Afternoon Market Highlights


The grain markets were quiet, trading in very narrow ranges ahead of this week’s reports. China was said to have purchased anywhere from 1.0-3.0 mmt of US beans last week and this week they are off the markets as they celebrate their Lunar New Year holiday. 

  • The US$ is up 260 at 95.93, gold is down 4-5 bucks at $1,314 and the CD$ is steady.
  • The DJIA is up 104 at 25101, S&P is up 11-12 at 2721 and the NASDAQ is up 74 at 7337.
  • StatsCan report is scheduled for release tomorrow morning.
  • CONAB is expected to release updated production numbers for Brazil on Thursday.
  • The USDA data dump (Jan and Feb reports) is Scheduled for Friday at 11 AM CST. 


The corn market is trapped in a sideways motion on lack of any news that could provide market direction. The Argentine crop is thought to be getting bigger on beneficial weather. The US crop may see as much as a bushel decline in yield, which could be supportive to the corn market. 

  • Closes: March at $3.79 ¼, up 1 cent, July at $3.95 ¼, up ½ cent and December at $4.02 ½, up ¼ cent.
  • Weekly export inspections came in at 901 tmt, in-line with trade estimates of 800 tmt-1.1 mmt.
  • Spreads: H/K 8 ¾ carry, K/N 7 ¾ carry, N/U 2 ¾ carry, U/Z 4 ¾ carry, Z/H 7 ½ carry, Z/N 19 ¼ carry. 


The soybean market opened 3-4 cents higher but failed to hold onto the gains.  Strength in the market came from last week when China was in the market for US soybeans. There was talk that they were in again today for May and June although premiums did not reflect that. There is chatter in the market that we could see an upward revision to last year’s Brazilian soybean crop, which was last reported at 120.3 mmt. Their current bean crop is expected to come in significantly lower than what was thought back in December or early January. 

  • Closes: March at $9.18 ½, up ¾ cent, July at $9.45, up ¾ cent and November at $9.58, up ¾ cent.
  • Weekly export inspections for week ending Jan 31 were reported at 976 tmt, in-line with trade estimates of 800 tmt-1.1 mmt.
  • Brazil is expected to see some beneficial moisture this next weekend. Their harvest progress was reported at 19% complete. This compares to 6% last year and 6% on average.
  • Gulf premiums were firmer. Decatur was a penny firmer and Brazil premiums were 5-8 cents weaker.
  • Spreads: H/K 13 ¾ carry, K/N 12 ¾ carry, N/Q 5 carry, N/X 13 carry, X/F 9 ½ carry, X/N 25 carry. 


The wheat market traded higher on ideas of tightening wheat supplies in Russia and strength in their currency.  There are expectations for the USDA to show a decrease in US wheat exports and an increase in Russian wheat production in their Friday reports.  Cold weather is expected to return to the Southern Plains this week after the weekend warmup. 

  • March closes: Mpls at $5.74 ¾, down ¾ cent, KC at $5.10 ½, up 1 ½ cents and Chicago at $5.25 ¾, up 1 ½ cents.
  • Gulf premiums were stronger for SRW and HRW.
  • Weekly export inspections were reported at 440 tmt, at the low end of the trade estimates of 400-600 tmt.
  • Spreads: Mpls H/K 3 ¼ carry, K/N 7 ¼ carry, Kansas City H/K at 8 ½ carry, K/N at 8 ¾ carry and Chicago H/K at 4 carry, K/N at 8 ¾ carry. 


The cattle market traded higher on stronger product values and ok margins.  More cold weather this week for much of the Midwest, which should slow movement of cattle and could also force packers to pay up for inventories. 

  • Closes: March feeders at $144.27, up 1.75 and April lives at $126.85, up 57 cents.
  • Boxed Beef values on 81 loads: Choice at $217.65, up 3.39 and Selects at $213.41, up 26 cents. The C/S spread was at $4.24.
  • Today’s slaughter is estimated at 118k head.
  • Packer margins were at $56.15, down 7.55.

Lean Hogs
The hog market trade sharply higher on ideas of being oversold.  Cash markets are still weak, but the products saw a nice bounce this afternoon. The hog market need’s a bit more love going forward.  With weaker cash markets the rallies may not be able to hold. 

  • Closes: Feb at $57.35, up 1.17, April at $63.05, up 30, June at $77.67, up 2.37.
  • Packer margins were 60 cents lower at $25.80.
  • Product values were over a buck higher this afternoon on 224 loads.The Carcass cutout values remain below the $70 benchmark value.
  • Cash markets dropped below $50 in IA/MN.