Afternoon Market Highlights


  • US pork makes its move into Argentina once again on renewed animal health requirements, the first time since 1992.
  • A NAFTA agreement has been postponed and will not be released the first week of May.
  • The US Midwest braces for a major winter storm for this weekend.
  • May options expire after the close on April 20th.
  • Energy markets are stronger with nearby crude oil making a new contract high of $67.76 per barrel.
  • The US$ is stronger, the CD$ is weaker and gold is stronger. The Dow, S&P, NASDAQ and the Nikkei are weaker this afternoon.


  • The corn market traded lower in sympathy with the wheat market.
  • Closes; May at $3.86 ¼, down 2 ½ cents, July at $3.94 ½, down 2 ¾ cents and December at $4.10 ¾, down 2 ¾ cents.
  • Gulf premiums were 3-4 cents stronger. Processor bids are steady with a firmer tone. PNW bids for April are stronger and May is unchanged.
  • Spreads; K/N 8 ¼ carry, N/U 7 carry, U/Z 9 ¼ carry, Z/H 7 ¾ carry. 


  • The soybean market traded lower on profit taking.
  • Closes; May at $10.54 ¼, down 6 ½ cents, July at $10.65, down 6 ¾ cents and November at $10.49 ½, down 4 cents. The products closed lower also.
  • Hearing decent yield reports from Brazil and Paraguay, which could help offset the shortfall in Argentina.
  • Gulf premiums were mixed with processor bids unchanged to firmer. Brazil bids were 2 cents weaker.
  • The average trade estimate for Monday’s NOPA crush report for March is at 168.247 million bushels of beans (164.15-176.20). If realized this would be a record, beating last December at 153.06 and March 2015 at 162.862 million bushels. Soyoil stocks are projected at 1.962 billion pounds (1.866-2.025), which would be the largest since June 2016.
  • Spreads; K/N 10 ¾ carry (got out to 11 ¼ cents), N/Q ½ inverse, N/X 14 ¾ inverse, X/F 2 ¾ carry. 


  • The wheat market tumbled on improving chances for rain in HRW country next week and ample supplies of wheat.
  • May closes; Mpls at $6.17, down 6 cents, KC at $4.95 ¾, down 11 ¾ cents and Chicago at $4.72 ½, down 8 ½ cents.
  • Russian wheat exports were raised 1.0 mmt to 39.5 mmt.
  • Spreads; Mpls K/N 9 ¾-10 ¾ carry, Kansas City K/N 19 ½ carry and Chicago K/N 16 ¾ carry.

Minneapolis May futures wrestle with uncertainty about this year's planted acres, the size of the HRW crop and poor export demand

March to April saw a 65 cent trading range ($6.36-$5.71) and 25-30 cent moves up or down for the past 3 weeks.



  • The livestock market traded mostly higher on stronger cash prices. The livestock operators brace for the weekend winter storm moving into the Midwest over the weekend. Packers could struggle to get supplies for slaughter due to the storm.
  • Fed cattle in Nebraska traded at $121-$122 today, versus $114-$119 last week. Stronger cash prices should support the cattle market early next week.
  • AM whole pork vales were all stronger this morning with carcass at $66.0, up 59 cents, loins at $66.39, up 42 cents, hams at $53.10, up 1.21 and bellies at $88.02, up 24 cents.
  • The April hog contract expired at the close today with futures closing at $53.82, above the index at $52.97.
  • Today’s slaughter is estimated at 114,000 for cattle and 454,000 for hogs.
  • This morning’s boxed beef values were mixed with Choice at $212.84, up 36 cents and Selects at $200.18, down 49 cents on 70 loads. The Choice/Selects spread was last at $12.66.
  • The feeder cattle index was last at $135.76, up 91 cents.
  • Beef packer margins took a dip, but are still decent at $77.20. Pork packer margins are $27.80.