Afternoon Market Highlights


The ag markets were on the defensive all day on uncertainties about the outcome of the US/Chinese trade talks, improving weather for Brazil and Argentina. Forecasts suggest a wetter pattern for Brazil and a drier pattern for Argentina next week. 

  • Energy markets were stronger with crude oil up over a buck at $53.22/barrel.
  • The US$ is up slightly at 95.83 and gold is up 7-8 bucks at $1,313.
  • The USDA is expected to begin releasing weekly export sales this Thursday, which may include all weeks since the government shutdown on December 21st. 


The corn market continues to drift sideways amidst lack of fresh supportive news.  March has been floating around in a five to ten cent range from $3.70-$3.80. Trade talks are set to begin tomorrow and much of the US braces for the “Big Chill” over the next few days. Closes: March at $3.77 ¼, down 2 ½ cents, July at $3.93 ¾, down 2 ½ cents, December at $4.01, down 2 cents. 

  • Gulf premiums were unchanged to down 1 cent for January and unchanged for February.ECB processor bids were mostly unchanged.
  • The USDA announced the sale of 138k tonnes of corn to South Korea.
  • Spreads: H/K 8 ½ carry, K/N 8 carry, N/U 2 ¼ carry, U/Z 4 ½ carry. 


The soy complex remains on the defensive on the cusp of this week’s trade talks and ideas of improved weather conditions in Brazil. Prices are pressured from potential slowing demand for beans and meal from China with the spread of the swine fever. Closes: March at $9.19, down 4 ¼ cents, July at $9.45 ¼, down 4 ½ cents, November at $9.58, down 4 ¼ cents. 

  • The canola market traded lower in sympathy with the US soyoil market.
  • Gulf premiums were 1 cent firmer for January and 2 cents weaker for February. ECB processor bids were mostly unchanged.
  • Spreads: H/K 13 ¾ carry, H/N 26 ½ carry, H/X 39 carry. 


The wheat market traded lower on lack of demand.  Egypt bought French and Romanian wheat and no US wheat in the recent tender. Mpls premium over KC holds steady at 67 ¼ cents. The March Mpls broke through its 50-Day MA at $3.70 and closed at its 20-Day MA of $5.67 ¾. The KC March is testing support at $5.00. March closes: Mpls at $5.67 ¾, down 5 ¾ cents, KC at $5.00 ¼, down 6 ¼ cents and Chicago at $5.13 ¼, down 5 ½ cents. 

  • Egypt bought 360k tonnes of 180k French wheat and 180k Romanian wheat from $261.34-$264.95/tonne for March 11-20 shipment. They have not bought wheat from France since July of 2017.
  • Jordan bought 60k tonnes of optional origin hard milling wheat for FH April at $271.50 C&F. CHS was said to have been awarded the business.
  • Spreads: Mpls H/K widened out to a 3 ¼-cent carry after sneaking into 2 ½ cents earlier, Kansas City H/K closed at a 10 ¼-cent carry and Chicago H/K closed at a 6 ¾-cent carry. 


The cattle market was mixed with strength in the live cattle market coming from strong product values and decent packer margins.  The feeder cattle market saw weakness in the two front months from lack of interest in cattle with the frigid temps this week. Closes: March feeders at $144.17, down 17 cents, April feeders at $145.60, unchanged, August at $150.25, up 17 cents. Feb lives closed at $126.65, up 2 cents, April at $127.80, up 42 cents and June at $117.45, up 45 cents. 

  • AM Boxed Beef values on 67 loads: Choice at $219.01, up $1.61 and Selects at $212.93, up 1.32. The C/S spread was at $6.08.
  • Packer margins were stronger at $71.45.
  • Today’s slaughter is estimated at 119k head, (237k for the week).

Lean Hogs

  •  The hog market was mixed with February under pressure as positions get moved out to the deferred months. The last trading day for February futures and options is February 14th. There continues to be concerns about the Asian Swine Fever that has ascended on many hog operations in China. Closes: Feb at $57.32, down 80 cents, April at $62.55, up 17 cents, June at $76.30, down 40 cents.
  •  Western Midwest hog values were 1.13 weaker at a weighted average of $49.78.

  • AM Pork Product values on 187 loads: carcass at $68.48, down 2 cents, loins at $67.46, down 92 cents, ribs at $126.42, down 70 cents, hams at $49.84, up 56 cents and bellies at $116.14, down 15 cents.
  • Packer margins were stronger at $26.35.
  • Today’s slaughter is estimated at 473k head (943k for the week).