DTN's Quick Takes

Periodic Updates on the Grains, Livestock Futures Markets

Illustration by Nick Scalise

Grains

Posted 12:50 -- As we approach the close, May corn is up 2 1/2 cents, May soybeans are up 9 cents and May K.C. wheat is up 5 3/4 cents. Trading volume is light, which is not uncommon for Fridays and prices are holding earlier gains. Most grains are on track for a higher close this week, but it remains difficult to call anything bullish with U.S. supplies plentiful. Given early weather difficulties, planting may be the most challenging part of 2019. Outside markets are mostly friendly for grains with the Dow Industrials up 184 points and the June U.S. dollar index down 0.21.

Posted 10:46 -- May corn is up 2 1/2 cents per bushel, May soybeans are up 9 1/4 cents, May K.C. wheat is up 6 1/2 cents, May Chicago wheat is up 7 1/4 cents and May Minneapolis wheat is up 2 cents. Following a sluggish start, soybeans and wheat are surging higher and dragging corn up as well. There appears to be more trade optimism coming from China, but no solid agreement yet. Hogs are again surging on Chinese buying of U.S. pork.

Posted 08:51 -- May corn is up 2 cents, May soybeans are up 11 cents and May K.C. wheat is up 2 1/2 cents. Grains are off to a higher start Friday with soybeans leading the way, possibly helped by comments in China's media that negotiations are going well. Thursday's blizzard in the northwestern Plains and widespread flooding in the western Plains remain serious concerns for transportation, livestock and property in general. Outside commodities are mixed with the June U.S. dollar index down 0.20.

Livestock

OMAHA (DTN) -- April cattle are up $1.55 and June cattle are up $1.32 after USDA's morning report came out late, but showed choice boxed beef up $0.05 at $227.75 and selects down $0.54 at $218.22. April feeder cattle are up $2.07. April hogs and June hogs are up their $3.00 daily limits, boosted by optimism that the U.S. will be selling more pork to China, related to the African swine fever.

Posted 11:54 -- April cattle are up $1.37 and June cattle are up $1.25 with fresh concerns of livestock losses in the wake of this week's blizzard and flooding issues. USDA is having technical difficulties as morning boxed beef prices haven't been posted yet. April feeder cattle are up $2.25, back to challenging the higher end of their sideways range. April hogs are up $2.30 and June hogs are up $2.97, near the highest price in 2019 for the April contract and at new highs for June -- all boosted by optimism that the U.S. will be selling more pork to China, related to the African swine flu. USDA said pork carcass was down $0.75 early Friday at $68.05, pulled down by a $2.55 loss in hams.

Posted 09:04 -- April cattle are up $0.10 and June cattle are up $0.15, finding slight early support as ranchers in the western and northwestern Plains deal with either snow-covered fields and/or areas of flooding. Cash business has been light so far this week, roughly a dollar lower. April feeder cattle are up $0.47, still staying in their same sideways range. April hogs are up $2.05 and June hogs are up $2.87, supported by ongoing concerns of African swine fever and likely exaggerated by noncommercial short-covering. Dow Jones projects Friday's cattle slaughter at 111,000, up from 108,514 a year ago. Hog slaughter is expected at 453,000, up from 450,473 a year ago.

(BE)