Stewart-Peterson Market Commentary

Closing Commentary - July 19, 2018

Top Farmer Opening Calls 7-19-18

CORN: Corn futures are trading very slightly lower early this morning, with Dec corn down 1/4 cent to 3.60-3/4. The cool weather forecast for the next 2 weeks is a bearish factor, but export sales data released this morning was supportive. Net sales are 641,000 metric tons, up 59% from last week and up 38% from the previous 4-week average. The EPA is holding a hearing today on the most recent proposal for ethanol and bio-diesel production targets for next season. Traders will watch news wires closely in a continued battle between the oil and ag industries.

SOYBEANS: Soybean futures are trading slightly lower in the opening minutes today, with Nov beans down 1/2 cent to 8.57-1/4. Cool temperatures, and mixed precipitation forecasts for the next 2 weeks continue to contribute to talk of large yields and potentially stifling ending stocks. 252,300 metric tons of soybeans were reported sold this week, up 59% from last week, but down 22% from the previous 4-week average. Yesterday, the U.S. Chief Economic Advisor, Larry Kudlow, made comments indicating that several Chinese officials are willing to work on a trade deal, but the onus will be on China to initiate said talks.

WHEAT: Wheat futures are called higher this morning, with Dec Chi wheat up 5-3/4 cents to 5.16-1/2, Dec KC wheat up 5 cents to 5.18, and Dec spring wheat up 2-3/4 to 5.49. Buying interest on poor European crop conditions is still a major boost to prices, though some are worried about the overbought technical indicators, higher U.S. dollar, and lower crude oil prices. 300,000 metric tons were reported sold this morning, up noticeably from last week, but down 25% from the previous 4-week average.

CATTLE: Cattle futures are trading slightly higher this morning, with the nearby Aug live cattle contract up 15 cents to 109.10, while the nearby Aug feeder cattle contract is down 15 cents to 154.30. Beef prices are down for the week, while the cash tone is steady with a few head traded late yesterday afternoon in KS at $112. Closes above the 200-day moving average levels for live cattle futures would be cause for some technical buying today, and some are speculating that beef prices may be trying to put in a near-term low.

HOGS: Hog futures are trading slightly higher this morning, with the nearby Aug contract trading 47 cents higher to 67.67. Hogs are trying to probe before a short-term low with an extremely wide basis and technical indicators giving heavily overbought readings. Weekly average weights for IA/MN hogs for the week ending July 14, dropped almost 2 pounds, a supportive force.

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