Stewart-Peterson Market Commentary

Closing Commentary - March 31, 2020


Top Farmer Closing Commentary

Corn futures finished with small loses as May finished at 340-3/4 down 1/2 cent and December new crop down 2-1/4 at 357-1/2. Today was an interesting day as the much-anticipated quarterly Stocks and Acreage report had some surprises. Today’s acreage figure was bigger than expected at 97 million, yet quarterly stocks, about 200 million bushels less than anticipated. Pre-report numbers had acreage at 94.3 million and stocks at 8.162 billion. The effective yield for 2019 crop could be near 165.5 bushels an acre using harvested acres at 80 million and reducing overall production by 200 million, or about 2.5 bushels an acre. The market still has a negative tone to it. As we look ahead, energy will be the driving force as will weather. Firmer wheat prices might suggest corn could be searching for a bottom. In addition, a slow ethanol grind will likely reduce usage, yet feed users may purchase additional corn for feed.

SOYBEAN HIGHLIGHTS: Soybean futures finished with gains of 3 to 3-3/4 cents as May lead today’s positive futures market higher, closing at 886. New crop November closed at 877-1/2 gaining 3 cents on the day. The much-anticipated stocks and acreage report was released today and was term supportive on acres and neutral on stocks. Soybean expected plantings was 83.51 million acres compared to the pre-report estimate of 84.7. Last year’s figure was76.1 million, considerably lower due to wet weather. Quarterly stocks were estimated at 2.243 billion bushels and slightly above the pre-report estimate of 2.237. Last year was 2.727 million. Today’s figures lack any real punch. Bullish traders will suggest futures help together well despite continue weakness in energy prices and concern regarding corona virus. They will also point to more demand for soymeal as a tighter supply of DDG’s is likely due to less ethanol grind.

WHEAT HIGHLIGHTS: May Chi wheat closed down 3/4 of a cent today at 5.68-3/4, while May KC wheat ramped up another day, closing up 6-1/4 cents, closing at 4.93. Retail shelves are once again showing product, so some commercials may be easing up from previous weeks, however, it seems like wheat markets are getting more support from export news this week. Along with looking to cap exports from April-June, it was reported that Russia released 1 mmt of wheat from reserves to help ease their own increase of wheat prices on a domestic level. USDA Prospective Planting report said producers will plant 44.7 million acres of wheat in 2020, which was slightly lower than what was expected, but still a record low number if accurate. Stock numbers also came in lower at 1.412 billion bushels, down 1.593 billion bushels last year.

CATTLE HIGHLIGHTS:Cattle markets made an impressive late-session recovery today, posting triple digit gains after morning weakness. April lives closed 2.62 higher to 101.82, June lives were up the 3.00 limit to 92.07 and August lives were up 2.97 to 93.60. May feeders were up 2.00 to 122.90 and August feeders were up 1.97 to 128.90. Cash trade has been quiet so far this week, but even with the jump in April futures today, there is still a 20.00 discount between the cash market and futures going into delivery month. Choice beef values closed 1.87 lower yesterday afternoon to 250.97, a pullback of 6.35 in just five sessions. Choice cuts were down another 2.67 this morning to 248.30. Traders are still worried about the influx of fresh beef supplies during a time of significantly reduced demand. In addition, there is still a decent possibility that the spread of coronavirus could impact demand for slaughter supplies, thereby backing animals up in the country. The best-traded June live cattle contract made a very impressive close after a sluggish open. June made a nice push through the 10-day moving average resistance, potentially stemming downward momentum for the time being. May feeders made a bullish key reversal and punched through the 20-day moving average resistance level after a test of nearby support.

LEAN HOG HIGHLIGHTS: Hog markets made mixed to higher closes today, with April down 1.75 to 52.20, June was up 0.55 to 60.32 and July was up 1.65 to 64.72. The CME Lean Hog Index was down 0.90 to 65.56. The index made its first lower close today since March 3 and its largest single-day decline since February 11. Weights are increasing against the seasonal trend, and higher than normal production is overwhelming retail demand for pork products- grocery store space is mostly filled after the run on por over the past two weeks. Carcass cutout values closed 2.72 lower yesterday afternoon to 70.00 and closed 5.67 lower today to 65.04. This is a drop of over 18.00 in just six sessions. A large packing plant in Canada has closed for the next two weeks after nine employees tested positive for coronavirus. Fears of the same thing happening in the US are adding to concerns that animals will further back up in the country. The positive closes in deferred contracts was likely due to some short covering and technical correction from recent losses. June futures were able to hold their lower Bollinger band support level though are still oversold and the trend is still lower.


To ensure the well-being and health of our members, empolyees and communities, we have made the decision to close our offices to the public. However, we will be taking grain and recieving phone calls. Thank you for your understanding and patience.


Tama-Benton Cooperative Locations and Office Hours 


Dysart- 319-476-3666

Office Hours

Monday-Friday 8:00-4:30


Vinton 319-472-4791

Office Hours

Monday-Friday 8:00-4:30pm


Clutier 319-479-2242

Office Hours

Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:30pm 


All Grain Settlements are now completed at the Dysart Office. For your convenience Grain Checks and Contracts may be printed at the Vinton or Clutier locations. 



ADM  5am-3pm

INGREDION  7:30am-11am

STARCH  7am-3pm





Please report Direct Shipment Loads Promptly to the Dysart Office in Order to Maintain Delivery Schedules and to Final Price Contract Overfills and Underfills. Thank You 







Market Snapshot
Quotes retrieved on April 01, 2020, 05:30:47 AM CDT
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