Afternoon Market Highlights


The grain markets were on the defensive today from lack of fresh supportive news. The soybeans gave up waiting for announcements of Chinese business. The corn market faltered on Chinese virus worries, with 2 cases now detected in Chicago. The wheat slumped on a bout of profit taking with no signs of Chinese wheat business. 

  • The Cattle on Feed report was mostly neutral: On Feed Jan 1 at 102.0% (102.2%), December placements at 103.0% (103.4%) and December Marketings at 105.0% (105.2%).
  • China is on holiday most of next week (Lunar New Year).
  • The energy markets are mostly weaker with crude oil trading over a buck lower at $54.27/barrel.
  • The US$ is up 175 at 97.86, the gold market is up 5 bucks at $1,570/ounce and the CD$ is slightly weaker at 0.76075.
  • The DJIA down 143 at 29016, S&P down 37 at 3288 and the NASDAQ down 77 at 9325.     


Corn prices retreated on a bout of profit taking and increased movement after the recent strength. Mostly favorable weather for the Brazilian corn crop this week.  Weekly sales were decent this week on improving demand for US corn. 

  • Closes: March at $3.87 ¼, down 6 ½ cents, July at $3.97 ¾, down 5 ½ cents, September at $3.95 ¾, down 5 cents and December at $3.98 ¼, down 5 cents.
  • CIF premiums were 2 cents weaker for Jan at 52 and 4 cents weaker for Feb at 53/54.
  • Weekly export sales were solid at 1.0 mmt and about what the trade was looking for.
  • USDA announce the sale of 142k tonnes of corn to Unknown for the current marketing year.
  • Spreads: H/K 5 ½ carry, H/N 10 ½ carry, N/Z 1 carry. 


The soybean market traded lower on the absence of Chinese purchases of US soybeans and record crop ideas in Brazil.  There is much concern about the Coronavirus outbreak in China that has spread to the US. 

  • Closes: March at $9.02, down 7 ½ cents, July at $9.29 ½, down 7 ½ cents, November at $9.38 ¾, down 8 ½ cents. The products were lower with meal down 60 cents and oil down 45 points.
  • CIF premiums were 1 cent weaker for Jan/Feb at 54/52 respectively.
  • Weekly export sales were decent at 790 tmt.
  • The canola market turned lower in sympathy with the US soybean and soyoil markets. The milder weather across the prairies may encourage farmer selling.
  • Spreads: H/K 13 ¾ carry, H/N 27 ½ carry, N/X 9 ¼ carry, X/F 5 carry. 


The wheat market was on the defensive from technicals and profit taking. Prices were thought to be due for a correction. Investor jitters over the spread of the Chinese virus pressured prices across all three wheat markets. 

  • March closes: Mpls at $5.47 ½, down 8 ¼ cents, KC at $4.85 ½, down 6 ¾ cents and Chicago at $5.73 ½, down 7 cents.
  • Weekly export sales were decent at 696 tmt.
  • Spreads: Mpls H/K eeked back out to a 9 ½ cent carry, Kansas City H/K 7 ¾ carry, Chicago H/K 1 inverse.