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Corn futures finished below the midday highs, but were still 1 1/2 to 2 cents in positive territory at the close. USDA announced an old crop export sale of 138,000 MT of corn to unknown destinations this morning. Traders are expecting tomorrow’s Export Sales report to show 900,000 to 1.8 MMT of corn bookings, with an additional 0 – 100k MT of new crop sales. From the week ending 03/20, ethanol production averaged 1.05 million bpd, which was 30,000 barrels per day below the week prior. In the last 3 weeks production has dropped off 74,000 barrels per day. Over the same time ethanol stocks have declined 840,000 barrels, including 458,000 barrels from the week ending 03/20. That wk/wk reduction left stocks at 24.14 million barrels and was somewhat of a surprise to traders looking at low ethanol prices and assuming supply was the problem. Most of the reduction came via the Gulf region which was 327k barrels lighter wk/wk, whereas East Coast stocks were 136k barrels larger. Several ethanol firms have announced early maintenance shutdowns, and others have stopped buying corn. Traders (Bloomberg survey) estimate the USDA’s March 31st planting intentions report will show 94.1 million acres of corn. If realized that would be 5% higher yr/yr, with fewer assumed Prevented Planting acres.

May 20 Corn closed at $3.48 1/2, up 1 1/4 cents,

Jul 20 Corn closed at $3.53 1/2, up 1 1/2 cents,

Sep 20 Corn closed at $3.58 1/4, up 1 3/4 cents,

Dec 20 Corn closed at $3.67 1/4, up 2 cents,

--- provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Soybean futures ended the mid-week session 3/4 of a cent higher in Sept contracts, but losses of as much as 5 1/4 cents in the other front months. Soybean meal futures were left $10.40/ton lower in May, with the other front months $1.90/ton and $6.3/ton lower. May bean oil futures were 9 to 16 points higher. Private exporters announced that South Korea had purchased 20,000 MT of soybean oil for a 19/20 MY delivery. Traders are anticipating tomorrow’s Export Sales report to show 400k to 800k MT of soybean sales, with an additional 0 to 100k MT of new crop sales. Soybean meal sales are estimated to range 100-350k MT. Trader estimates for soybean oil sales are 8k to 30k MT, with 0 to 5,000 MT more for next MY. The average trade estimate ahead of the Planting Intentions report appears to be 85 million acres of soybeans, up 12% yr/yr.

May 20 Soybeans closed at $8.81 1/2, down 5 1/4 cents,

Jul 20 Soybeans closed at $8.84 3/4, down 2 3/4 cents,

Aug 20 Soybeans closed at $8.85 1/2, down 1 cent,

Sep 20 Soybeans closed at $8.79, up 3/4 cent,

May 20 Soybean Meal closed at $321.70, down $10.40

May 20 Soybean Oil closed at $26.64, up $0.09

--- provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Wheat futures ended the Wednesday session with gains. SRW futures were up the most with 10 to 18 1/2 cent gains in the front months. HRW futures ended 8 to 10 1/4 cents higher. HRS futures closed with gains of 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cents. Traders anticipate wheat bookings from the week ending 03/19 to range from 200,000 MT to 500,000 MT. Traders also expect the new crop sales to come in at 150,000 to 450,000 MT. Trade estimates for March 1 wheat stocks appear to be clustering around 1.4 to 1.5 billion bushels. That would be down from 1.59 billion last year. All wheat acreage is seen at 44-45 million. All wheat planting intentions estimates range from 44 to 46 million acres. If realized, that would be about 0.5% below last year. Taiwan issued a tender to buy 99,450 MT of US wheat, with the tender to close on March 27.

May 20 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.80, up 18 1/2 cents,

May 20 KCBT Wheat closed at $5.01, up 10 1/4 cents,

May 20 MGEX Wheat closed at $5.37 1/2, up 2 1/2 cents,

--- provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

April cattle extended the gains by another $2.30 on Wednesday, but the Jun and Aug contracts closed with $0.70 and $1.07 losses respectively. Feeder cattle futures were also mixed, with near expiration March feeders $1.85 higher at the close. The other nearbys finished $0.40 to $1.35 lower. The March 24th CME Feeder Cattle Index was $5.21 higher to $123.44. The Fed Cattle Exchange online auction sold 2,451 of the 5,886 head listed. The weighted average of sales was $118.51, with some as high as $120 and $120.5. USDA reported some cash trades in the South and NE at $119 - $120, with the bulk at $120. Wholesale boxed beef prices were lower on Wednesday. Choice boxes were $1.01 lower, and Select boxes were down by $2.39. The Chc/Sel spread is $12.21. Estimated cattle slaughter under federal inspection is at 361,000 head through Wednesday. That is 2,000 head above both last week, and the same week last year’s pace.

Apr 20 Cattle closed at $108.450, up $2.300,

Jun 20 Cattle closed at $96.325, down $0.700,

Aug 20 Cattle closed at $97.175, down $1.075,

Mar 20 Feeder Cattle closed at $132.075, up $1.850

Apr 20 Feeder Cattle closed at $128.725, down $1.350

May 20 Feeder Cattle closed at $129.100, down $0.400

--- provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Hogs ended trading with $0.57 to $1.25 losses in the front months. The 03/23 CME Lean Hog Index was 80 cents stronger to $63.98. Estimates ahead of tomorrow’s Hogs and Pigs report show traders expecting the March 1 herd to be 77.162 million head (3.4% higher yr/yr). Traders are expected the pig crop to be up 3.5% yr/yr and to have 1.1% more sows farrowing. USDA’s Pork Carcass Cutout value was $3.02 lower to $79.03 in the afternoon update. Bellies were down $12.52 cwt., and butts were the biggest mover, with a $18.32 drop to $122.27 cwt. The National Average Afternoon Base Hog price was down 19 cents at $59.02. Estimated FI hog slaughter is 1.493 million head on the week through Wednesday. That is even with last week’s pace.

Apr 20 Hogs closed at $65.850, down $0.575,

May 20 Hogs closed at $65.125, down $0.750

Jun 20 Hogs closed at $71.750, down $1.250

--- provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Cotton futures ended the mid-week trading session with gains across the front months. Futures were firm to mixed at midday but closed with gains of as much as 55 points. The stock market (Dow) had intraday gains of 1,300 points, but ultimately closed only 495.64 points higher. Apparently, the potential for $2 trillion in financial grease from the taxpayers is enough to restore confidence in the markets. Trader expectations ahead of USDA’s Planting Intentions report suggest 2020 US cotton acreage could be 12.4 million acres. If estimates are realized, that would be a 9.5% drop off yr/yr. The 03/23 Cotlook A index was down another 150 points to 62.70 c/lb. The AWP for cotton is 49.95 c/lb. through Thursday.

May 20 Cotton closed at 53.44, up 55 points,

Jul 20 Cotton closed at 53.53, up 52 points

Oct 20 Cotton closed at 55.19, up 49 points

Dec 20 Cotton closed at 55.04, up 39 points

--- provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

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