Grain markets were down across the board this week, with the exception of corn, which saw a big boost from purchases from China, AgweekTV's Michelle Rook said on this week's Agweek Market Wrap, sponsored by Gateway Building Systems.
Rook said China has purchased approximately 423 million bushels of new crop corn. And while some of those bushels could end up canceled if China finds another feed source or if they can find corn cheaper later, the purchases still look good, said Randy Martinson of Martinson Ag Risk Management.
"They've been buying pretty aggressive," he said.
Plus, Brazil's crop condition has been downgraded, which also helps the market, Martinson said.
Soybeans and wheat both had down weeks, though. For soybeans, favorable weather plus a cooling off of the previously hot soybean oil market have been the reasons, Martinson said. Canola also cooled off this week.
He said it appears crush plants are moving their shut down and clean up time ahead this year, as there are few soybeans left to purchase. A lot of them have supply to last a while.
In wheat, it's a tale of two crops. The Wheat Quality Council's winter wheat tour concluded with expected yields of 58.1 bushels per acre, which would be a record.
"That's an awfully big yield," Martinson said.
However, rain forecast for the Northern Plains has so far been spotty, which may help the Minneapolis hard red spring wheat market. If more rain doesn't fall by early next week, Martinson predicts that the Minneapolis market will start to separate itself from other wheat markets.
And that's not just a matter of the Northern Plains drought. He said the winter wheat yield may be big, but that's quantity not quality. Some higher quality wheat will be needed to blend in, which could help the spring wheat.
In livestock, Martinson said he remains friendly both cattle and hogs. As barbecue season begins and people have a bit of extra money and a pent-up desire to get out and do something, he predicts that domestic demand will continue to increase. Boxed beef and pork cutout prices have been high, and hog prices hit higher weekly closes this week as well as new contract highs in the back months.
Live cattle still continue to struggle. A Friday Cattle on Feed report, which compares cattle numbers to last year, is a bit hard to read because last year at this time was the worst of COVID-19 livestock impacts. However, Martinson said statistics indicating higher than normal feedlot placements likely is correct, as a lot of feeder cattle have been moved to feedlots early because of drought conditions.