DTN's Quick Takes

Periodic Updates on the Grains, Livestock Futures Markets

Illustration by Nick Scalise


OMAHA (DTN) -- As we near the close, December corn is down 1 1/2 cents, January soybeans are down 4 3/4 cents and December Chicago wheat is up 2 1/4 cents. As suspected, Thursday was another day of low volume trading in grains with not much price movement. Commercial selling is putting modest bearish pressure on soybeans and soybean oil, while commercial buying is giving Chicago wheat a small lift. Outside commodity markets are also mostly quiet while the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 200 points.

Posted 11:51 -- December corn is down 1 1/4 cents, January soybeans are down 4 cents and December Chicago wheat is up 3 1/2 cents. After a brief disappearance, commercial buyers returned to winter wheat and are helping to keep prices in November's sideways trading range. On the other hand, commercial selling is pressuring soybeans and bean oil prices lower, just a day after NOPA said soybean oil stocks were lower than expected at the end of October. The December U.S. dollar index is roughly unchanged and December gold is up $2.50 -- a quiet day for outside markets.

Posted 09:48 -- December corn is down 1 1/4 cents, January soybeans are down 1 3/4 cents and December Chicago wheat is down 1/4 cent. Early gains have disappeared, except for in December Minneapolis wheat where the contract is up 1 1/2 cents. It is looking like another low volume trading day as even outside markets are mostly quiet. The December U.S. dollar index is up 0.12 after RTTNews.com reported U.S. industrial production gained .9% in October, more than was expected.

Posted 08:36 -- After the 8:30 open, December corn is unchanged, January soybeans are down 1 1/4 cents, and December Chicago wheat is up 2 1/2 cents. Winter wheat is finding early help from commercial bargain hunters while row crops are steady to lower. Thursday's weekly report of exports from USDA showed another week of total 2017-18 shipments trailing year ago levels, keeping domestic supplies high. After a mostly pleasant Thursday, the eastern Corn Belt will have two more days of wet weather before conditions turn drier next week.


Posted 11:49 -- Little to no additional market direction has developed across livestock futures, with traders focusing on backing away from support seen Wednesday. This overall lack of direction since midmorning in both cattle and hog futures is likely to allow markets to wander toward the closing bell with very little additional movement or trade activity developing. Live cattle futures are leading the cattle market lower with 80 to 90 cent losses, but thanks to the aggressive gains during late October, futures are in no immediate danger of breaking out of the current wide trading range.

Posted 11:01 -- Strong triple-digit losses have moved into front month lean hog futures. This has created additional weakness through the entire lean hog futures and is now pushing actively traded February futures 90 to 95 cents per cwt lower. This will continue to limit additional buyer support through the complex, although the tone of the market remains sluggish with many traders unwilling to step into the downward spiraling market. Cattle futures have been contained to narrow-to-moderate losses, as trade volume remains light. This is backing out the gains seen Wednesday, but is also creating a sense of stability in the market toward the end of the week.

Posted 09:31 -- Losses have expanded through the entire livestock complex Thursday morning with moderate support seen midweek, now being reversed as traders continue to focus on the underlying longer-term pressure moving into the complex. This could bring additional weakness to the market as traders focus on still eroding cash markets and the inability to sustain meat values over the last several days. Cattle futures continue to be lightly traded with losses of 20 to 60 cents per cwt while the hog complex has quickly eroded front month support seen Wednesday, holding a 85 cent per cwt loss in December contracts.