Afternoon Market Highlights


  • Nonfarm payrolls rose 196,000 in March, which was above estimates. The unemployment rate remained at 3.8%.
  • Crude oil traded higher today, with the May at $63.29 up $1.20.
  • The USDA Crop Production and Supply and Demand report will be released on Tuesday, April 9th.
  • First notice day for April live cattle is Monday, April 8th.


Corn finished the day lower today, following beans. Tuesday’s WASDE report is surrounded by expectations ending stocks will rise, which are already quite large. The downside today was somewhat limited as concerns about planting delays are surfacing in the Corn Belt due to wet weather coming in the next few weeks.

  • The corn specs added to their net short position this week, which increased to a record 269,800 contracts.
  • The average estimate for the WASDE report are 1.991 billion bushels for U.S. end stocks, and 311.16 billion bushels for world end stocks.
  • FranceAgriMer has estimated that 8% of the French corn crop has been planted by April 1st versus 0% last year.
  • Closes: May at $3.62 ½ down 2 ¾; July at $3.71 down 3 ¼; September at $3.79 ½ down 3; December at $3.90 down 2 ¼.
  • Spreads: K/N 8 ½ cent carry; N/U 8 ½ cent carry; N/Z 19 ¼ cent carry; Z/H 13 ½ cent carry.


Soybeans traded lower today, following the trade talks in Washington yesterday between the U.S. and China. There still continues to be issues between the two nations regarding the trade deal. The May contract has once again fallen below the $9.00 mark, and closed below its 20-day moving average of $8.99 ½.

  • The soybean speculators added to their net short position this week, which is now at 91,700 contracts.
  • The average estimate for the WASDE report are 0.898 billion bushels for the U.S. end stocks and 108.04 billion bushels for the world end stocks.
  • Closes: May at $8.99 down 7 ½; July at $9.12 down 7 ½; August at $9.17 ¾; November at $9.32 ¾ down 6 ¾.
  • Spreads: K/N 13 cent carry; N/Q 6 cent carry; N/X 21 cent carry; X/F 10 cent carry.


The wheat markets painted a bleak picture today across the board, with most contracts finishing lower. Minneapolis wheat has again set fresh contract lows, and the May contract has fallen 32 cents this week. Chicago and Kansas City wheat were lower today as well, on profit taking. The May Kansas City wheat contract gained a penny this week, and the May Chicago gained a dime this week.

  • The wheat speculators cut their short position this week, which is now at 86,700.
  • The average estimate for the WASDE report are 1.072 billion bushels for the U.S. end stocks and 271.00 billion bushels for world end stocks.
  • It was reported that Philippine importers purchased approximately 50,000 tonnes of feed wheat Thursday, which was likely sourced for the Black Sea region.
  • France exported 1.4 million tonnes of soft wheat in February, placing their 2018-2019 exports at 10.1 million tonnes.
  • May closes: Chicago at $4.67 ¾ down 3; Kansas City at $4.31 down 8 ½; Minneapolis at $5.22 ¾ down 4 ¾.
  • Spreads: Chicago K/N 2 cent carry; Kansas City K/N 6 ¾ cent carry; Minneapolis K/N 6 ¾ cent carry.


The livestock markets were mixed again, with hogs mostly higher, feeder cattle mixed, and live cattle mostly lower. Hogs had expanded limits today, but they will resume their normal limits on Monday of $3.00 per cwt. The July and August contracts broke through the $100 mark today, but it remains to be seen if they hold this on Monday. Bellies were up just over $11 this morning. Feeder cattle were mixed today but mostly lower, and live cattle were lower today. There is a demand slump, as we are in a lull before the grilling season begins. Speculators continue to have a large long position in the live cattle market, which is currently at 120,261 contracts. This can leave the market vulnerable to a sell off.

  • Feeder closes: April at $146.15 down 0.25; May at $150.225 up 0.05; August at $156.725 down 0.4.
  • Live closes: April at $126.05 down 1.35; June at $120.35 down 1.10; August at $117.375 down 0.725.
  • Lean hog closes: April at $79.025 down 0.35; May at $91.00 up 0.45; June at $98.975 up 1.275.
  • AM boxed beef values on 94 loads estimated as follows: Choice at $226.73 down 0.1; Selects at $219.74 up 1.38.
  • AM pork product values on 110 loads estimated as follows: carcass cut outs at $82.98 up 0.76; loins at $72.14 down 2.15; ribs at $134.19 up 3.53; hams at $60.57 down 3.58; bellies at $159.87 up 11.11.
  • Daily slaughter was estimated at 107,000 cattle and 417,000 hogs.