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Overnight action in the corn futures market left prices steady to 2 cents lower ahead of the weekly Export Sales report. On Wednesday futures finished 1 1/2 to 2 cents higher, with lower than expected ethanol stocks. Short covering continues, with final open interest dropping 15,369 contracts on Tuesday. Traders are expecting USDA’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. EIA data from the week ending 03/20 showed ethanol production averaged 1.05 million bpd. In the last 3 weeks, production has dropped off 74,000 barrels per day. Ethanol stocks dropped to 24.14 million barrels, the lowest since January. Midwest and East Coast stocks are high, limiting storage availability. 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 than 2019, with fewer assumed Prevented Planting acres.

--- provided by Brugler Marketing & Management



Soybean futures are 2 cents lower to 2 cents higher this morning, with the 2021 contracts the firmest. Soybeans ended the Wednesday session mixed, but with losses of as much as 5 1/4 cents in May. Soybean meal futures were $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 points higher. Traders are anticipating USDA’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 @ 100-350,000 MT. Trader estimates for soybean oil sales are 8k to 30k MT. The average trade estimate ahead of the Planting Intentions report appears to be 85 million acres for soybeans, up 12% yr/yr.

--- provided by Brugler Marketing & Management



Wheat starts the Thursday session with 2 to 6 cent overnight losses. The Chicago contracts are the weakest, with MPLS spring wheat less affected. SRW wheat futures had the largest gains on Wednesday, up 10 to 18 1/2 cents 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 export bookings from the week ending 03/19 will be between 200,000 MT and 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 are clustering around 1.4 to 1.5 billion bushels. That would be down from 1.59 billion last year. All wheat acreage estimates range from 44 to 46 million acres. If 45 million is realized, that would be about 0.5% below last year.

--- provided by Brugler Marketing & Management



On Wednesday, April cattle extended the gains by $2.30, but the Jun and Aug contracts closed with $0.70 and $1.07 losses respectively. April is still only $108.52 vs. cash as high as $120.50. Feeder cattle futures were also mixed yesterday, with near expiration March feeders $1.85 higher at the close. March feeder futures expire at the close today. The other nearbys finished Wednesday $0.40 to $1.35 lower. The March 24th CME Feeder Cattle Index was $5.21 higher to $123.44. FCE 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.

--- provided by Brugler Marketing & Management



Hogs closed with $0.57 to $1.25 losses in the front months yesterday. The 03/23 CME Lean Hog Index was 80 cents stronger to $63.98. 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. USDA’s Hogs and Pigs report will be released at 2pm CDT today. Traders are expecting the March 1 herd to be 77.162 million head (3.4% higher yr/yr). Traders anticipate the pig crop to be up 3.5% yr/yr and to have 1.1% more sows farrowing.

--- provided by Brugler Marketing & Management



Cotton futures are 55 to 83 points lower this morning as the market focus shifts from the $2 trillion spending and lending package passed by the Senate to the upcoming unemployment data. Yesterday, cotton futures ended the mid-week trading session with gains across the front months. Futures closed with gains of as much as 55 points. Trader expectations (Bloomberg survey) ahead of USDA’s Planting Intentions report suggest 2020 US cotton acreage could be 12.4 million acres. If that average is 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. and will be updated after the close today.

--- provided by Brugler Marketing & Management



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