Afternoon Market Highlights


The ag markets traded higher on China and their announcement after this week’s trade talks that they plan to buy more US Ag products.  The soybean market took off and the wheat market followed.  Rumors circulated that China may also look to buy US corn and wheat. Weather looks to warm up over the weekend in the US with a return to frigid temps again for next week. 

  • The USDA is scheduled to release their January and February reports next Friday ta 11 AM CST.
  • Energy markets are mostly higher with crude oil up over a buck, at $55.36, surpassing yesterday’s high.
  • The US$ turned lower this afternoon. The gold market has turned $2-3 bucks lower at $1,319, which is still a pretty hefty level.
  • The DJIA, S&P are trading higher this afternoon. 


The corn market traded in a 4-cent trading range despite the rally in the wheat market. Support came from strength in the wheat market. Gains were limited on increased production ideas for Argentina and Brazil. Closes: March at $3.78 ¼, up 1 ¾ cents, July at $3.94 ¾, up 2 cents and December at $4.02 ¼, up 2 ¼ cents.  

  • March settled just shy of its 50-Day MA of $3.78 ½. The 5-10 cent trading range remains intact ahead next Friday’s USDA data dump.
  • Gulf premiums were 1 cent firmer for February. ECB processor bids were steady to 2 cents firmer.
  • There were hopes that China would also look to buy US corn in addition to buying another round of US soybeans.
  • Spreads: H/K 8 ¾ carry, K/N 7 ½ carry, N/U 2 ¾ carry. 


The soybean bean and meal markets jumped higher on another round of Chinese business. The higher prices were met with significant farmer selling. Closes: March at $9.17, up 2 ½ cents, July at $9.44 ½, up 2 ¼ cents and November at $9.57 ¼, up 1 ¾ cents. 

  • Gulf premiums were 10 cents stronger for February. ECB processor bids were steady. Did not note any big hike in PNW values on news of Chinese business.
  • The canola market was slightly higher following strength in the US soybean market and increased crusher buying.
  • Forecasts for SA suggest a drier pattern next week for central and southern Brazil, pushing rain events out to the extended maps.Argentina is expected to be wet through the weekend with drier pattern developing next week.
  • Spreads: H/K 14 carry, H/X 40 ¼ carry, X/N 25 ¾ carry. 


The wheat market traded higher on ideas of increased demand. There was talk that China would possibly be in the market for US spring wheat although there has been no confirmation of that. March closes: Mpls at $5.75 ½, up 5 ½ cents, KC at $5.08 ¾, up 10 ¾ cents and Chicago at $5.24 ¼ 


  • The cold snap continues into next week, keeping concerns about possible damage to the winter wheat crop.
  • Prices were supported on strength in gulf premiums for HRW.
  • Spreads: Mpls H/K 4 carry, Kansas City H/K 9 ¾ carry. 


The cattle market was mixed with the live cattle trading higher and feeder cattle on the defensive. Cash markets traded higher at $125 on a live basis early in the week on a very small number of cattle.  There has been no followthrough on cash trade yet this week. 

  • Closes: March feeders at $142.47, down 75 cents, April at $144.07, down 20 cents and August at $148.72, down 20 cents.
  • Closes: Feb lives at $125.67, up 87 cents, April lives at $126.50, up 20 cents and June at $116.32, up 37 cents.
  • Packer margins dropped significantly to $63.70. This compares to $82.50 yesterday.
  • Today’s slaughter is estimated at 104k head, bringing total for the week to 455k head. 
  • The hog market traded mixed with the April contract down 75 cents and the May through August contracts up 22-75 cents. There have been lots of hogs moving to the packers, product values are in the dumps and cash markets are weak.  

  • Packer margins were stronger at $26.40 versus $22.35 yesterday.
  • Today’s slaughter is estimated at 467k head, bringing total for the week to 1.830 million head.
  • Products got hammered again today with carcass cutouts down 1.35, hams down a buck and bellies down 1.90.
  • Cash markets have not posted traded yet today.