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AgUpdate - Marketwatch
CME Group Futures settlements (preliminary) 4/18
  Settle Change High Low
May corn 3.58 1/2 +1/4 3.59 1/4 3.57
Jul corn 3.67 1/4 +1/4 3.67 3/4 3.65 3/4

Dec corn

3.86 1/4 -1/2 3.87 1/4 3.85
May beans 8.80 1/2 +1 1/2 8.82 8.76 1/2
Sep beans 9.04 3/4 +1 1/4 9.06 9.00 3/4
Nov beans 9.13 1/2 +1 1/4 9.15 1/4 9.10
May soy meal 303.2 -.7 304.8 303.0
Sep soy meal 309.5 -.9 311.3 309.4
Oct soy meal 310.9 -.6 312.4 310.7
May wheat 4.44 1/4 -2 3/4 4.48 1/4 4.39 1/4
Sep wheat 4.54 3/4 -2 1/4 4.58 1/4 4.50 1/4
Dec wheat 4.71 -3 1/4 4.75 1/2 4.67 1/2
Ethanol Futures settlements (preliminary)
  Settle Change High Low
May 1.333 +.001 1.335 1.327
Jun 1.347 +.001 1.351 1.342
Jul 1.357 +.001 1.363 1.363

Warmer weather expected for grains

The U.S. Midwest weather forecast has precipitation through early next week before a drier pattern is expected for the last week of April, giving farmers in many parts of the region a break to finish fieldwork and begin planting, reported ADM Investor Services.

On another positive note, the United States won in a WTO ruling against China regarding the country’s trade restrictions on agricultural imports, according to CHS Hedging.

U.S. ag futures markets will be closed on Friday in observance of Good Friday. Trading will resume on Sunday at 7 p.m. CT.


Corn traded in a narrow range today ahead of the holiday weekend, with most contracts closing the day within a penny of where they started, said CHS Hedging. For the week, corn was down 2 cents, said ADM Investor Services.

“This week's export sales were an improvement over last week, but currently total export commitments for this marketing year are below last year's level,” said Stewart-Peterson Marketing.

Corn plantings in next week’s USDA Crop Progress report released Monday are estimated between 5 and 10%, CHS Hedging said.


Soybeans traded both sides of the board today before closing higher. The rise in pricing today can be attributed to position squaring before the extended weekend, said CHS Hedging.

But for the week, soybeans were down 14 cents and soy meal down $3, according to ADM Investor Services.

Talk of a potential trade deal finalized by the end of the month may bring optimism.

“Until particulars are known, soybean futures will stay focused on fundamentals,” said Stewart-Peterson Marketing.


The wheat market traded on the defensive with prices hovering between recent contract lows, CHS Hedging said.

For the week, winter wheat prices were down roughly 21 cents for soft red winter wheat down 17 in the hard red winter and down 5 for hard red spring, said ADM Investor Services.

Check your area cash bids for grains.

Enter a zip code in the Grain Bid Lookup box to see cash bids at specific locations in your area.

Grain futures prices, links to charts.


Lean Hogs CME — Close 4/18
  Settle Change High Low
May 90.200 +1.275 90.350 87.700
Jun 96.750 +.625 97.025 94.350
Jul 100.550 -.075 101.225 98.600
Live Cattle CME
  Settle Change High Low
Apr 128.525 +1.600 128.600 127.100
Jun 122.675 +.300 122.775 121.625
Aug 119.750 +.200 119.950 118.725
Feeder Cattle CME
  Settle Change High Low
Apr 145.700 +.375 145.875 145.450
May 151.525 +.925 151.800 150.275
Aug 160.675 +.225 161.400 159.825

New high for Cattle on Feed

This afternoon’s USDA Cattle on Feed showed that placements for March came in at 105%, marketing’s at 97% and on-feed supply at 102%.

“This was the highest on-feed total since Cattle on Feed reports began in 1996. There is also talk of active placement activity during the month of April,” said Stewart-Peterson.

March cattle placements came in a bit higher than expected, according to CHS Hedging, at 105% above the estimates of 103.4%. All cattle on feed April 1 came in at 102%, slightly above the estimate of 101.7%.

Lean hogs

In weighted average negotiated prices for barrows and gilts, USDA reported:

  • National carcass base up 92 cents to $77.93/cwt.
  • National live fell 55 cents to $59.56
  • Iowa-Minnesota carcass base rose $1.53 to $79.99

USDA reported carcass cutout values this afternoon rose 85 cents to $87.85/cwt.

Ideas that the bulk of pork exports to China will occur in the second half of the year has helped drive deferred contracts to a new contract high while June has not seen a new high since April 5, The Hightower Report said.

News reports overnight that China is set to face a shortage of pork which the world cannot fill may help to provide underlying support, The Hightower Report said.


Boxed beef cutout values were firm on Choice and weak on Select on light to moderate demand and moderate offerings, USDA said.

  • Choice rose 30 cents to $233.06/cwt.
  •  Select went down 70 cents to $219.46.

In negotiated cash sales in Nebraska, the USDA reported 14,453 head sold live at $126-130, and 11,531 head sold dressed at$205-208. In Iowa-Minnesota, 5,405 head sold live at $128.50-130, with 9,844 head sold dressed at $207-209.

The market is seeing a clash of stronger than expected demand with the outlook for a steady increase for supply in the months just ahead, said The Hightower Report.

“The strong beef price trend and talk for warmer weather in the U.S. in the next two weeks which could boost demand helped the support,” said The Hightower Report.

Both feeder and live cattle finished the day mostly higher.  The boxed beef values have remained firm as grilling season is approaching quickly, said CHS Hedging.

These data and comments are provided for information purposes only and are not intended to be used for specific trading strategies. Although all information is believed to be reliable, we cannot guarantee its accuracy or completeness. Commodity trading involves risks, and you should fully understand those risks before trading.

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