Afternoon Market Highlights


  • The USDA S&D report is scheduled for tomorrow at 11 AM CDT.

  • Energy markets are modestly lower. Nymex crude oil, heating oil, RBOB and ethanol were all lower.

  • The US$ index is 360 ticks firmer and DJIA is down 3 points. 


  • Corn prices were lower in quiet trade volumes as traders wait for Friday’s USDA report. The average guess for US yield is 76.5bpa compared to the current USDA estimate of 174bpa.

  • Weekly export sales were 554tmt for 17/18 and 657.7tmt 18/19, estimates were 300-600tmt 2017/18 and 400 to 900tmt for 2018/19.

  • CZ saw its lowest close in a week as it has been in a consolidating pattern. Today’s closes: CU at $3.69 ¼, down 2, December at $3.82 ¾, down 2 ¼, July at $4.06 ¾, 1 ¾ weaker and December ’19 last traded $4.09 ½.

  • Spreads were fractionally mixed: U/Z 13 ½ carry, ¼ cent firmer, Z/H unchanged at 11 cent carry, Z/K 17 ¾ carry and Z/N 23 ½ carry.

  • Cash markets were mostly steady/weaker, reflecting ample old crop supplies. 


  • The soybean market saw light selling as there appears to be no progress in US/China trade relations.  

  • Average yield guesses for tomorrow’s report is 49.6bpa and the average estimate for 18/19 carryout is 638 million. USDA was 48.5bpa and 580mb on the July report

  • Weekly export sales were 421,800t old crop and 532.5tmt new crop. Estimates were 100 to 400tmt old crop and 300 to 600tmt new crop.

  • Some US growing regions have missed recent rains and the crop is under some stress with the warmer temps.

  • Closes: November at $9.04, down 6 ½, SF settled at $9.15 ½, May settled at $9.35 ¼ and November ’19 closed 6 ½ lower at $9.37 ¾. Products were lower with soymeal last trading around $3.00 lower and soyoil down about a nickel.  

  • Spreads:  X/F last traded at an 11 ½ carry, X/H 20 ¾ carry and X/K at a 30 ¾ cent carry, all unchanged on the day. 


  • US wheat futures spent most of today’s session lower ahead of the USDA report tomorrow which is expected to show smaller world production figures. Dryness has gripped European growing areas all season as it appears small crops get smaller.

  • The average trade guesses for 2018/19 world ending stocks are 254.5 to 256.42mmt, down from 260.88mmt in July. This compares to the 17/18 carryout of 273.5mmt. The average guess for the 18/19 US carryout is 967.4mb down from the July estimate of 985mb.

  • Argentina wheat seeding winds down with an acres increase anticipated and many trade groups predicting record/near record production.

  • Weekly export sales were 317,100mt, the expected range was 200 to 500 tmt.

  • Japan, in its weekly food grade tender, bought 11,600t US white wheat and 37,580t US HRW and US HRS was not included in the tender. They also bought 65,450mt spring from Canada and 36,010t of Australia white wheat.

  • Jordan bought 60tmt of optional origin hard wheat

  • Spreads were fractionally firm nearby: as the harvest pace increases the Mpls U/Z weakened to 17 ¼ from 16 yesterday, KWU/Z firmed a penny to 25 ½ carry and WU/Z weakened to a 21 ¾ cent carry. MWZ/H and WZ/H were steady while KWZ/H weakened ¾ cent.

  • MGEx gained on KC HRW.

  • Harvest across northern tier states increases and should accelerate this week/weekend with warm and dry conditions forecast for the next 10 days. Harvest thus far shows variable yields, very good quality and proteins also highly variable with more 13 pro hitting the scales.

  • September closes: Mpls down 3 at $6.29 ¾, KC down 5 ¾ at $5.78 ½ and Chicago down 5 ½ at $5.64 ½. December ’19 closes: KWZ $6.46 ½, WZ $6.19 ¾ and MWZ $6.63 ¾.  


  • Cattle prices were moderately lower at the close today as early weakness in the feeder cattle market pressured live cattle.

  • Technically Oct and Dec live cattle traded to touch the 200 day MAs on the upside and the 50 day MA on the downside, touching the 50 day MA for the first time since mid July. Breaching the 50 day MA may become a critical juncture for live cattle, leading to further liquidation if support fails.

  • October live cattle closed down $1.95 at $109.05, Dec cattle were down $1.55, last trading at $112.975. Feb cattle are a $3.50 premium to Dec.

  • Feeder cattle losses mounted again today but prices rebounded into the close to trim early session declines. Nov feeder cattle failed to find technical support at the 50 day MA of $150.27 and posted the lowest price level since late June. The 100 day MA looms below at $147.30. Sep feeder cattle closed $0.72 lower at $149.02, November feeders closed $1.07 lower at $149.75 and January feeders closed down $1.20

  • AM Boxed Beef values on a light load count of 63 loads: Choice down 3 cents and Selects down 50 cents. 

Lean Hogs

  • Hog prices rebounded nicely today, settling up the $3.00 limit on the October contract after posting a new contract low early in session at $47.825. Will have to wait for tomorrow to see if this move signals additional spec buying.

  • Cash prices were reported lower with the weighted average price down $1.84 to $45.85.

  • Closes:  August at $54.975, up 0.175, October at $51.40, up $3.00 cents and December at $47.325, up $2.95, just shy of a limit move.

The National Pork Plant report posted lighter receipts of 150 loads. Cutout values were stronger, gaining $2.14. The 8/7 lean hog index was $63.17, down $1.47 with the two-day index projected at $61.88, down $1.29.