News & Media

Market Briefs | Jan. 13, 2022

The monthly USDA reports were perhaps bearish for nearby contracts. A 47-million-bushel increase in projected U.S carryout raised total carryout to 1.54 billion bushels and the stocks to use ratio to 10.4%. December 1 corn stocks were up 3.1% from a year earlier. Weekly exports of 18 million bushels were disappointing as trade estimates ranged from 16.5 million to 63 million bushels. March has support at the recent low of $5.85. December has moved into position to retest the contract high of $5.65 after recovering from initial losses charted in reaction to the report. 

Soybean futures charted bullish outside trading days on Wednesday after the USDA reports were released, but there wasn’t much follow-through buying on Thursday. March has been unable to break through resistance at the key $14 level. New-crop November has resistance at the high of $12.11 ¼. USDA raised its U.S. soybean carryout by 10 million bushels to 350 million bushels, but also raised its projected on-farm by 50 cents to $12.60 based upon tighter world supplies and projected cuts in South American production. Weekly exports of 33.7 million bushels were supportive if not spectacular.

March cotton futures set a new contract high of 118.99 cents in reaction to the January USDA reports before retreating somewhat. U.S. cotton production was pegged at 17.62 million bales, down from the previous estimate of 18.28 million. Projected 21-22 carryout is now 3.2 million bales, down 200,000 bales from the December estimate, which is a stocks-to-use ratio of 18%. The projected on-farm season-average price for upland cotton was unchanged at 90 cents per pound.  Weekly export sales were up sharply at 401,000 bales, up 85% from the four-week average. Shipments were up 27% from the four-week average at 167,000 bales. 

The January reports should have been bullish for rice, but the market did not find new buying interest at current price levels. It seems the smaller crop was already built into prices. USDA lowered their all-rice production estimate to 191.8 million cwt, down 2 million cwt from the last report. Ending stocks are now pegged at 33 million cwt, down from 24.5 million in December. Technically, March has lost ground this week after charting a bearish reversal on Monday. So far, the market has found support at $14.10. Weekly export sales were disappointing at 21,300 metric tons, down 63% from the previous four-week average. 

Hog futures are under pressure from weak demand. Weekly export sales of 19,800 metric tons were up slightly from last week, but well below last year’s average. In the supply/demand report, USDA forecast lower production and a decrease in exports, mostly due to weakened demand from China. Exports were cut by 405 million pounds, or 5.5%, resulting in an export forecast of 7 billion pounds for 2022. 

The USDA reports didn’t hold many changes for the cattle market. Beef production is expected to increase slightly, and export projections were unchanged from the December report. February live cattle futures have charted losses in recent days. Nearby chart support begins at $136.88, with further support at the December low of $135.50. Light trade has been reported this week. Uncertainty surrounding the Omicron variant of Covid and its impact on demand continues to pressure the market. February has support at $136 and resistance near $138 and then the chart gap left between $138.72 and $138.87.

In the monthly supply/demand report, USDA raised their broiler production estimate for 2021 on recent slaughter data while turkey production was unchanged from the previous month. Egg production was reduced on slightly lower table egg production. For 2022, the first quarter poultry forecast was raised on higher expected broiler production and hatchery data. Broiler export forecasts were reduced on slower expected global demand. For 2022, broiler, turkey and egg price forecasts were raised based upon current prices and expectations for continued firm demand. 

In the January supply/demand report, the 2021 milk production estimate and the 2022 were unchanged from the previous month. On a fat basis, the 2021 import estimate and the 2022 forecast were raised from last month on recent trade data and higher imports of cheese and butter fat products while exports for 2021 and 2022 were reduced. On a skim-solids basis, the 2021 import estimate was raised on recent trade data and higher imports of cheese and milk proteins. The 2022 skim-solids basis import forecast was also raised. The 2021 skim-solids basis export estimate was raised on recent trade data while the 2022 forecast was lowered on slower expected global demand for skim milk powder. For 2022, cheese, butter, nonfat dry milk, and whey price forecasts are raised from last month on firm domestic demand and tight supplies. Class III and Class IV prices for 2022 are raised from the previous month on higher dairy product prices. The 2022 all milk price forecast is raised to $22.60 per cwt.