Top Farmer Midday Update 1-11-19

Corn: Corn futures are trading higher today, with Mar up 2 cents to 3.78-1/4, May up 2-1/4 cents to 3.86-3/4, and Jul up 2-1/4 cents to 3.94-1/2. While newswires are still quiet regarding sales of U.S. corn to China, yesterday's losses seemed to be a little much given the positive tone of trade talks with China. Weather in South America remains problematic. The best traded Mar contract closed yesterday below its 100-day moving average but is back above today. Prices have so far tested their 10, 20, and 50-day moving average levels but have corrected back lower. Funds sold about 16,000 contracts of corn yesterday and are thought to be long about 98,000 contracts.

Soybeans: Soybean futures are trading 4-3/4 cents higher this morning, with Jan at 9.00-1/4, Mar at 9.11-1/2, and May trading at 9.24-3/4. CONAB, Brazil's Crop Agency, lowered their soybean crop estimate yesterday to 118.8 million metric tons versus the average expectation of 118.1 million metric tons. Though this estimate is sharply lower than the USDA's most recent estimate of 122 million metric tons, the drop was not seen as large enough to continue the buying at resistance levels. A high-pressure ridge is forecasted to hover over central Brazil for the next two weeks which will keep temperatures hot and precipitation low. China's Vice Premier is said to be visiting Washington at the end of the month, keeping trade negotiations moving. Funds sold about 11,000 contracts of soybeans yesterday and are now short about 15,000 contracts.

Wheat: Wheat markets are leading the grains higher today, with Mar Chi wheat up 9-1/4 cents to 5.23, Mar KC wheat up 9-1/2 cents to 5.08-1/4, and Mar Mpls wheat up 8-1/2 cents to 5.72-1/2. The U.S. dollar closed higher yesterday and is higher again today but has not traded this low since mid-October. U.S. wheat is still the cheapest in the world, but Algeria fulfilled the vast majority of their recent tender with Russian wheat due to higher freight costs for U.S. wheat. Private crop estimates for Argentina's wheat production are continually moving lower with excess rain said to be hurting quality. Funds sold 5,000 contracts of wheat yesterday and are now short 12,000 contracts.

Cattle: Cattle markets are mixed this morning, further consolidating within recent ranges. The Feb live cattle contract is up 42 cents at 125.30, Apr is up 32 cents to 126.25, and Jun is up 12 cents to 117.50. Jan feeders are down 17 cents to 146.57 and Mar feeders are up 10 cents to 145.17. Both the Feb and Jun live cattle contracts have made new contract highs this morning but are not exactly surging higher. Cash trade yesterday was extremely light, though was 3.00 lower than last week's highs. The market appears to be in a holding pattern before more substantial cash trade reports are published. Beef values have been choppy, so the lack of definitive direction makes predicting cash trade somewhat difficult.

Hogs: Hog markets are showing moderate to heavy losses this morning, with Feb down 1.20 to 62.87, Apr is down 70 cents to 67.15, and Jun is down 1.45 to 79.95. While pork values have been moving higher along with the cash hog index, average weights are near a record high and is likely a major pressure point. Trade talks with China were productive this week, but statements regarding developments were vague and without U.S. export sales data, we cannot see if China is in fact buying U.S. pork.

Market Commentary provided by:

Total Farm Marketing
137 South Main Street, West Bend, WI 53095
Phone: 800-334-9779