Market Closes - February 20, 2015

Posted on Feb 21, 2015
Corn and soybean futures closed lower and wheat fell sharply. Selling pressure arose from technical selling as prices failed to follow-through on yesterday’s gains with key overhead chart resistance in the way. Corn futures are in a well-defined sideways trading range. Wheat dropped on poor export sales and a reminder how uncompetitive US wheat is on the world market; the spec funds are short wheat and happy to sell more to push it lower. USDA forecast a large jump in US wheat stocks at the end of 2015/16 marketing year. This week, soybean meal futures offset the sharp losses in soybean oil so that soybean futures managed a dime gain.

Cattle futures closed sharply lower as traders realized that cash cattle prices would not hold up to last week’s level. Reports now show cattle sold $1-2/cwt lower. Today’s sharp losses erased any potential positive appearance that the price charts had. Choice carcasses up 0.39 at 240.31; Select up 1.08 at 237.79. This afternoon’s Cattle on Feed Report came in close to expectations – on-feed inventory near unchanged from a year ago. See report at end of this message.

Lean Hog futures closed mixed with gains in the nearby contracts. Stronger cash hog prices reported yesterday and today provided early morning support. But sharply lower pork values developed in the morning and weighed on futures. After some recovery in the afternoon, FOB Plant Pork closed down .82 to 71.50. The West Coast port labor problems continue to weigh on beef and pork markets as exports to Asia are hindered. You may also notice shortages of some imported items as this problem drags on.

Equity markets rallied at the end of the day on news that Greece received a 4-month extension of its debt deadline.

Corn Mar -4 385; Jly -5 400; Dec -3 416 Bean Mar -8 999; Jly -8 1007; Nov -6 980 Meal Mar unch 347; Oct -1 326 Oil -35 3148 Wheat Mar -17 510; Jly -10 511 KC -11 533; MGE -7 567 Oats -3 273 Rice -1 1079

LC Feb -222 15670; Apr -297 14852; Oct -145 14345 FC Mar -337 19917; May -307 19782; Aug -265 20100 LH Apr +35 6740; Jun +27 8172; Oct -95 6895 Milk Mar -28 1553; Apr -41 1532

US$ -.1%

Dow +155 18141 SP +13 2110 NAS +31 4956 Tran +54 9131 VIX -.99 14.30 -6.5%

WTI -82 5034 Brent -11 6010 Gas +2 164 NG +12 295 HO +12 211 Eth -2 143 Gold -3 1205 Slvr -15 1623

2-yr +.021 0.642% 5-yr +.017 1.590% 10yr +.003 2.115% 30yr +.1442 2.718%

United States Cattle on Feed Up Slightly

Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 10.7 million head on February 1, 2015. The inventory was slightly above February 1, 2014.

Placements in feedlots during January totaled 1.79 million, 11 percent below 2014. Net placements were 1.71 million head. During January, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 405,000, 600-699 pounds were 340,000, 700-799 pounds were 477,000, and 800 pounds and greater were 565,000.

Marketings of fed cattle during January totaled 1.63 million, 9 percent below 2014. January marketings are the lowest since the series began in 1996.

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Tagged Post Topics Include: Economics, Market updates