[Weds]: Cash cattle is ranging $4-9 higher ($115-120) this week, based on yesterday’s numbers, Allendale said… With the recovery in the cash market, “a further surge in beef prices should continue to fuel short-term buying,” The Hightower Report said. “Longer term is up for grabs,” they added… [Tues]: Boxed beef cutout values this afternoon were lower on Choice and firm on Select… Choice was down $1.01… Select was up 34 cents… In negotiated cash sales in Nebraska, the USDA reported 198 head sold live for $116, and no dressed sales. In Iowa-Minnesota, there were no reportable live sales, and 716 head sold dressed for $187-188. “The market is currently not worried that packing plants will be shut down due to the spread of coronavirus,” Stewart-Peterson said. “Not only are packers making record profit margins, but food production businesses should stay open during ‘shelter in place’ orders. This should keep demand for slaughter supplies very strong, but it could lead to excess beef supplies”… 

 

Farm Commodity Newsletter/Iowa Farmer Today

 

Wed 3/25/2020 8:36 AM

 

Cattle - Cash cattle is ranging $4-9 higher ($115-120) this week, based on yesterday’s numbers, Allendale said. “April futures settled limit up and should open higher tomorrow, currently implying $107/$108 cash in April,” they said.

 

With the recovery in the cash market, “a further surge in beef prices should continue to fuel short-term buying,” The Hightower Report said. “Longer term is up for grabs,” they added, noting that there is likely too much meat supply coming in the late spring, early summer portions of the calendar.

 

Short-term cattle still bullish

 

The cattle industry is adjusting to “the new normal” as restaurants and businesses cancel orders, The Hightower Report said. “The short-term trend is still up, but traders will be monitoring the beef market closely once the retail pipeline is filled.”

 

Tomorrow marks the quarterly USDA hogs and pigs report release. Some estimates are showing all hogs and pigs increasing by 3.5% year over year, while “kept for marketing” could be 3.7% higher year over year. The breeding herd is expected to jump 1.4% higher as well.

 

Tue 3/24/2020 4:44 PM

 

Boxed beef cutout values this afternoon were lower on Choice and firm on Select on light to moderate demand and moderate offerings, the USDA said.

 

Choice was down $1.01 to $256.31/cwt.

Select was up 34 cents to $245.48.

 

In negotiated cash sales in Nebraska, the USDA reported 198 head sold live for $116, and no dressed sales. In Iowa-Minnesota, there were no reportable live sales, and 716 head sold dressed for $187-188.

 

“The market is currently not worried that packing plants will be shut down due to the spread of coronavirus,” Stewart-Peterson said. “Not only are packers making record profit margins, but food production businesses should stay open during ‘shelter in place’ orders. This should keep demand for slaughter supplies very strong, but it could lead to excess beef supplies.”

 

Boxed beef values have been climbing.

 

“Boxed beef cut-out values at midsession came in at $257.48, up 16 cents on the day,” the Hightower Report said. “This compares with $239.93 last week at this time. There is plenty of optimism in the stock market and financial markets today, which is adding to the bullish tone.”

 

Hogs, cattle find support

 

Cattle markets soared again Tuesday, supported by the cash market and beef prices.

 

“April cattle opened up the 450-point limit and stayed there for the entire session and closed up the 450-point limit,” the Hightower Report said. “Strength in the cash market and a surge higher in beef prices continues to provide solid support to the discounted April futures contract.”

 

Hog markets saw similar support.

 

“April hogs closed sharply higher on the day as the buying pushed the market up to the highest level since February 2019,” the Hightower Report said. “The market continues to find support from the steady advance in the cash market and the surge higher we have seen in the past week for pork cut-out values.”

 

Grains 'crawl back' to positive

 

Grain markets moved higher as the day progressed and equity and energy markets traded higher, rebounding from steep losses over the past several days, Ami Heesch, with CHS Hedging, reported.

 

“The grain markets were mostly lower at the open and most have managed to crawl their way back to positive territory,” she said.

 

“Reports of supply bottlenecks in Brazil and Argentina, both at their port facilities and with towns in their major growing areas, are providing support to the market,” the Hightower Report said. “The combination of a stronger Brazilian currency and a weaker dollar has also given the soy complex a boost as it will improve the prospects for U.S. exports.”

 

Corn

 

Corn markets saw factors working for and against them.

 

“Stability in the energy markets, sharply higher equities and steady to higher soybean and wheat prices provided support,” Stewart-Peterson said. “Slow farmer selling was also noted. Of continued concern is the reduction in ethanol margins, as plants are either dropping bids or eliminating them altogether.”

 

“The corn market traded both sides, with prices moving into positive territory by midday on a bout of short covering from recent losses,” Ami Heesch, with CHS Hedging, said. “Gains were limited from talk of ethanol plant closures across the U.S. from waning demand for gasoline as many folks work from home during the spread of the coronavirus.”

 

Soybeans

 

“Soybean prices opened lower on a bout of profit taking after several days of higher trade,” Ami Heesch, with CHS Hedging, said. “Prices turned higher midday on a bounce in crude oil and stimulus optimism. Prices drew additional support from concerns about waning soybean shipments from South America as the coronavirus moves through the country.”

 

Soybean futures started lower on some long liquidation, Steve Freed, with ADM Investor Services, reported.

 

“Talk of increased Brazil soybean exports may have weighed on prices,” Freed said. “Brazil has shipped a record amount of soybeans to China. The U.S. Trade Representative said they are making progress with China on the phase one deal, but so far China has not been a large buyer of U.S. soybeans.”

 

Wheat

 

“Wheat futures closed mixed,” Steve Freed, with ADM Investor Services, said. “The fact USDA increased weekly U.S. winter wheat crop ratings offered resistance. Talk of large increase in U.S. flour demand has helped rally wheat futures. There is talk that U.S. millers are running at full capacity to try to get product to grocery stores.”

 

“The wheat market traded lower on a bout of profit taking and improving winter wheat conditions,” Ami Heesch, with CHS Hedging, said. “Losses were limited from increased demand for flour, pasta and bread items at the grocery store level. Minneapolis gained on KC, with the May at a 43 cent premium over KC May. The Chicago May sits at a 28 cent premium over the Minneapolis.”

 

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