Afternoon Market Highlights


So, the Phase One Trade Agreement goes into effect tomorrow.  China says they will live up to their commitment to increase their purchases of US ag goods. In the meantime, they have purchased corn from Ukraine, wheat from France, Canada and Australia and soybeans from Brazil. One tends to wonder just what their purchases of US ag goods will actually consist of. 

  • There will be no grain markets on Sunday night or Monday, in observance of the President’s Day Holiday. Trade will resume Monday evening at 7 PM CT.
  • The USDA Ag Forum is scheduled for February 20 & 21.
  • March options expiration takes place at the close on Friday, February 21st.
  • First Notice Day is scheduled for Friday, February 28, with all long positions reported after the close on February 27th.
  • The energy market is stronger with crude oil up 75 cents at $52.17/barrel.
  • The US$ is up 68 at 99.13, the gold market is up 5-7 bucks at 1583 and the CD$ is up a freckle at 0.75475.
  • DJIA is down 25 at 29398, S&P up 4 at 3381 and NASDAQ up 19 at 9731.     


Corn prices moped on lack of fresh supportive news.  Prices drew additional pressure from strength in the US$. China bought corn from Ukraine for Pete’s sake.  Weakness stemmed from uncertainty about Chines business and big crops in SA. 

  • Closes: March at $3.77 ¾, down 1 ¾ cents, July at $3.85 ½, down 3 ¼ cents, September at $3.84 ¼, down 3 ¼ cents and December at $3.88 ¾, down 3 ¼ cents.
  • South American weather conditions are mostly favorable for the corn crop.The Safrinha corn crop appears to get bigger and bigger with the release of analysts estimates.
  • Spreads: H/K 4 carry, H/N 7 ¾ carry, N/Z 3 ½ carry, Z/N1 14 ¾ carry. 


Soybean prices were lower on a bout of profit taking ahead of a long weekend. March failed to trade above yesterday’s high. The market awaits any updates on the virus and any buying action out of China next week. 

  • Closes: March at $8.93 ¾, down 2 ½ cents, July at $9.15 ½, down 2 ½ cents, August at $9.19 ¼, down 2 ½ cents, November at $9.22 ½, down 1 ¼ cents. The products were weaker with meal down 80 cents and oil down 15 points.
  • SA weather mostly favorable, although there are areas that have issues of dryness. Brazil is said to be on cue for harvesting a record soybean crop this year.
  • The canola market traded lower in sympathy with the US soy complex. The March closed down 4.40 at $459.40/ton.
  • Spreads: H/K 9 ¾ carry, H/N 21 ¾ carry, N/X 7 ½ carry, X/F 3 ¾ carry. 


Wheat prices traded lower in sympathy with the row crops. Prices drew additional pressure from strength in the US$.  The Us continues to be uncompetitive in the world market.  Weekly export sales were decent for the past two weeks, but most of the business is viewed as routine.  

  • March closes: Mpls at $5.25 ½, down 1 ¼ cents (another slow leak in the wheat market), KC at $4.55, unchanged and Chicago at $5.42 ¾, down 1 ½ cents.
  • The December Mpls has a couple of unfilled gaps between $5.72 ¾-$5.72 ¼ and again at $5.67 ½ -$5.67.A wise colleague once told me that gaps often times get filled. The MWZ closed at $5.65 with a range of $5.64 ¾-$5.67.
  • Spreads: Mpls H/K 10 carry (Yee! Haw!) Kansas City H/K 6 ½ carry, Chicago H/K 1 ½ inverse. KC March gained on Mpls with the MWH at a 55cent premium to the KWH.