May corn down 6 at $3.0975
May beans down 3 ¾ at $8.285
The DOW is up
USD is weaker
Crude oil down $4.08 at $12.86
Corn bulls will be trying to keep the market from falling to fresh new contract lows, while the bears continue to question demand from ethanol, livestock, and global exports. As for today, the USDA will update weekly planting progress which will fall somewhere between 20% and 25% complete and ahead of schedule.
Soybean bulls have been struggling with continued weakness in South American currencies. Keep in mind, the Brazilian currency closed out last week falling to a record all-time low against the U.S. dollar. This provides Brazilian exporters a much greater advantage over U.S. competitors. The USDA this afternoon will probably show +5% to +6% of the U.S. crop is now planted and running ahead of schedule.
Cattle and calves on feed in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.3 million head on April 1, 2020. The inventory was -5% below April 1, 2019, USDA reported on Friday. The inventory included 7.08 million steers and steer calves, down -5% from the previous year. This group accounted for 63% of the total inventory. Heifers and heifer calves accounted for 4.22 million head, down -7% from 2019. Placements in feedlots during March totaled 1.56 million head, -23% below 2019. Placements were the lowest for March since the series began in 1996. Net placements were 1.50 million head. Marketings of fed cattle during March totaled 2.01 million head, +13% above 2019 and the second highest for March since the series began in 1996.
Smithfield Foods Inc. announced Friday that it will shutter operations at its Monmouth, Illinois, plant beginning Monday and until further notice. The plant represents about 3% of U.S. fresh pork supplies and also produces bacon. The company’s location in St. Charles, Illinois, is also being closed on orders from the Kane County Health Department. The facility will remain closed until early May so that it can be cleaned and social distancing requirements put into place. Smithfield also has closed meatpacking plants in Cudahy, Wisconsin; Martin City, Missouri; and Sioux Falls, South Dakota.