[Weds]: The lean hog market has been seeing support from the pork cut-out values surge, “but the gap higher opening and bullish technical action for the June futures yesterday is an impressive development,” The Hightower Report said… 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… [Tues]: National carcass base was $1.08 higher… Iowa-Minnesota carcass base was up $1.52… USDA reported carcass cutout values this afternoon were down $1.46… “Most are expecting demand from grocery stores to stay strong,” Stewart-Peterson said. “China purchases are expected to continue, if not increase. China pork imports in the January-February time frame were up 158% from the same time period last year, even despite the economic and logistic limitations posed by coronavirus”…

 

Farm Commodity Newsletter/Iowa Farmer Today

 

Wed 3/25/2020 8:36 AM

 

Lean hogs - The lean hog market has been seeing support from the pork cut-out values surge, “but the gap higher opening and bullish technical action for the June futures yesterday is an impressive development,” The Hightower Report said.

 

That has turned the short-term trend higher, they said. “There is some talk that the surge higher in beef prices may move more quickly to the retail consumer and pork demand might benefit. It will be important for export markets for U.S. meat to stay strong in order to expect a major rally in the June hogs.”

 

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

 

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

 

National carcass base was $1.08 higher to $57.41/cwt.

National live was $1.11 lower to $41.19

Iowa-Minnesota carcass base was up $1.52 to $59.76

 

USDA reported carcass cutout values this afternoon were down $1.46 to $82.05/cwt.

 

“Most are expecting demand from grocery stores to stay strong,” Stewart-Peterson said. “China purchases are expected to continue, if not increase. China pork imports in the January-February time frame were up 158% from the same time period last year, even despite the economic and logistic limitations posed by coronavirus.”

 

“Carcass cutout values closed $3.75 higher yesterday afternoon to $82.68 and were up another 73 cents to $83.41 this morning,” Stewart-Peterson said. “This is an impressive jump from cut-out values at this time last week at $74.90.”

 

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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