Markets updated at 8 a.m., 11 a.m. & 2 p.m.


Kirsten Rall provides a market update as of 8/4/2020 at 2 p.m.

Grains: Futures trended lower across the board on Tuesday’s session.  The wave of selling came on the heels of new estimates from StoneX that pegged corn yields this season at 182.4 bushels per acre, and soybean yields at 54.2 bushels per acre.  Those numbers are up from USDA’s most recent estimate.  We discussed the estimates with Arlan Suderman, Chief Commodities Economist with StoneX.


Livestock:  The most-active October Lean Hog Futures contract closed $.62 higher on the day at $49.02/cwt.  Live Cattle Futures, which have risen for five sessions, declined on Tuesday.  Today’s cattle slaughter is estimated at 119,000 head, smaller than a year ago.  Light live cash cattle sales were reported early Tuesday in Kansas at $100/cwt, $3 higher than last week’s weighted average.  Choice boxed beef at midday was $.22 higher, at $204.88.

Outside Markets:  Natural Gas prices moved toward their highest level in more than half a year as traders anticipate warmer than normal weather through the month of August.  Benchmark oil prices were notching gains for a third straight session.  An explosion near a port in Beirut, Lebanon, caused very widespread damage, according to several media reports.


Kirsten Rall provides a market update as of 8/4/2020 at 11 a.m.

Grains: Futures are lower across the board Tuesday afternoon. Traders seem to be trading on the improved crop ratings for soybeans and wheat conditions and unchanged condition of the corn crop reported on Monday’s Crop Progress report.

Weather and Chinese buying will remain the focus this week as weather conditions continue to be beneficial for crop growth. Average temps across the midwest are expected to be 3-4 degrees below normal this week. This will be ideal for pollination and pod-set.

Livestock: Tyson foods says about 3 million hogs and 1 million cattle were left on farms and ranches the last couple of months because of the Covid-19 pandemic and acknowledge the hardship producers are going through. This means for companies like Tyson, a steady flow of cattle going through the packing plant lines in the upcoming quarters.

Livestock futures are mixed with cattle futures lower at midday, hog futures are higher.

USDA estimated Monday’s cattle slaughter at 113,000 head. That starts the week’s slaughter 4,000 head below last week’s pace.


Kirsten Rall provides a market update as of 8/4/2020 at 8 .m.

Grains: Futures are mostly lower in overnight trade following yesterday’s release of the weekly Crop Progress report. The Winter wheat harvest took a step back last week and only moving forward 4 percentage points to 85% complete. The 5-year average is 88%.

Corn condition was unchanged from the prior week, still rated at 72% good to excellent, soybean condition was up and continues to also run above the 5-year average at 73% good to excellent.

Grain inspections are on the lower end of trader expectations with Wheat inspections totaling 500,110 metric tons and Corn inspections at 716,127 tons. Soybean inspections fell within expectations at 551,543 metric tons.

Livestock: Firm pressure is expected to continue in hog futures today. Cash hog values are backing away from the gains that were seen last week. Pork cutout values on the other hand, posted strong triple-digit gains yesterday.

Concerns remain around packing plant worker availability and long term pork and beef demand. There is hope China will maintain their end of phase one agreement even as tensions are high between the two countries.