DTN's Quick Takes

Periodic Updates on the Grains, Livestock Futures Markets

Illustration by Nick Scalise

Grains

OMAHA (DTN) -- March corn is up 4 3/4 cents per bushel, March soybeans are up 6 1/2 cents, March K.C. wheat is up 6 3/4 cents, March Chicago wheat is up 7 cents and May Minneapolis wheat is up 10 3/4 cents. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 86.77 points and April crude oil is down $0.29. The U.S. dollar index is up 0.130 and April gold is down $19.60 per ounce. The grains and soy complex are trading about mid-range, giving up some of the sharp early morning gains, as funds, recently big sellers, turned buyers. Funds are estimated to have bought 6,000 corn and 5,000 soybeans as of noon. More China promises of large U.S. ag purchases, and reports that U.S. and China trade negotiators are signing "memorandums of understanding" in six different areas of trade, has partly reversed the recent bearish move.

Posted 10:39 -- March corn is up 5 1/2 cents per bushel, March soybeans are up 6 1/4 cents, March K.C. wheat is up 7 3/4 cents, March Chicago wheat is up 7 3/4 cents and May Minneapolis wheat is up 7 3/4 cents. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 98.25 points and April crude oil is down $0.12. The U.S. dollar index is up 0.070 and April gold is down $14.00 per ounce. The grain and soybean gains continue, though below morning highs. After the recent losses in all three major ag markets, oversold technical indicators and more bullish news from the U.S./China trade meetings appear to be underpinning the markets.

Posted 08:36 -- The bullish turnaround continues Thursday morning. March corn is up 6 1/2 cents per bushel, March soybeans are up 9 3/4 cents, March K.C. wheat is up 9 1/2 cents, March Chicago wheat is up 8 1/4 cents and May Minneapolis wheat is up 8 cents. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 23.61 points and April crude oil is down $0.19. The U.S. dollar index is down 0.020 and April gold is down $10.80 per ounce. A report from Bloomberg that China has agreed to buy $30 billion of U.S. agricultural products per year, including corn, soybeans and wheat, is a bullish input. USDA projects that U.S. corn acreage would rise to 92 million acres from last year's 89.1 million, soybean acreage would fall to 85 million acres from the 89.2 million planted last year, and wheat acreage would fall to 47 million -- down from 47.8 last year. Traders had estimated corn acreage at 91.5 and soybeans at 86.1 pre-release.

Lives;tock

Posted 12:00 -- Gains have continued in lean hog futures, although at this point the inability to move price to limit gains of $3 per cwt has left some traders uncertain of follow through support. The sharp losses seen during the week left the complex ripe for an aggressive market rebound, but market fundamentals remain bearish. Cattle futures have slipped lower even though volume remains light. April live cattle trade is 70 cents lower, although deferred futures are showing minimal pressure.

Posted 10:33 -- Lean hog futures have held strong triple-digit gains through the morning Thursday as traders quickly step back into the complex. Aril through July futures are holding $2 to $2.80 per cwt gains. The expectations that any deal with China will be good for pork exports is helping calm fears of further losses. Cattle trade is starting to develop additional pressure following narrow mixed trade early in the session. The inability to hold early week cattle gains may spark firm losses through the rest of the day. April futures are holding a $1.10 per cwt loss.

Posted 09:22 -- Triple-digit gains have flooded back into hog futures with nearby contracts $1 to $2 per cwt higher during the first hour of trade Thursday. Even though the market remains oversold, reports that China has agreed to purchase $30 billion of ag products per year is helping rekindle hopes of pork exports. Hog futures have backed away from early session highs, but buyer interest remains rooted in the complex. Cattle trade is stuck in a rut with prices narrowly mixed as limited activity is seen.

(BE)