Afternoon Market Highlights


The ag markets traded in small ranges on a lack of fresh news (positive or negative). The market awaits any signs of a resolution to the ongoing rift between the US and China. Many areas of the US are bracing for the frigid temps this weekend and into next week. 

  • Energy markets were mostly higher with crude oil trading just over $53/barrel.
  • The US$ is 408 higher at 96.51, gold is down 4-5 bucks at 1279 and the CD$ is slightly lower at 7498.
  • The DJIA is down 31 at 24520, S&P up 3-4 at 2641 and the NASDAQ up 36 at 7062. 


The corn market was lower on technicals, spillover weakness in the wheat market and a stronger US$.  Trading ranges were 3-5 cents with the March contract sitting just below its 100-Day MA at $3.78. Closes: March at $3.77, down 1 ¼ cents, July at $3.93 ½, down 1 ¾ cents, and December at $4.00 ¾, down 1 ½ cents. 

  • Gulf premiums were mostly unchanged for Jan and Feb. ECB processor bids were unchanged.
  • Brazil’s corn exports for January are expected to reach 3.55 mmt, which is higher than what they expect for soybean exports.
  • Weekly ethanol production was down 20k barrels per day to 1.031 million barrels per day. Ethanol stocks were up slightly at 23.5 million barrels.
  • Spreads: H/K 8 ½ carry, K/N 8 carry, N/U 2 ½ carry, U/Z 4 ½ carry, Z/H 8 ¾ carry.



The soybean market traded slightly higher on crop worries in SA, with gains limited on lack of fresh news and a stronger US$. Closes: March at $9.16, up 1 cent, July at $9.42 ½, up ¾ cent and November at $9.56 ½, up ¼ cent. 

  • Brazil’s soybean exports for January are expected to be around 2.50mmt.
  • Concerns continue to mount about SA crop losses due to adverse weather conditions. Brazil’s 2nd major producing state (Mato Grosso) looks to trim their production by 2-3 tonnes from drought-like conditions, along with their 3rd largest producing state (Rio Grande do Sul), where it has been too wet.
  • On the flip side a private consultant in SA suggests better yields will come as the harvest progresses and farmers get into some of the later planted beans.
  • Spreads: H/K 13 ¾ carry, H/X 41 ¼ carry, K/N 13 carry, N/X 14 ½ carry. 


The wheat market traded lower on a bout of profit taking and technical selling despite expectations for improving exports as Russian supplies continue to tighten. Prices were also pressured from a stronger US$. March closes: Mpls at $5.76 ½, up ¾ cents, KC at $5.11 ½, down 3 ½ cents and Chicago at $5.21 ½, down 4 ½ cents. 

  • This week’s frigid temps are expected to heighten concerns about the winter wheat crop. Some areas may not have enough snow cover to protect the crop form potential damage.
  • Spreads: Mpls H/K 3 ½ carry, Kansas City H/K 9 ¼ carry and Chicago H/K at a 5 ¾-cent carry.
  • Mpls premium over KC sits at 60 ½ cents in the March. 


The livestock market traded higher on slowed movement from the frigid temps moving through the US. Prices were supported from stronger packer margins and product values.

Live cattle closes: Feb at $125.52, down 2 cents, April at $126.60, up 10 cents and June at $117.05, up 20 cents. Feeder cattle closes: March at $144.47, up 82 cents, April at $145.45, up 77 cents and August at $149.77, up 50 cents.

The hog market traded lower on weakness in cash and products. Closes: Feb at $59.82, down 90 cents, April at $63.50, down 1.37 and June at $78.37, down 90 cents. 

  • Packer margins: beef at $63.80 versus $24.25 last week and pork at $24.85 versus $28.65 last week.
  • Today’s slaughter is estimated at 116k head for cattle and 474k head for hogs.
  • AM boxed beef values on 53 loads: Choice at $217.87, up 66 cents and Selects at $212.70, up 66 cents. The C/S spread was last at $5.17 versus $4.86 last week.
  • AM pork product values on 150 loads: Carcass cutout at $68.22, down 48 cents, loins at $65.89, down 65 cents, ribs at $127.28, up 3.07, hams at $46.19, down 3.98 and bellies at $124.35, up 3.20.
  • Iowa/MN values were reported at a weighted average of $50.63, down 1.80 on 2,070 loads.
  • Western/Midwest values were at $50.59, down 1.83 on 2,095 loads.