Grain markets are a mixed bag with corn and Chicago wheat higher while most other commodities have contracts on either side of unchanged. Three more full sessions before the March 31 reports arrive which should keep our markets mostly rangebound. Soybeans on China’s Dalian Exchange were down 1.08% while soybean meal was up 0.36% and corn was down 0.41%. Trade in grains will most likely be choppy on the day Friday as we square positions even more ahead of the USDA reports next week.
Cattle futures pushed higher Thursday as it attempts to regain the losses of last week. A few days ago, it looked like regaining those losses would be a tall order to fill, but now that might be accomplished in the next day or so. Cash trade Thursday increased from what it was Wednesday showing that packers need cattle and they are now ready to purchase it aggressively. This sets the stage for next week as feedlots feel they may be in the driver’s seat and will be able to hold out for more. Higher boxed beef prices and strong demand indicates the seasonal spring rally is under way.
There are always some hog futures contracts that make new highs each day and Thursday was no exception. It was almost as if traders did not care about what the Hogs and Pigs report would show. They are bullish and continue to buy futures aggressively. Packers continue to bid higher as they sense tighter supplies down the road. The release of the bullish Hogs and Pigs report may make then a lot more nervous and aggressive. Export sales were down slightly from the previous week and down 2% from the four-week average but maintained a strong pace. There is a word of caution here. The old saying is “buy the rumor, sell the fact.” There is a chance futures could see some selling pressure as traders may try so scalp some money from the market by running over the late comers buying into the market.
Farm and Ranch Director Jesse Allen has the latest: