Afternoon Market Highlights


  • The equity markets pushed higher as optimistic trade talks with China finished up today. As of 2:40pm, the Dow rose 104 pts. to 23,892 while the S&P increased 12 to 2,586. Reports indicated that further statements will be released about the discussions on the three-day trade talks in Beijing tomorrow morning.
  • Partial government shutdown continued into its 19th day as no clear indicator on when offices will re-open.
  • As of 2:45pm, the U.S. $ index is down 73 pts. at 95.17, the Argentine Peso is down 0.52% at 37.31 and the Brazil Real fell 0.87% at 3.68.


  • The corn market held onto its gains in sympathy with soybeans amidst a poor energy stocks report.
  • The weekly EIA energy stocks report showed a decrease in production to 1.000 million bpd, down 11,000 bpd on the week. Ethanol stocks rose 100,000 barrels to 23.3 million barrels with ethanol margins backing up a few cents.
  • March corn was rangebound from $3.80½ to $3.83½. The next level of resistance is at $3.84½.
  • March corn closed up 2c at $3.82, July closed up 1¾c at $3.97½ and December 2019 closed up 1¼c at $4.04.
  • Spreads: H/K 8¼c carry, H/N 15½c carry, H/Z 21¾c carry. 


  • Soybean prices rose on anticipation of positive details regarding the trade talks with support from dryness concerns in Brazil.
  • Brazil’s 18/19 soybean crop has analysts backing up prior estimates as dry areas hit the southern part of Brazil. The 6-10 day forecast still calls for moderate showers across all growing regions.
  • March soybeans washed out the losses from yesterday. The next level of resistance sits at the 200-day moving average of $9.30.
  • March soybeans closed up 5½c at $9.24, July closed up 5½c at $9.49 and November 2019 closed up 5c at $9.62½.
  • Spreads: H/K 13¼c carry, H/N 24¾c carry, H/X 38¼c carry. 


  • The wheat market backed off the highs as news came in that the U.S. fell short of expected export business.
  • Taiwan bought 111,650 mt of U.S. milling wheat.
  • GASC bought 295,000 and 120,000 mt of Russian wheat for LH February and FH March shipment respectively.
  • March Chicago wheat continued to hold above the 50-day moving average of $5.18. Nearby Minneapolis traded above the 50-day moving average of $5.73¾ for the first time since December 18th. March KC wheat was rangebound from $5.04¾ to $5.11 with the 50-day moving average of $5.06¾.
  • March Chicago wheat rose 2¼c at $5.20, Minneapolis March wheat increased 3¼c at $5.70½, and Kansas March wheat settled ½c higher at $5.05½.
  • Spreads: MWE H/K 6c carry, KW H/K 11¾c carry, W H/K 6c carry. 


  • Hog prices rose for its second consecutive day on strong load counts. February hogs traded to a high of $64.10, just above the 100 and 50-day moving averages of $64.01 and $64.08 respectively.
  • Pork bellies increased $2.71 to $140.28/cwt. Carcass prices and picnic ham’s fell in the morning report to $70.13 and $36.82/cwt, respectively, on 285 loads. Pork margins fell $3.60 to $32.45.
  • February lean hogs rose $1.17½ to $62.60 and April increased $1.52½ to $66.02½.
  • Live and feeder cattle backed up on the day. February live cattle were rangebound from $ 124.72½ to $125.40 with the 50-day moving average at $121.56. January feeders fell back below the 200 and 50-day moving averages of $146.92 and $147.02. The last trading day for January feeders is January 31st.
  • The USDA morning boxed beef highlights showed choice cutouts fell 37c to $213.61/cwt, while selects decreased $1.05 to $206.21/cwt. Beef margins decreased $3.55 to $49.95.
  • February live cattle closed down 50c at $124.80, while January feeder cattle closed down 80c at $146.82½.
  • Today’s estimated hog and cattle slaughter is 469,000 and 120,000 respectively. This week’s estimated total hog and cattle slaughter is 1.429 million and 357,000 respectively.