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Soybean & Wheat Futures Prices Push Higher.

Closing Grain and Livestock Futures Prices

Mar. corn closed at $4.43 and 1/2, up 1 and 3/4 cents
Mar. soybeans closed at $13.16 and 1/4, up 3 cents
Mar. soybean meal closed at $442.00, down $5.00
Mar. soybean oil closed at 38.10, up 39 points
Mar. wheat closed at $5.87 and 1/2, up 3 cents
Feb. live cattle closed at $139.70, up 10 cents
Feb. lean hogs closed at $86.45, up $1.22
Mar. crude oil closed at $97.38, up 19 cents
Mar. cotton closed at 85.52, up 12 points
Feb. Class III milk closed at $23.08, up 24 cents
Mar. gold closed at $1,257.00, up $5.80
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 15,440.23, down 5.01 points

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Market News ReCap

Soybeans were higher on commercial and technical buying. Contracts were down early, but the nearby supply remains tight and demand looks good ahead of next week’s USDA supply and demand update. There are still some concerns about weather in key growing areas of South America, but early harvest reports have generally been pretty good and the cash basis is continuing to weaken. Soybean meal was down on profit taking and bean oil was up following crude oil, with both partaking in product spread adjustments. USDA’s weekly export sales report is out Thursday at 8:30 AM Eastern/7:30 AM Central. Soybeans are placed at 650,000 to 1.050 million tons, meal is seen at 100,000 to 440,000 tons, and oil is pegged at 0 to 30,000 tons.

Corn was mostly lower on technical selling and profit taking. Unknown destinations bought 236,728 tons of U.S. corn, 185,928 tons of that was old crop, supporting the March contract, but aside from that, there was no new news. The national basis level is currently about twenty cents below the March contract and some areas have seen an increase in farmer selling. Ethanol was mostly higher. Weekly U.S. corn sales are expected to be between 900,000 and 1.350 million tons.

The wheat complex was higher on commercial and technical buying. The overall fundamentals for wheat remain bearish, mostly due to the large available world supply, and crops around the Black Sea region appear to be in mostly satisfactory condition. Russia’s Ag Ministry says 95.5% of their winter crops are in good to satisfactory condition and Ukraine’s Ministry calls 93% of their winter crop satisfactory. Still, the U.S. hard red winter region needs moisture and ther

Cattle country was at a standstill on Wednesday afternoon, with only a few token bids posted in Colorado at 139.00 on a live basis. Asking prices are not well defined, but some have suggested that a few showlists have been marked around 146.00 plus in the South and 235.00 plus in the North. The cattle kill was estimated at 115,000 head, 1,000 below last week and 4,000 smaller than 2013.

Boxed beef cutout values were significantly lower in the afternoon report. Demand was light and there were light to moderate offerings. Choice beef was down 3.85 at 216.64, and select was 2.58 lower at 216.63.

Live cattle contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange settled 20 points higher to 17 lower. Light buyer support held through the nearby contracts despite the sharp losses in the boxed beef values and little to no direction in the cash cattle market. Even though there is very little strong support to draw commercial or investment traders back into the market, there is even less incentive to become more bearish about the short term demand for beef according to DTN analysts. February settled .10 higher at 139.70, and April was up .20 at 139.10.

Feeder cattle ended the session 5 to 30 points higher with only March lower. Feeder cattle responded to the steady to lower corn prices with consistent but light buyer interest stepping back into the market. Trade volume was light and feeder contracts closed off the day’s highs. March was down .05 at 166.92, and April was up .15 at 167.65.

Lean hogs settled 107 to 187 points higher. Sharp triple digit gains developed as traders focused on the lack of additional direction from other outside markets and concerns that hog supplies may continue to tighten over the coming days and weeks. The aggressive gains in the complex retracted losses last week, but additional support is need from cash and wholesale pork values for hogs to continue to rally. February settled 1.22 higher at 86.45, and April was up 1.87 at 95.00.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed .25 higher at 82.68 on a carcass basis, the West was up .33 at 82.49, and the East was not reported due to confidentiality. The Missouri direct base carcass meat price was steady at 76.00. Terminal hogs were lightly tested with some interests out of the market due to severe winter weather. Barrows and gilts were steady to 3.00 higher on a live basis from 55.00 to 56.00.

The pork carcass value was down .09 FOB plant at 91.43 in the afternoon report.

The hog industry has only had one week since the week before Christmas where kills have not been disrupted either by holiday down time or weather-induced reductions. Accordingly, some fear that finishing floors are not as current as they should be.

Wednesday’s hog slaughter was estimated at 398,000 head, 24,000 more than last week, but 27,000 less than last year.

e’s more talk of new export demand. Weekly U.S. wheat sales are estimated at 450,000 to 700,000 tons.


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