News Source: SPC

Stewart-Peterson Closing Commentary 5-21-19

CORN HIGHLIGHTS: Corn futures moved higher again today with gains of 4 to 6 cents, as the market continues to factor in growing concerns that some, if not many acres will not be planted due to a continued wet forecast. Yesterday afternoon, the 6-10 day outlook, which indicated above normal precipitation for the entire Midwest and northern Midwest with below normal temperatures, on top of a planting report that indicated only 49% of the crop planted, helped spur additional gains in the corn market today. There were lots of rumors today about a potential payout of 2.00 in beans and 4 cents in corn from the Trump administration had bean prices reversing down late in the session and pulling on corn. At one point, corn had traded 9 cents higher, with Jul reaching a near term high of 3.99, the highest price it has reached since late December. To say these are uncharted waters might be an understatement. When visiting with several farmers who have yet to even make it to the field, there is a growing pessimism that acres will get planted and that farmers may take prevent plant. As indicated yesterday, however, be careful that prices can move fast enough to encourage producers to plant beyond prevent plant date. Our point is, do not move away from good marketing, and be strategic.

SOYBEAN Highlights: Soybean futures ended the day on a weak note, losing 9-1/4 to 9-3/4 cents as Jul led today's drop, closing at 8.22. New crop Nov closed down 9-1/4 at 8.48-1/2. Jul closed right at the 10-day moving average, a support level, as did November. Today's range was much larger than yesterday, and today's poor finish is a technical reversal. This is not a good sign if you are bullish. The inability to hold gains after pushing through the 21-day moving average suggested that traders were willing to sell the rally and, consequently by day's end, prices reflected a weak close. Yet, there is more to the story. Planting progress is behind schedule, and this is starting to provide underlying support. Yet, talk late in the session of a potential 2.00 payout to soybean producers, as reported by Bloomberg news, had prices on the defensive in a hurry. Bean prices were trading higher through much of the session when this news was released, prices dropped. The obvious implication is that farmers may try to plant aggressively as many bean acres as possible.

WHEAT HIGHLIGHTS: Wheat futures finished relatively quietly in a rather volatile day. Jul Chi wheat closed 1/2 higher at 4.78-3/4 after reaching a high of 4.92-3/4. KC Jul closed 1-1/2 higher at 4.36 after reaching a high of 4.53, Mpls down 1/2 in nearby Jul and down 1/2 in Sep. Sep closed at 5.52. Wheat futures bolted higher in sympathy with sharply higher corn prices in the morning session. However, it appeared that, when buy stops were triggered after pushing through the 100-day moving average, prices moved higher and then ran out of gas. A reversal downward and a close beneath the 100-day moving average suggests that the wheat market could quickly run out of steam. We would not be surprised to see farmer selling pick up after a 70-cent rally in little more than one week. From a technical perspective, the market has a firm footing, and all arrows are pointing higher. Today's close back under the 100-day could start to put doubt in the minds of traders. Crop progress and ratings indicated 54% of the winter wheat crop in the head stage versus a 5-year average of 66%. Concerns of too much moisture and disease issues rising have been supportive for prices.

CATTLE HIGHLIGHTS: Cattle futures closed mostly lower, falling back within the trading ranges that prices occupied for most of last week. Lives closed 50-cents lower to 10.85, Aug lives were down 25 cents to 108.27, and Oct lives were down 20 cents to 108.30. May feeders were up 22 cents to 134.37, Aug feeders were down 1.77 to 143.00 and Sep feeders were down 1.70 to 144.17. Choice beef values closed 1.14 higher yesterday afternoon to 221.45 but were down 43 cents this morning to 221.12. Cash trade today was light, though early week trade is coming in about 1.00 lower than last week. While future beef demand should pick up with help from Japan and possibly China, concerns that weather over the Memorial Day weekend may not be conducive to widespread grilling has kept the markets choppy. Technically, though today's price action was not positive, there was minimal technical damage done in the live markets. The Jun, Aug and Oct contracts were all able to hold their 10-day moving average support levels despite early session tests. Feeder markets were not so composed with both the Aug and Sep contracts falling back below their 10-day moving average support levels after two consecutive closes above.

LEAN HOG HIGHLIGHTS: Hog markets finished with triple digit losses, with Jun down 1.65 to 90.10, Jul down 1.62 to 1.37 and Aug down 1.97 to 92.47. CME lean hog index was steady at 84.59. Carcass cutouts were up 54 cents this morning to 87.07 and finished the day 32 cents higher at 86.85. Global pork prices are beginning to rise once again, reflecting the continuing spread of African swine fever in China, Vietnam and other southeast Asian countries. The China hog situation is likely to cause a spike in global pork export activity, and traders are waiting for Mexico to bring down their 20% tariff on U.S. pork products as well. Positive momentum on the U.S. / China trade front may be grinding to a halt – not a positive sign for U.S. pork exports for later this year. This was likely the source of a good chunk of today's selling. The U.S. and China will be meeting at the G20 summit soon, but again, momentum seems to have slowed. The best traded Jul hog contract held its 10-day moving average support level today but was unable to close above its 20-day. The recent uptrend still appears to be intact, though buying action may be slowing down in the near term.

Top Farmer Midday Update

Corn: Corn futures are trading sharply higher this morning gapping up to begin the overnight session. Jul corn is up 8-3/4 cents to 3.97-3/4, Sep corn is up 8-3/4 to 4.05-1/2, and new crop Dec corn is up 7-1/2 to 4.12. Yesterday's Crop Progress report was considered very supportive, with just 49% of the nation's corn planted vs 80% on average for this week. Corn emergence was said to be at just 19% vs 49% on average, a result of a very cold spring thus far. Forecasts are still showing heavy rains for many areas this week and for the next 8-14 days, above normal precipitation is seen most areas. The Jul corn contract made its third gap up open this week and is now trading at its highest value since January 8. New crop Dec corn made highs today so far at 4.13, the highest price since August 8. Funds bought about 30,000 contracts of corn yesterday and are thought to be net short about 180,000 contracts.

Soybeans: Soybean futures are trading with double-digit gains so far today, with Jul beans up 12-1/4 cents to 8.44, Sep beans are up 12-1/4 to 8.57-1/4, and new crop Nov soybeans are up 12-3/4 to 8.70-1/2. Prices traded down to their 20-day moving average support levels this morning but have held that level and rebounded so far. With extended forecasts showing above normal precipitation, some are starting to worry soybean yields may be down this year. Soybean plantings were said to be 19% complete as of Sunday vs 47% on average. Speculative funds bought about 8,000 contracts of soybeans yesterday and are thought to be net short about 160,000 contracts.

Wheat: Wheat markets are showing double-digit gains again today, with Jul Chi wheat up 11-1/2 cents to 4.89-3/4, Jul KC wheat is up 15 cents to 4.49-1/2, and Jul Mpls wheat is up 10 cents to 5.53-1/2. Jul Chi wheat is trading above its 100-day moving average for the first time since late August. Spring wheat contracts are trading above their 100-day moving average levels for the first time since October. Excessive rains lately and in forecasts should keep spring wheat plantings behind schedule and may cause stress for the winter wheat crop. Funds bought about 9,000 contracts of wheat in Chi yesterday and are thought to be net short about 61,000 contracts.

Cattle: Cattle markets are mixed this morning, with Jun lives up 5 cents to 111.40, Aug lives are up 27 cents to 108.77, and Oct lives are up 47 cents to 108.97. May feeders are up 15 cents to 134.30, Aug feeders are down 1.65 to 143.12, and Sep feeders are down 1.37 to 144.50. Live cattle prices have held in their recent ranges so far today while the feeder cattle contracts have moved back below their 10-day moving average support levels. Boxed beef values saw a decent jump yesterday, and recent news that Japan is lifting restrictions on U.S. beef is also supportive. However, Memorial Day weather across the country does not appear to be ideal for grilling season which may temper demand. Futures prices are technically oversold for the short term, but the market is still trying to factor in heavy supply fundamentals.

Hogs: Hog markets are moderately lower this morning, with Jun hogs down 95 cents to 90.80, Jul hogs are down 70 cents to 92.30, and Aug hogs are down 70 cents to 93.75. Without new developments on the China trade front, prices cannot seem to break out of their recent ranges and tangle of moving average support and resistance levels. Outlook prospects for Mexico are improving after the U.S. lifted tariffs on steel and aluminum. Cash hog prices in the U.S. have been rallying as of late and choppy in China, and pork prices have been rallying in the U.S.

Top Farmer Closing Commentary 5-20-19

CORN HIGHLIGHTS: Corn futures pushed higher again today with gains of 4-3/4 to 6-1/4 cents, as Sep lead today's futures rally, closing at 3.96-3/4. Nearby Jul gained 5-3/4, closing at 3.89, its highest close since late Feb. New crop Dec closed 6-1/4 higher at 4.04-1/2 after reaching a high of 4.05-1/2, its highest price since 11/8 when futures hit a high of 4.06-3/4. The post-harvest high from 10/15 is 4.08. This is the sixth consecutive close higher for corn futures, as the market continues to reflect significant and serious planting delays. With a 6-10 day forecast that continues to suggest above normal precipitation, all attention is focused on rainfall totals, as well as futures price. At the current price of new crop corn at 4.04, we are not convinced farmers will (where available on the 25th) plant beyond the preventative plant date. The economics this year are not good, and the prevent plant payout is tempting. If the weather forecast happens to turn better and prices continue to rally, that theory may go out the window as farmers aggressively plant corn acres. Unfortunately, the forecast for many doesn’t offer much opportunity, at least not as of this writing. In other news, export inspections at 32.3 million bushels were below the 44 million needed on a weekly pace but not a friendly figure.

SOYBEAN Highlights: Soybean futures remain somewhat volatile after sharp losses Friday, gaining back 9-1/2 to 10-1/2 cents, with Nov leading today's charge, closing at 8.57-3/4. The 10-day moving average held as support. The 21-day moving average is acting as overhead resistance. Jul beans closed 10 higher to 8.31-3/4. With the national soybean index price near 7.39, we do not expect farmer selling to be strong. Nonetheless, it is a time of year where cash flow requirements and bin space eventually become more important, and farmers will likely have to sell. Our thinking is to be patient at this time, as wet weather this late into the season is not necessarily conducive to bean planting. We do not expect farmers to move, if any acres of beans, given the low price of soybeans. If farmers prevent plant corn and decide to plant beans, that could add acreage, but the numbers don't seem to work for that either. Our bias is to stay patient on cash sales. As far as orders well above the market to sell cash, given the amount of coverage on futures and put options, our bias will be to move out of these short positions at some point and leave the cash orders well above the market. Beans are notorious for making fast and furious moves, sometimes when least expected and sometimes on weather.

WHEAT HIGHLIGHTS: Wheat futures on all three exchanges experienced strong gains of 13 to 15-3/4 cents with Mpls leading today's charge, as Sep closed at 5.52-1/2, its highest close since late Mar. The next point of resistance is the 100-day moving average at 5.61-1/2. From a big picture perspective, the wheat market is gaining traction on concerns that weather has not been ideal for winter wheat, and this will be exhibited in today's crop ratings numbers. Spring wheat planting numbers may be down as well. Short covering and funds moving out of short corn, beans and wheat positions are also noted, as all three commodities continue to move higher.

CATTLE HIGHLIGHTS: Cattle markets closed mixed to mostly lower today, unable to build on Friday's strong finishes. Jun lives were up 7 cents to 111.35, Aug lives were down 40 cents to 108.52, and Oct lives were down 40 cents to 108.50. May feeders were down 37 cents to 134.15, Aug feeders were down 72 cents to 144.77 and Sep feeders were down 82 cents to 145.87. Choice beef closed 75 cents higher on Friday afternoon to 220.31 and was up another 86 cents this morning to 221.17. Friday's private survey of U.S. consumer confidence came in much higher than what most were expecting, posting its highest rating since 2005, a good sign for beef demand. Cash trade last week was down $3 to $5 from the previous week in most areas, as packer margins continue to strengthen. This will keep chain speeds high and production moving at a good clip. Higher than normal beef demand will be needed to keep supplies from inflating. Price action today, while not positive, was not all that bearish. The best traded live cattle contract was within Friday's range for the entire session and held its 10-day moving average support level. Aug feeders stayed within Friday's range as well, tested their 10-day moving average support level and closed back above. Some technical indicators are still giving oversold readings, which may provide some fuel for a bounce if fundamentals can firm up.

LEAN HOG HIGHLIGHTS: Hog markets were mixed with Jun down 62 cents to 91.75, Jul steady at 93.00 and Aug up 50 cents to 94.45. The CME lean hog index was up 38 cents to 84.59, its highest value since Jul of last year. Carcass cutout values were down 86 cents Friday night to 85.27 but were up 3.82 this morning to 89.09. Butts were up 3.42 to 109.05, picnics were up 5.01 to 61.47, ribs were up 7.37 to 153.40 and bellies lead the way higher, up 23.18 to 153.49. The U.S. lifted tariffs on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum last week, which should spur Mexico to move lower tariffs on U.S. pork products. Monthly imports of U.S. pork reached 182.4 million pounds last April but were down to just 128.4 million pounds in March of this year. Jun hogs briefly tested their 10, 20 and 50-day moving average support levels but were able to rally back by the close to finish above them. Jul hogs barely tested their 50-day moving average resistance level but couldn't break through. Aug hogs were also caught between their 20 and 50-day moving average levels.

Top Farmer Midday Update 5-20-19

Corn: Corn futures are trading 5-1/4 cents higher this morning, with Jul at 3.88-1/2, Dec at 3.95-3/4, and Dec at 4.03-1/2. Rain this weekend kept planting activities at a minimum in many areas, and this afternoon's Crop Progress report will probably not show more than a 20% advancement in planting progress. 7-day models are showing 1-1/2 to 5 inches for parts of KS< MO, NE, IA, MN, WI, ND, SD, and northern IL. 8 to 14 day forecasts are showing above normal precipitation as well. Jul corn gapped higher on the overnight session by a penny, and Dec corn futures never traded lower than Friday's close. Dec futures reached 4.05 this morning, their highest price since January 18. Corn prices may be slightly overbought in the short term, but fundamentals may still be pointing higher. The U.S. shipped just over 1 mil tons of corn for the week ending May 9 vs 977,000 tons the previous week and 1.6 mil tons this same week last year. Shipments are running nearly 2 mil tons ahead of last year's pace. Funds bought 25,000 contracts of corn on Friday and are thought to be net short about 210,000 contracts.

Soybeans: Soybean futures are showing double digit gains in early trade today. Jul beans are up 11-3/4 cents to 8.33-1/2, Sep beans are up 11-1/2 cents to 8.46-1/4, and new crop Nov soybeans are up 11-1/4 to 8.58-1/2. Much of the support today is due to the recent rally in Brazilian soybean prices. China purchased huge quantities of soybeans in Brazil last week pushing Brazilian export prices to a 25.00 premium to the U.S. export prices. The flurry of Chinese purchases from Brazil has been a negative consequence of the U.S./China trade negotiations dragging on much longer than initially expected. Many are worries that the U.S. could permanently lose some soybean export demand due to breakdown in relations. Soybean prices have again rallied up to, but not broken through, their 20-day moving average resistance levels. This is the fourth session in a row. The U.S. shipped 513,000 tons of beans for the week ending May 9 vs 603,000 tons the previous week, and 699,000 this same week last year. Cumulative shipments are running over 12 mil tons behind last year's pace. Funds sold about 9,000 contracts of beans on Friday and are thought to be net short about 168,000 contracts.

Wheat: Wheat markets are sharply higher this morning with Jul Chi wheat up 12-3/4 to 4.77-3/4, Jul KC wheat is up 14-1/2 to 4.34-3/4, and Jul spring wheat is up 9-3/4 to 5.37-1/2. Excessive rain totals will continue to impact different wheat varieties. Continued rains in the Dakota's and Minnesota will slow spring wheat planting and 5 to 8 inches of rain in TX, OK, and KS in the coming days will threaten quality and yield for the hard red winter wheat crop. Jul Chi futures have nearly reached their 100-day moving average resistance level, a moving average not tested since January and not closed above since August of last year. Jul KC wheat futures are trading above their 50-day moving average for the first time since February. The U.S. shipped about 842,000 tons of wheat the week ending May 9 vs 537,000 tons the previous week, and 467,000 tons this same week last year. Wheat shipments are running about 82,000 tons ahead of last year's pace. Funds sold about 1,000 contracts of wheat in Chi on Friday and are thought to be net short about 70,000 contracts.

Cattle: Cattle markets are mixed this morning, with Jun lives up 35 cents to 111.62, Aug lives up 2 cents to 108.95, and Oct lives up 2 cents to 108.92. May feeders are down 22 cents to 134.30, Aug feeders are down 1.00 to 144.50, and Sep feeders are down 95 cents to 145.75. Live cattle futures are so far trading within Friday's range and still above the 10-day moving average support level. Live cattle futures have not closed above their 10-day moving average levels for two sessions in a row since mid-April. Aug feeders are still holding their 10-day moving average as well. News on Friday that Japan is lifting restrictions on U.S. beef imports should be supportive going forward, and Friday's consumer confidence rating was the highest since 2004, which is a good indicator of beef demand. Still, cash trade last week was 3.00 to 5.00 lower than the previous week which may keep a lid on large rallies anytime soon.

Hogs: Hog markets are slightly lower in early and choppy trade today. Jun hogs are down 95 cents to 91.42, Jul hogs down 47 cents to 92.52, and Aug hogs are steady at 93.95. The U.S. lifted steel and aluminum tariffs on Mexico and Canada last week which may get the ball rolling again for USMCA ratification. Still, we have yet to hear that Mexican tariffs on U.S. pork products have come down. Trade today has been relatively uneventful as the best traded Jun contract briefly breaking through Friday's highs, but have since fallen back lower, just below the 50-day moving average support level. Most cash fundamentals have been relatively mixed recently keeping price direction higher, but only moderately so.

Top Farmer Midday Commentary 5-17-19

Corn: Corn futures are moderately higher early this morning, trading above resistance that has proven staunch through Wednesday and Thursday's sessions. Jul corn is up 3-3/4 cents to 3.82-3/4, Sep corn is up 3-1/2 to 3.90-1/2, and new crop Dec corn is up 2-3/4 to 3.99-1/4. Planting progress looks likely to come to a halt this weekend as many of the major corn growing states could receive between 3 to 5 inches of rain. Both the 6 to 10 and 8 to 14 day forecasts are also showing above normal precipitation. Many are expecting corn plantings to be 50% complete by Sunday, which would be nearly 35% behind the average pace. Today's session has been fairly quiet compared to previous days this week, but no less technically impressive. Dec corn never traded below yesterday's close, and even touched 4.00 overnight for the first time since March 26. Prices may be slightly overbought in the short term, but fundamentals are providing more than enough justification at this point. Funds bought back about 30,000 contracts of corn and are thought to be net short around 226,000 contracts.

Soybeans: Soybean futures are trading moderately lower today after testing and failing overhead resistance for the third day in a row. Jul beans are down 9-1/4 cents to 8.30-1/2, Aug beans are down 9-1/4 cents to 8.37-1/4, and new crop Nov soybeans are down 9-1/4 cents to 8.55-1/2. With a very heavy supply side of the balance sheet and the real potential for increased soybean acres this year due to late corn plantings, most fundamental indicators are not friendly at this point. U.S./China trade relations are still very shaky at best, and China's global soybean demand is decreasing quickly anyway due to the spread of ASF. Price charts do not look friendly either, with all 2019 contracts testing and failing to break through their 20-day moving average support levels for three sessions in a row. Soybeans appear to have caught some short covering bounce from the corn market, but the upward momentum may be waning. Funds bought 5,000 contracts of beans yesterday and are thought to be net short about 155,000 contracts.
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Wheat: Wheat markets are moderately higher again today, with Jul Chi wheat up 3 cents to 4.70, Jul KC wheat is up 4-1/2 cents to 4.21-1/4, and Jul spring wheat is up 5-1/4 to 5.32. Excess precipitation recently, and in extended forecast, continues to create concern for crop conditions. The wheat crop is much further behind in maturity than is usual, increasing its risk for disease and other problems. Chi wheat futures surged through their 50-day moving average levels yesterday, closing above them for the first time since early February. KC wheat futures are testing their 20-day moving average levels today. Spring wheat contracts briefly traded above theirs today for the first time since late March, but has since fallen back below. Funds bought an estimated 10,000 contracts of Chi wheat yesterday and are thought to be net short about 68,000 contracts.

Cattle: Cattle futures are higher this morning, with Jun lives up 62 cents to 111.10, Aug lives are up 77 cents to 108.72, and Oct lives are up 92 cents to 108.82. May feeders are up 25 cents to 134.47, and Aug feeders are up 1.70 to 145.02. Live cattle contracts opened up above their 10-day moving average resistance levels today, and a close above would be the first since the markets turned lower late last month. Cash trade yesterday was 3.00 to 5.00 lower than last week, and beef values continue to slide. The best traded Aug feeder cattle contract is also trading above its 10-day moving average resistance level for the first time in a week, and a close above would be the first since April 23. Live and feeder cattle futures are still oversold and may be finding some technical bounce.

Hogs: Hog markets are mixed in very quiet trade so far today. Jun hogs are down 20 cents to 92.02, Jul hogs are down 2 cents to 92.37, and Aug hog are up 32 cents to 93.62. The CME lean hog index has been building strength recently, along with the carcass cutout values. Reports surfaced earlier this morning that the U.S. may be lifting steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico which could clear the way for U.S. MCA ratification. This could give pork exports to Mexico a jolt of energy. Still, some of the buying on these reports could be limited by China's cancelation of U.S. pork purchases from earlier this week.

Top Farmer Midday Commentary 4-30-19

Corn: corn futures are soft this morning following yesterday's weak closes. May corn is down 1-1/2 cents to 3.50-1/2, Jul corn is down 2 cents to 3.59-3/4, and new crop Dec corn is down 2-1/4 cents to 3.79. Yesterday afternoon's Crop Progress report was considered slightly bearish. U.S. corn plantings were seen at 15% complete vs. the trade estimate of 14%, 6% a week ago and 15% a year ago. On the average year, 27% of the corn is planted by now. This could be supportive in coming weeks, as forecasts for most of the U.S. show above normal precipitation which could keep planting pace behind. Notable planting delays were seen in MN, IL, IN, and OH. Yesterday's closes below nearby inside the 10-day moving average levels were very disappointing. Prices sold off into the end of the session and corn was only able to muster slightly positive closes. This opened the door for selling this morning after another test of the overhead 10-day moving average resistance levels. Funds bought about 6,000 contracts of corn yesterday and are thought to be net short about 309,000 contracts.

Soybeans: Soybean futures are moderately lower this morning, as prices fall to their lowest levels since mid-summer. May beans are down 6 cents to 8.41-1/2, Jul beans are down 6-1/2 to 8.54-1/4, and new crop Nov beans are down 5-1/2 to 8.75-1/4. Jul soybeans are making new contract lows this morning, while Nov beans are trading at their lowest levels since July 16. The slow corn planting pace thus far, and forecasts moving forward, have many traders currently seeing a shift of 1 to 1.5 mil acres of corn to soybeans. The U.S. farmer is said to have planted 3% of the allotted bean acres vs. the average trade estimate at 4%, 1% a week ago, 5% last year, and 6% on average. Still, spring is young. Technically, price charts look very bearish. Support for the new crop Nov contract comes in at current contract lows near 8.64-3/4. A break below that opens up new crop beans to painful price levels. Funds sold an estimated 7,000 contracts of soybeans yesterday and are thought to be net short about 145,000 contracts.
Wheat: Wheat markets are sharply lower this morning on solid crop conditions and lower trending prices abroad. Jul Chi wheat is down 8-1/4 cents to 4.27, Jul KC wheat is down 5 cents to 3.92, and Jul Mpls wheat is down 1-1/4 to 5.06-1/4. The U.S. winter wheat crop was rated 64% good-to-excellent yesterday afternoon. The trade was looking for 62% good-to-excellent vs. 62% a week ago, and 33% a year ago. A prominent satellite imagery firm raised their winter wheat yield to 50.1 bu per acre from 49 bu previously, and 49.3 bu per acre last year. This will be the second highest yield of all time. Russian wheat export prices were down 4.5%, their lowest level since late July. Wheat contracts in all three exchanges have made new lows today as traders continue to struggle with huge inventories and struggling demand. Funds sold about 6,000 contracts of wheat in Chi yesterday and are thought to be net short about 74,000 contracts.

Cattle: Cattle markets are slightly higher in some more stabilization trade. Apr lives are up 82 cents to 125.60, Jun lives are up 25 to 115.05, and Aug lives are up 15 to 112.70. May feeders re down 40 cents to 143.00, and Aug feeders are down 15 to 150.92. While live cattle futures have yet to challenge their overhead 200-day moving average resistance levels, the stabilization effort is a decent sign. Last week's break came very fast, and while new speculative ownership may be difficult to attract without a U.S./China trade deal, downside also seems somewhat limited from here considering strong retail beef prices. Jun live cattle traded at their lowest level today since December 7, and Aug feeder cattle traded at their lowest levels today since March 6.

Hogs: Hog markets are slightly higher today after finding support yesterday at the 50-day moving average levels. Jun hogs are up 37 cents to 88.42, Jul hogs are up 45 cents to 93.00, and Aug hogs are up 57 cents to 93.85. Trade negotiations between the U.S. and China have restarted today. While the exact status of the trade deal is of course unknown, rhetoric from both sides still seems optimistic. Some technical washout seems to have subsided with yesterday's successful test of nearby support. Hog markets are traded with low volume, and are thus extra susceptible to money flow swings.