Afternoon Market Highlights


  • U.S.-China trade talks concluded in Beijing today, and will resume in Washington next week. It was reported that the talks were productive.
  • Last trading day for May live cattle options is Friday, May 3rd.
  • At the FOMC meeting today, the committee voted to keep rates the same.


The corn market was higher today as wet weather is expected to continue in much of the corn belt. The potential planting delays have helped to bring the markets higher as this could lower corn planting. July corn closed above its 20-day moving average of $3.66 ½.

  • Weekly ethanol production decreased 24,000 bpd to 1,024,000 bpd. Ethanol inventories remained unchanged at 22.7 million barrels.
  • Trade estimates for weekly export sales are 600,000 to 1,000,000 metric tonnes.
  • Closes: July at $3.68 ½ up 6; September at $3.76 ¼ up 5 ¾; December at $3.86 ¼ up 5 ¼.
  • Spreads: K/N 8 ¾ carry; N/U 7 ¾ cent carry; U/Z 10 cent carry; N/Z 17 ¾ cent carry.


Soybean prices continued to creep lower. The soybean market has felt pressure as the trade talks with China continue without resolution. Additional pressure could be coming from thoughts of higher bean acres due to delayed corn planting, but it is too early to know. The looming carryout numbers have also pressured the market lower. Soyoil was lower today as well, but soy meal remained relatively unchanged. July beans remain well below their moving averages and have an RSI of 22.4%.

  • The China-Canada canola dispute has continued without resolution, and Canada is now offering more financial assistance to canola farmers. The Canadian trade minister plans to go to Japan and South Korea to attempt to increase canola exports.
  • Trade estimates for weekly exports are 400,000 to 800,000 metric tonnes of soybeans, 150,000 to 375,000 metric tonnes of soymeal, and 7,000 to 30,000 metric tonnes of soy oil.
  • Closes: July at $8.51 ¾ down 2 ¼; September at 8.63 ¼ down 2; November at $8.73 down 1 ¾.
  • Spreads: K/N 12 ¾ cent carry; N/U 11 ½ cent carry; U/X 10 cent carry; N/X 21 ¼ cent carry.


The wheat markets were higher today after setting new lows yesterday. The strength today came from short covering. Kansas City wheat prices have fallen low enough for there to be talk of feedlots in the south using wheat as feed rather than corn. For July Chicago wheat, the RSI has risen above the magical 30% level from 28% yesterday to 36.5% today. The July KC wheat RSI is 29.8% and the July Minneapolis RSI is 28.8%.

  • CHS Hedging has an analyst on the Kansas City wheat tour. For updates, visit our Twitter page @hedgeit.
  • Trade estimates for weekly export sales are 200,000 to 500,000 metric tonnes.
  • July closes: Chicago at $4.36 up 7 ¼; Kansas City at $4.00 up 6; Minneapolis at $5.11 ¼ up 5.
  • Spreads: Chicago N/U 7 ¼ cent carry; Kansas City N/U 10 ½ cent carry; Minneapolis N/U 8 ¾ cent carry.


The livestock markets were mixed today, with hogs higher and cattle mostly lower. The June, July, August, and October hogs closed limit up today, so there will be expanded trading limits of $4.50 per cwt tomorrow. The cash prices for hogs have remained strong, and the cut outs have continued to hold value. The strength in hogs today was likely due to speculators trading. June hogs closed below their 10-day moving average of $91.78. Cattle were mostly lower today for both feeders and live cattle. At the fed cattle exchange 479 head were sold, with a weighted average of $122.15. The weakness in the cash helps explain the weakness in futures.

  • Feeder closes: May at $141.375 down 0.225; August at $149.225 up 0.125; September at $150.30 down 0.25.
  • Live closes: June at $113.875 down 0.30; August at $110.975 down 0.775; October at $111.70 down 0.675.
  • Lean hog closes: May at $87.10 up 2.75; June at $91.225 up 3.00; July at $95.375 up 3.00.
  • Packer margins were estimated at 126.45 for beef and negative $6.35 for pork.
  • The morning pork values on 160 loads:  carcass cutouts at $82.69 up 0.47; loins at $74.87 up 0.49; ribs at $165.61 up 6.31; hams at $68.90 down 0.78; bellies at $113.83 down 2.12.
  • The morning boxed beef values on 99 loads: Choice at $231.26 down 0.58; Selects at $218.66 up 0.45. The Choice Selects spread is at $12.60.
  • Today’s slaughter was 121,000 cattle and 474,000 hogs.