747,935,650 pounds) to date. USDA is projecting 2010 beef exports at 2,193 million pounds or 994,728 MT. Beef exports for 2011 were raised 70 million pounds from the July report to 2,070 million pounds. Most of the cash cattle business was done midweek and at $2 higher money with cattle selling for $93 to $95 in the live and $150 in the dressed.  Beef prices rallied this week ahead of Labor Day business.

 

Hogs were up 1.04% and $0.85 for the week with the expiration of the August Lean Hog contract. October hogs finished the week at an $8.22 discount to the August so have some catching up to do. The contract change over will leave a trend breaking gap on the weekly continuation chart. This week the U.S. Department of Commerce published the hog export data as of June 30th, which showed pork exports were up 16% from last year for the same period. USDA raised pork export estimates for 2010 by 141 million pounds and raised 2011 export projections by 125 million pounds from last month. The monthly USDA WASDE report showed a drop in pork production from last month for both 2010 and 2011. Pork production for 2010 is estimated at 22,238 million pounds, down 9 million pounds from last month and 22,655 million pounds for 2011 down 20 million pounds from last months projections. Barrow and Gilt prices estimates lost $1 on the high end of the range with USDA narrow their projections from $54 to $55 for 2010. Annual barrow and gilt prices for 2011 ranged from $53 to $57.

 

Market Watch:

 

Cattle traders will start the week anticipating steady to higher money in the cash market with good movement of cattle this week leaving the early part of the week a bit short. The monthly cattle on feed report will be out Friday along with the cold storage report. The weekly crop progress report should show the effects of the heat stress on the soybean crop in the southeast and Iowa floods for corn and soybeans in the Midwest. Wheat harvest progress in Montana and Idaho will also be a focus.

 

 

Looking for professional help with your marketing decisions? Consider subscribing to our daily Ag Marketing Professional service or Special Research Reports. Call our office for details at 402-697-3623, or visit www.bruglermarketing.com.

 

There is a risk of loss in futures and options trading.  Such trading is not appropriate for all individuals. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.  Comments made in this article are in no way to be seen as an endorsement of futures and options trading. Reproduction or rebroadcast of any portion of this article without written consent of Brugler Marketing & Management LLC is strictly prohibited.  Call 402-697-3623 for information on our more extensive paid subscription and consulting services.

 

   Copyright 2010 Brugler Marketing & Management, LLC

It's A Jungle Out There

Aug 06, 2010

 brulogomed

 Market Watch with Alan Brugler
August 6, 2010
It’s A Jungle Out There
 
Wheat once again posted the largest percentage gains overall in our table. Chicago futures were up 9.7% for the week, DESPITE losing 60 cents per bushel on Friday. That left them with a 64 cent gain for the week, and it was still the highest weekly close since September 5, 2008. KC futures were up 6.75% for the week, and MPLS trailed along with a 5.1% advance. Spring wheat harvest is just getting underway, and the current price level encourages big sales straight out of the field. Of course, the big news of the week was Russia’s announcement that they would halt exports next week and that they would be shut down until at least December. Existing contracts will not be delivered during the halt, leaving end users scrambling for other, more expensive supplies from the EU, Canada and the United States. The wheat rally and the Russian situation made the front page of the Wall Street Journal on Friday morning, a time tested sell signal that was honored once again by the traders.
 
Corn was up another 12 cents per bushel for the week, and is up 34 cents in two weeks. This past week’s 3.1% advance came mostly courtesy of the drought in Russia and surrounding countries. Trade estimates are being reduced for world barley and corn production from that region, and that creates opportunities for additional US corn exports either directly or indirectly through substitution. Weekly export sales were decent, but producer selling of old crop corn was also heavy and kept basis under pressure. Trade estimates for USDA’s August 12 crop yield have been running in the 162-167 bushel range, about a 400 million bushel swing in potential production and ending stocks if there are 80 million harvested acres.
 
Soybeans weren’t about to be left out of the rally in the other grains, and in fact they really can’t be left out of a feed grain rally for very long. Soybean meal is a substitute, and has often followed the corn and wheat. Meal was up $2.60/ton or 0.8% for the week. Nearby bean futures crawled 6 cents higher. There have still been no deliveries vs. August futures, but the shorts seem to have handled it well. New crop export bookings are now ahead of last year at this point, thanks to aggressive Chinese buying over the past two weeks. They aren’t the only ones buying, but do represent well over half of the commitments to date.
 
Cotton futures broke through the 80 cent mark for new crop December futures. October futures, sort of a between month, were up 2.48% for the week as old crop cotton in delivery warehouses dwindled to multi-year lows and most of the early cotton from new crop appears to be committed to end users and shippers. Weekly export sales were within the range of trade estimates.


Below is a table showing the net weekly changes and 4 week history of selected agricultural futures:
 

 
Market Watch
 
 
 
 
Weekly
Weekly
Month
07/16/10
07/23/10
07/30/10
08/06/10
Change
% Change
Sep
Corn
$3.95
$3.71
$3.93
$4.05
0.12
3.12%
Sep
CBOT Wheat
$5.87
$5.96
$6.62
$7.26
0.64
9.71%
Sep
KCBT Wheat
$5.99
$6.15
$6.75
$7.20
0.46
6.75%
Sep
MGEX Wheat
$6.12
$6.29
$6.88
$7.23
0.35
5.13%
Aug
Soybeans
$10.20
$10.17
$10.53
$10.59
0.06
0.62%
Aug
Soybean Meal
$307.80
$299.90
$310.90
$313.60
2.70
0.87%
Aug
Soybean Oil
$38.31
$39.07
$39.83
$41.39
1.56
3.92%
Aug
Live Cattle
$92.27
$93.42
$92.65
$92.77
0.12
0.13%
Aug
Feeder Cattle
$113.10
$115.17
$113.72
$112.35
1.37
1.20%
Aug
Lean Hogs
$81.70
$83.23
$85.82
$82.02
3.80
4.43%
Oct
Cotton
$79.96
$80.32
$82.36
    $84.40
2.04
2.48%
Sep
Oats
$2.68
$2.55
$2.71
$2.80
0.09
3.14%
Sep
Rice
$9.86
$10.28
$10.55
$10.61
0.06
0.57%

 
Cattle futures squeezed out a 12 cent gain for the week. Beef production for the year to date is still down 0.6%, but it was 2.7% larger for the first week of August than for the corresponding week in 2009. On a Thursday/Thursday basis, the choice boxed beef market was down 2.24%. Select quotes were down 1.85%. Cash cattle traded on Friday at $93 to $93.50, fully steady with the previous week
 
Hogs were down a sharp $3.80 in the nearby and soon to expire August contract. Longs tried one more time to push prices higher, but on Thursday everyone headed for the door at the same time and the contract was limit down. The sell pressure continued on Friday. Pork production YTD is down 4.1%, and estimated production for the week ending August 7 is 6% smaller than the same week in 2009. This comparative scarcity is supporting the pork cutout market. However, retailer and consumer resistance also becomes a factor when carcass values get above $90 as they were early in the week.
 
Market Watch: Cattle traders will start the week dealing with last Friday’s expiration of the August options. Monday is also first notice day for August cattle deliveries. Grain traders will be focused on the crop condition ratings from USDA to be released on Monday evening. Ratings for corn and soybeans typically decline in August, but the question is “how much?” USDA will issue its first objective and survey based Crop Production numbers for corn and soybeans on Thursday morning. There will also be keen interest in how much they adjust the world wheat and coarse grains production numbers to reflect the drought in the EU and FSU. Friday will be the last trading day for August hog futures/options, and also for August soy complex futures.
 
Looking for professional help with your marketing decisions? Consider subscribing to our daily Ag Marketing Professional service or Special Research Reports. Call our office for details at 402-697-3623, or visit www.bruglermarketing.com.
 
There is a risk of loss in futures and options trading. Such trading is not appropriate for all individuals. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. Comments made in this article are in no way to be seen as an endorsement of futures and options trading. Reproduction or rebroadcast of any portion of this article without written consent of Brugler Marketing & Management LLC is strictly prohibited. Call 402-697-3623 for information on our more extensive paid subscription and consulting services.
 
                                      Copyright 2010 Brugler Marketing & Management, LLC
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