Afternoon Market Highlights


Quiet, lackluster day in the markets and many folk prepare for this week’s 2nd round of winter storms and the USDA data on Friday morning. Country movement is very quiet. 

  • The energy markets turned higher with crude oil up 27 at $53.93/barrel.
  • The US$ is going strong this afternoon, up 319 at 96.38. The gold market is down 9 bucks at $1,307.
  • The DJIA is slightly higher, S&P slightly lower. 


The corn market trades in a sideways motion, really going nowhere on lack of news. Funds have spent the past couple of days getting their positions squared away ahead of Friday’s reports. Closes: March at $3.80, down ¾ cent, July at $3.95 ¾, down ¾ cents and December at $4.03, down ½ cent. 

  • The March contract is dead in the water again today, holding at $3.80. The December has managed to hold above the $4 support level for the past few days.
  • Weekly ethanol production got pounded, down 45k barrels per day to 967k barrels per day. Stocks saw a slight decrease to 23.9 million barrels.
  • Brazil is said to be planting their 2nd corn crop and they are expecting it to be big.
  • Spreads: H/K 8 ¼ carry, K/N 7 ½ carry, N/U 2 ½ carry, U/Z 4 ½ carry, Z/H 8 ¾ carry and Z/N at 18 ¾ carry. 


The soybean market bobbled back and forth with strength coming from more bean export news and pressure coming from ideas of a not-so-friendly report for beans on Friday. Weather patterns are expected to improve next week for Brazil and Argentina. Closes: March at $9.21 ¾, up 1 ½ cents, July at $9.49 ¼, up 1 ¾ cents and November at $9.63, up 2 ½ cents. 

  • The products were mixed with meal down 50 cents and oil up 52 points, possibly on spread activity between the two.
  • We sold another 182k tonnes of beans to an unknown destination for 2018-19 and 523k tonnes of beans to China for 2018-19 and 63k tonnes for 2019-20.
  • Spreads: H/K 14 carry after sneaking out to 14 ¼ early in the day, H/X 40 ¼ carry. 


The wheat market was mixed in lackluster trade. Market awaits the plethora of data on Friday. The Mpls March settled just above its 20-Day MA at $5.71. The KC March stayed above its 10, 20 and 50-Day MA’s of $5.06 ¾, $5.05 and $5.03 ¾ respectively. The Chicago March held above its 10, 20, 50, and 100-Day MA’s from $5.18 ¾-$5.23. 

  • March closes: Mpls at $5.73 ½, down 1 ¾ cents, KC at $5.09 ¾, down 3 ¼ cents and Chicago at $5.26, down 1 ¼ cents.
  • Russian wheat exports wane as their currency moves higher making it more difficult for them to price their wheat competitively in the export arena.
  • Spreads: Mpls H/K 2 ¾ carry (going to an inverse possibly), K/N 6 ¼ carry, Kansas City H/K 5 ¼ carry, N/U 7 carry. 


The cattle market was lower on lack of fresh supportive news and good movement with 112 loads today. Cash markets have not been established this week yet. Offers are at $126 plus on a live basis, which compares to light trade Monday at $123 ½ and last week. The March feeder cattle closed at $143.30, 10 cents above support at $143.20. The August contract closed slightly below its 10-Day MA at $149.76. 

  • The Feb live cattle closed slightly above its 10 & 20-Day MA at $125.93 and $125.92 respectively. The June closed at $117.22 with support at $115.80 and resistance at $118.60.
  • Packer margins were at 72.35.
  • Today’s slaughter is estimated at 117k head.
  • AM Boxed Beef values on 63 loads: Choice at $217.64, up 62 cents and Selects at $213.00, down 10 cents. The C/S spread was at $4.64. The PM values followed the AM values with the C/S spread moving out to $5.20 on 112 loads for the day.
  • The next Cattle on Feed report is scheduled for February 22nd, not sure if the Jan report data will be included in this report or not. 

Lean Hogs

The hog market was definitely not feeling the love today with no AM cash values reported and many of the key product values weaker. Closes: Feb at $55.92, down 50 cents, April at $60.90, down 75 cents and June at $76.10, down 42 cents.

  • Packer margins were at $25.25.
  • Today’s slaughter is estimated at 479k head.
  • AM pork product values on 181 loads was mostly weaker with carcass cutout values at $64.59, down 1.64, loins at $62.59, down 5.84, ribs at $123.26, down 1.56 and bellies at $110.58, down 2.88.
  • Product values bounced higher by this afternoon’s report.Cutout values were slightly higher than this morning but still lower on the day, while the bellies saw a nice $4.83 rebound from this morning’s values.
  • The USDA is expected to release its next monthly cold storage report on February 22, 2019 and again on March 7th. Their annual cold storage report will be delayed until April 2nd.