Afternoon Market Highlights


The ag markets traded mostly positive on ideas/hopes of improving demand, adverse weather conditions in SA and technical buying. The original trade talks are still set to take place in the US on Jan 30th and 31st.

  • Energy markets were on the defensive with crude oil down 61 cents at $52.39/barrel.
  • The US$ is weaker this afternoon but has bounced off earlier lows.
  • The DJIA, S&P and NASDAQ are all trading higher. 


The corn market traded both sides awaiting fresh supportive news. The lack of information since the government shutdown in December has left the market in a quandary without regular release of related data (export sales, USDA monthly crop production and S&D reports). Closes: March at $3.78 ¾, down ¼ cent, July at $3.95 ¼, up ¼ cent, and December at $4.02 ½, up 1 ½ cents.

  • CIF premiums were 3 cents weaker for January and 2 cents weaker for February.
  • Informa pegged the 2019/20 US corn acreage at 91.5 million. This compares to 89.1 million acres planted last year.
  • Spreads: H/K at 8 ¼ carry, K/N 7 ¾ carry, N/U 2 carry, U/Z 4 ½ carry, Z/H 9 carry. 


The soybean complex traded higher on ideas of crop reductions in Brazil from dry/hot conditions and Argentina from too much rain. Hopes are that the US will get some business from China should the trade war get resolved. Closes: March at $9.15, up 5 ¾ cents, July at $9.41 ¾, up 6 cents and November at $9.56 ¼, up 6 cents.

  • CIF premiums were 1 cent lower for January and unchanged for February. ECB premiums were steady to 3 cents firmer. Brazilian premiums were unchanged to 10 cents firmer.
  • Informa pegged the 2019/20 US soybean acres at 86.23 million. This compares to 89.1 million acres planted last year.
  • Weather forecasts suggest a wetter pattern for Argentina and a drier pattern for Brazil over the next couple of weeks.
  • Spreads: H/K 13 ¾ carry, H/X 41 carry, X/F 10 ¾ carry. 


The wheat market traded higher on ideas that Russian wheat exports will begin to slow down.  There is a plethora of wheat business around, while the catch is how much will the US be able to snag. March closes: Mpls at $5.74 ½, up 3 ½ cents, KC at $5.15, up 5 ¼ cents and Chicago at $5.26, up 4 ¾ cents.

  • The MWH/K spread narrowed into 3 ¾ carry versus 4 ½ carry yesterday.Consider rolling short March hedges to the May. The KWH/K was unchanged at a 9-cent carry. The Chicago H/K closed at a 5 ¾-cent carry.
  • Japan is in for a jag of optional origin wheat for Feb/Mar. The breakdown is US: 13k white, 12k HRW, 28k spring, along with 24k Canadian spring and 25k Australian white.
  • Informa estimates all wheat acreage for 2019/20 at 47.163 million acres (HRW at 31.513, HAD at 1.870, other spring wheat at 13.2). This compares to 47.800 all wheat last year (HRW 32.535, other spring wheat at 13.200 and HAD at 2.065). 


The livestock market traded higher on cold weather across much of the Upper Midwest and Southern Plains, slowing movement of cattle. The March feeder cattle closed at $143.65, up 1.95 and April closed at $144.67, up 1.55. The February live cattle closed at $125.55, up 47 cents, April closed at $126.50, up 50 cents and the June live cattle closed at $116.85, up 60 cents. The hog market was lower on technicals (in search of a bottom) and weakness in the products. February Hogs closed at $60.77, down 70 cents and April closed at $64.85, down 1.17. 

  • Pork carcass cutout values are down 93 cents at $68.70 and holding below the $70 level. Bellies and hams were also over a buck lower. There were 333 loads reported.
  • Iowa/MN cash values were 52 cents higher at a weighted average of $52.81. Western Midwest values were up 67 cents at $52.79.
  • Boxed beef values were stronger on 134 loads with Choice at $217.21, up 87 cents and Selects at $212.04, up 32 cents. The C/S spreads was at 5.17 compared to $4.86 late last week.
  • Packer margins were at $57.15 for beef and $28.00 for pork.
  • Today’s slaughter is estimated at 117k head for cattle and a whopping 466k head for hogs.