Afternoon Market Highlights


Market news remains light as the USDA wades through past data, before making another data dump next week to catch up on weekly export sales information. More trade talks are scheduled for this week, with hopes of something good to come of them. 

  • Weekly ethanol production figures are expected to be released Wednesday morning. We saw a giant (45k barrel) reduction in last week’s estimate.
  • This week’s weekly export sales is expected to be for the first week of January.
  • The last trading day for March options is Friday, February 22nd and First Notice Day for March futures is Thursday, February 28th.
  • The next Cattle on Feed report is scheduled for Friday, February 22nd after the close. There will be a Cold Storage report released on the 22nd as well.
  • Energy markets are mostly lower with crude oil down 33 at $52.39/barrel.
  • The US$ keeps rolling higher, trading above 97 points this afternoon.
  • The DJIA is weaker and the S&P is stronger. 


The corn market has been trading in a sideways pattern since the first of the year.  Today was lower on spillover weakness in beans and wheat.  Prices were also pressured from increasing global corn supplies. 

  • Closes: March at $3.72 ¾, down 1 ½ cents, July at $3.88 ½, down 1 ½ cents and December at $3.97 ¾, down 1 ½ cents.
  • More snow storms are forecast for the US, snow in the WCB, rain in the ECB and snow/rain mix in the Southern Plains.
  • Weekly export inspections were reported at 744 tmt, below trade estimates from 850 tmt-1.15 tonnes.
  • Spreads: H/K 8 carry, K/N 7 ¾ carry, N/U 3 ½ carry, U/Z 5 ¾ carry, Z/N 19 ½ carry. 


The soybean complex was on the defensive today with favorable weather forecasts for South America this week. More trade talks are expected to happen this week as the market awaits positive news, (like the removal of Chinese tariffs on US goods).   

  • Closes: March at $9.05, down 9 ½ cents, July at $9.33, down 9 ¼ cents and November at $9.49, down 8 cents. The products were lower with meal down 1-2 bucks and oil down 63 points.
  • Weekly export inspections were reported at 1.06 tonnes, inline with trade estimates at 600 tmt-1.2 tonnes.
  • The USDA announced the sale of 120k tonnes of soymeal to Ecuador (60k for 2018-19 and 60k for 2019-20).
  • Spreads: H/K 14 ¼ carry, H/X 42 ½ carry, N/X 25 ¼ carry. 


The wheat market was mixed with strength stemming from improving demand for US wheat. The Mpls market was higher, gaining back what was lost late last week and earlier today.  Today’s strength almost gets us back to the comfort level of $5.74 ½ (where we have been for some time now).  

  • March closes: Mpls at $5.73 ¾, up 5 ¼ cents, KC at $4.93 ¾, down ¼ cent, Chicago at $5.18 ¼, up 1 cent.
  • Weekly export inspections were reported at 562 tmt, near top end of trade estimates at 400-600 tmt.
  • More snow and rain mix for the Southern Plains this week and more snow and cold for the Northern Plains.
  • Spreads: Mpls H/K rolled into a 4 ¼ cent inverse today. The KC H/K is at a 5 ½ cent carry and the Chicago H/K was at a 2-cent carry. 


 The cattle market traded higher, drawing support from another week of poor weather conditions around the upper Midwest and higher cash going home last Friday. Closes: March feeders at $144.67, up 72 cents, May feeders at $146.67, up 92 cents, Feb lives at $127.82, up 42 cents, April at $128.30, up 50 cents and June at $118.35, up 35 cents. 

  • The products were stronger this afternoon on 78 loads for the day. The C/S spreads snuck in to $3.02.
  • Cash traded late last week at $125, up from $124 the week prior.


    Lean Hogs

    The hog market traded higher despite weakness in the cash and product markets. Prices were viewed as being oversold and due for a corrective bounce. Closes: Feb at $55.17, up 15 cents, April at $59.07, up 90 cents and June at $75.65, up 1.37. 

  • The cash hog market started the day 45-60 cents lower at a weighted average of $48.48 on over 3k head.
  • Product values were mixed this afternoon, seeing a slight bounce in the carcass cutout values and over $2 lower in the bellies.