Afternoon Market Highlights


  • Trade between the U.S. and China will resume in Washington on May 8th.
  • USDA crop progress is released May 6th at 3:00 PM CDT and the WASDE is released May 10th at 11:00 AM CDT.
  • The U.S. unemployment rate in April fell to 3.6%, below the March unemployment rate of 4.1%.
  • Flooding continues along the Mississippi, with parts of the river closed near St. Louis.


The corn market was a mixed bag today, with many contracts finishing the day higher. There continues to be rain and below normal temperatures in the forcast for the next two weeks. The crop progress report scheduled for Monday has estimates for corn planting ranging from 33 to 35%, which is behind the average of 46%. For the week, corn was a winner gaining 9 ½ cents in the July contract.

  • The Commitment of Traders report showed that the speculators net short position shrunk by 16,769 contracts to 317,493.
  • An analyst raised their Brazilian corn production to 101.76 mmt from 99.56 mmt for the 2018/2019 crop.
  • Closes: July at $3.70 ¾ up ¼; September at $3.77 ¾ unchanged; December at $3.87 ¾ up ¾.
  • Spreads: K/N 8 cent carry; N/U 7 cent carry; U/Z 9 ¾ cent carry; N/Z 17 cent carry.


Soybeans continued their downward spiral today after trading higher early this morning. The early morning bounce was likely due to an export sales announcement before the session opened, with the U.S. selling beans to Mexico. Soybeans closed lower every day this week as the trade war has continued to drag on. Prices are further pressured by bumper crops in other countries. For the week, July soybeans lost 24 ¾ cents.

  • The Commitment of Traders report showed that the speculators net short position increased by 15,247 contracts to 161,453 contracts.
  • The USDA announced this morning that 293,922 metric tonnes of soybeans were sold to Mexico for delivery in the 2019-2020 marketing year.
  • An analyst raised their Brazilian soy forecast from 116.4 mmt to 117.9 mmt for the 2018/2019 crop.
  • Closes: July at $8.41 down 2 ¼; August at $8.47 ¼ down 2 ¼; November at $8.63 down 2.
  • Spreads: K/N 12 ¾ cent carry; N/Q 6 ¼ cent carry; Q/X 15 ¾ cent carry; N/X 22 cent carry.


The wheat markets traded lower today to end the week. The weakness in wheat was likely profit-taking to end the week. There are still large stocks to use ratios for wheat, as well as weak export sales. For the week, July Chicago wheat lost 4 ½ cents, July Kansas City lost 6 ½, and July Minneapolis gained 3 ½ cents.

  • The Commitment of Traders report showed that the speculators added 12,913 contracts to their net short position in Chicago wheat, bringing their position to 117,833 contracts. The Kansas City speculators added to their positions, raising their net short 4,300 contracts to 52,600.
  • July Closes: Chicago at $4.38 down 6; Kansas City at $4.01 ¼ down 3 ¾; Minneapolis at $5.15 ¼ down 5 ¾.
  • Spreads: Chicago N/U 8 ¾ cent carry; Kansas City N/U 10 ¾ cent carry; Minneapolis N/U 8 cent carry.


The livestock markets were mixed today, with both feeder and live cattle lower and lean hogs mixed. The live cattle market has traded lower every day for the week, losing $1.625 per cwt. The feeders were lower as well all week, with the May losing $6.25 per cwt on the week. The lean hogs were mixed today with the front months lower but the deferred higher. The carcass cutouts have remained near the $83 mark. For the week, May hogs have lost $1.65 per cwt. The packer margins have remained slim, although they are back in the black now.

  • The speculators decreased their net long position in live cattle by 22,478 contracts to 106,626. They added 213 contracts to their net long position in lean hogs of 72,857 contract. In feeder cattle, the speculators sold 4,183 contracts and are now short 1,063 contracts.
  • Feeder closes: May at $137.15 down 1.725; August at $146.375 down 1.65; September at 147.15 down 1.475.
  • Live closes: June at 113.425 down 0.375; August at 109.15 down 1.025; October at 109.675 down 0.95.
  • Lean hog closes: May at $85.35 down 0.75; June at 92.75 down 0.20; July at 95.675 up 0.125.
  • Today’s slaughter was estimated at 121,000 cattle vs 119,000 last year and 460,000 hogs vs 437,000 last year.
  • Packer margins were $123.50 for beef and $0.70 for pork.