DTN's Quick Takes

Periodic Updates on the Grains, Livestock Futures Markets

Illustration by Nick Scalise

Grains

OMAHA (DTN) -- As we near the close, March corn is down 2 1/2 cents, March soybeans are up 8 1/2 cents and March Chicago wheat is down 13 cents. Soybeans are holding their post-report gains with November 2018 soybeans trading up 10 1/2 cents, helped by USDA slightly smaller crop estimate for 2017. March corn is threatening to close at a new contract low and all three wheats are down double-digits after USDA reminded us supplies are plentiful for both. Friday's higher U.S. dollar is not having much impact on grains in this trading session, but is currently down 0.82, close to a new three-year low.

Posted 11:52 -- March corn is down 2 1/4 cents, March soybeans are up 3 1/4 cents and March Chicago wheat is down 11 1/4 cents. USDA released its reports at 11 a.m. CST and row crops are holding up fairly well. USDA's new corn crop estimate of 14.6 billion bushels was a little higher than expected and is pressuring prices a little lower. USDA reduced the U.S. soybean export estimate by 65 million bushels, but that was partially offset by a smaller crop estimate of 4.39 billion bushels. Wheat prices are lower with bearish disappointment that winter wheat acres came in at 32.6 million, still the lowest since 1909, but more than many were anticipating.

Posted 10:43 -- Ahead of USDA's reports at 11 a.m. CST, March corn is down 1/4 cent, March soybeans are down 4 3/4 cents and March Chicago wheat is up 1 1/2 cents. Soybeans and meal continue to stretch lower with noncommercials in meal caught on the long side of the market when prices fell to a new three-month low on Thursday. USDA's reports are not expected to show much change in production estimates for corn or soybeans, but demand estimates are at risk of being adjusted lower. The March U.S. dollar index is down 0.53 after the U.S. Labor Department said consumer prices were up 2.1% in December from a year ago, as expected.

Posted 09:47 -- March corn is up 1/2 cent, March soybeans are down 3 1/2 cents and March Chicago wheat is up 2 1/4 cents. March soybeans continues to sag lower with March soybean meal also lower, down $1.60, while this week's forecasts look favorable for Brazil and Argentina. So far, March corn refused to budge ahead of USDA's 11 a.m. CST reports. Winter wheat is up a little, helped by a return of cold temperatures to the southern Plains and a U.S. dollar index trading down 0.59, near its lowest prices in three years.

Posted 08:35 -- After the 8:30 open, March corn is up 1/2 cent, March soybeans are down 3/4 cent, and March Chicago wheat is up 1/4 cent. Grains are starting quiet ahead of USDA's three reports, due out at 11 a.m. CST. Friday's biggest concern will likely be how slow exports of corn and soybeans may have added to Dec. 1 inventories of each. At 8 a.m. CST, USDA said 12.6 million bushels (320,000 mt) of U.S. corn were sold to unknown destinations for 2017-18.

Livestock

Posted 12:04 -- Firm gains have developed through the feeder cattle complex with gains seen from 50-to-95 cents per cwt. There is growing support slowly developing in live cattle futures, although gains have remained sluggish through most of the morning. Lean hog futures are mixed in a narrow range as traders continue to focus on longer-term market direction.

Posted 10:35 -- Light buyer support has slowly developed Friday morning as traders try to square positions ahead of the long weekend. With markets closed Monday due to the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, traders will try to draw increased support through the end of the week. Moderate gains may hold in the feeder cattle complex, while extremely narrow mixed trade is likely to be seen through most other markets through the rest of the day.

Posted 09:01 -- Mixed prices are seen in all livestock markets early Friday morning. The strong pressure seen in feeder cattle and lean hog trade late Thursday has created increased short-covering activity during the first hour of trade. There is likely to be some additional market shifts developing through the complex with overall trade volume likely to remain sluggish during most of the session. Outside markets remain slow to develop late in the week also, creating lackluster interest in cattle and hog futures.

(BE)